How to Install CMS Made Simple on Ubuntu Linux with Apache

This article describes steps one can take to install and use CMS Made Simple on Ubuntu (CMSMS) Linux with Apache support.

CMSMS is a popular and widely used open-source content management system that relies on the LAMP or LEMP stack. It is designed to allow webmasters and users to create powerful and dynamic content websites.

If you’re looking for a true open-source WordPress alternative, CMS Made Simple might be a good place to start. It’s built using PHP and the Smarty Engine, which keeps content, modules, and templates separated.

This post covers installing the latest version of CMSMS, which at the time of writing is 2.2.6.

How to install CMS Made Simple on Ubuntu Linux with Apache

As described above, CMSMS is a popular and widely used open-source content management system that relies on the LAMP or LEMP stack. It is designed to allow webmasters and users to create powerful and dynamic content websites.

Below is how to stall CMSMS on Ubuntu Linux with Apache.

Install Apache

CMS Made Simple requires a webserver and the most popular web server in use today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

Next, run the commands below to stop, start and enable the Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Install MariaDB

CMSMS also requires a database server, and the MariaDB database server is a great place to start.

To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable the MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

After that, run the commands below to secure the MariaDB server.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Install PHP and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 isn’t available on Ubuntu’s default repositories. To install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.1

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.1

sudo apt update

Run the commands below to install PHP 7.1 FPM and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.1 libapache2-mod-php7.1 php7.1-common php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xmlrpc php7.1-soap php7.1-gd php7.1-xml php7.1-intl php7.1-mysql php7.1-cli php7.1-mcrypt php7.1-zip php7.1-curl

After installing PHP, run the commands below to open the Apache2 PHP default file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/apache2/php.ini

Then make the change to the following lines below in the file and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
max_execution_time = 180
memory_limit = 256M
post_max_size = 20M
upload_max_filesize = 100M

Create CMSMS Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers.

First, run the commands below to create a CMSMS database.

Run the commands below to log on to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called cmsmsdb

CREATE DATABASE cmsmsdb;

Create a database user called cmsmsuser with a new password

CREATE USER 'cmsmsuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON cmsmsdb.* TO 'cmsmsuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Download CMSMS Latest Release

Next, visit the CMSMS site and download the latest version.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the download file into the Apache2 root directory.

cd /tmp && wget http://s3.amazonaws.com/cmsms/downloads/14123/cmsms-2.2.6-install.zip
sudo apt install unzip
sudo unzip cmsms-2.2.6-install.zip -d /var/www/html/cmsms

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for CMSMS to function.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/cmsms/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/cmsms/

Configure Apache

Finally, configure Apache virtual host configuration file for CMSMS. This file will control how users access CMSMS content.

Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called cmsms.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/cmsms.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/cmsms/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/cmsms/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
     </Directory>

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Enable the CMSMS and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite cmsms.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name followed by install. You should see CMS Made Simple setup wizard complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

http://example.com/cmsms-2.2.6-install.php

You should now be presented with a welcome screen. If instead, you see a white screen it probably means that your server is running old, or incompatible software and that you may be forced to use the traditional installer.

When you did, delete the installer file by running the commands below.

sudo rm /var/www/html/cmsms/cmsms-2.2.6-install.php

And you’re done.