How to Install JOJO CMS with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install JOJO CMS on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with an Apache2 HTTP server.

For the uninitiated, JOJO is a free content management system (CMS) based on PHP that is easy to install and set up. Web developers anyone who wants to build beautiful websites can use Jojo CMS to do it!

With JOJO CMS, you can run unlimited websites from a single set of core files, smart handling of CSS and JavaScript, and it’s search engine friendly.

It comes with support for any templates, inline editing, drop ‘n drop, any language with an intuitive backend, and more.

For more about JOJO, please check their Homepage

To get started with installing JOJO CMS, follow the steps below:

Install Apache2 HTTP Server

JOJO CMS requires a web server and the Apache2 HTTP server is the most popular open-source web server available today. To install the Apache2 server, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used 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

Now that Apache2 is installed, open your browser and browse to the URL below to test whether the web server is working.

Apache2 Test Page

If you see the page above, then Apache2 is successfully installed.

Install MariaDB Database Server

JOJO CMS also requires a database server to store its content. MariaDB is a great place to start if you’re looking for a truly open-source database server.

To install MariaDB run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

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

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

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

Run these on Ubuntu 18.10 and 18.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

Next, run the commands below to secure the database server with a root password if you were not prompted to do so during the installation.

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

Once MariaDB is installed, run the commands below to test whether the database server was successfully installed.

sudo mysql -u root -p

type the root password when prompted.

mariadb welcome

The server was successfully installed if you see a similar screen as shown above.

Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

JOJO CMS is a PHP-based CMS and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu’s default repositories. To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-gd php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open the PHP default configuration file for Apache2.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

The lines below are a good setting for most PHP-based CMS. Update the configuration file with these and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Every time you make changes to the PHP configuration file, you should also restart the Apache2 web server. To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Once PHP is installed, create a test file called phpinfo.php in the Apache2 default root directory to test whether it’s functioning. ( /var/www/html/)

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by phpinfo.php


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP Test Page

Create JOJO Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages required for JOJO CMS to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, run the commands below to create a blank JOJO CMS database.

To log on to the MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called jojocms


Create a database user called jojocmsuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON jojocms.* TO 'jojocmsuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Download JOJO CMS Latest Release

After installing the server and packages above, go to the JOJO CMS download page and get the latest. Or use the commands below to download and clone the latest version of GitHub.

sudo apt install git
cd /var/www/
sudo git clone jojocms
cd /var/www/jojocms
sudo git submodule init && sudo git submodule update

You will also need to create a folder for your site content.

This folder can be named anything you like – we will refer to the folder as ‘my site‘. This folder will contain 4 subfolders that are specific to each Jojo site. Downloads, for holding site-specific file uploads; cache, for site-specific cache files; plugins, for site-specific plugins; and themes, for site-specific themes.

To create the folder, run the commands below:

sudo mkdir /var/www/jojocms/mysite

Next, run the commands below to set the correct permissions for the JOJO CMS root directory and give Apache2 control.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/jojocms/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/jojocms/

Configure Apache2

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for JOJO CMS. This file will control how users access JOJO CMS content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called jojocms. conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/jojocms.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>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/jojocms/_www

     <Directory /var/www/jojocms/_www>
          Options FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted

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

Save the file and exit.

Enable the JOJO CMS and Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite jojocms.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see the JOJO CMS setup wizard complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

When you browse the domain, you may get prompted to update your .htaccess file. Copy and paste the code into the file below.

sudo nano /var/www/jojocms/_www/.htaccess

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it.

# Jojo .htaccess file.
# Version 1741
RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

# Get datenamed css / js
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.+)_(\d+)\.(js|css)$ $1.$3 [L]

# Catch all remaining requests
RewriteRule ^$ index.php?uri= [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?uri=$1

Then reload the page and begin the installation wizard

JOJO CMS Ubuntu Install

Next, create the admin account and a master password and continue

JOJO CMS Ubuntu Install

After that, type in the database information created above and continue.

JOJO CMS Ubuntu setup

After a few minutes, JOJO CMS should be installed and ready to use. You will then start building your site.


Congratulation! You have successfully installed JOJO CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04.