How to Setup RazorCMS with Nginx on Ubuntu with

screen with web apps
screen with web apps

Recently, we showed students and new users how to install RazorCMS on Ubuntu with Apache2 HTTP support. This post shows you how to use the Nginx HTTP server instead of running RazorCMS.

RazorCMS is a flat-file CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to create websites without needing a separate database and prioritizes simplicity and speed. In addition, it offers features that may not be available to other PHP-based CMS, like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.

For one, it doesn’t need a database server; call it database-less. It also provides native markdown WYSIWYG support, SEO-friendly, flexible CSS framework, and easy installation and management.

RazorCMS uses a unique algorithm to find or list any content based on date, type, category, tag, or author, and the performance will remain fast even if you have thousands of posts and hundreds of tags.

For more about RazorCMS, please check its homepage.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install RazorCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS with Nginx and PHP 7.2 support.

Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. Install it since RazorCMS needs it.

To install Nginx HTTP on the Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

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

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

To test the Nginx setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address, and you should see the Nginx default test page as shown below. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected.

nginx default home page test

Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories for some systems. So you will have to get it from third-party repositories if you need it.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2

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-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-soap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-curl php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open Nginx’s PHP default config file.

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

Then save the changes on the following lines below in the file. The value below is an excellent setting to apply in your environment.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, please save the file and close it.

After installing PHP and related modules, you must restart Nginx to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Download RazorCMS Latest Release

Next, visit the RazorCMS site and download the latest package. Or run the commands below to download RazorCMS packages from GitHub.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file and move it into a new RazorCMS root directory. After that, change into RazorCMS root directory to install PHP required packages.

cd /tmp
sudo mv razorCMS-3.4.5/ /var/www/html/razorcms

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

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

Configure Nginx RazorCMS Site

Finally, configure the Nginx configuration file for RazorCMS. This file will control how users access RazorCMS content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called razor cms.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/razorcms

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.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/razorcms;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

     client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
         include fastcgi_params;

Save the file and exit.

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

Enable the RazorCMS Site

After configuring the VirtualHost above, please enable it by running the commands below, then restart the Nginx server.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/razorcms /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Restart Nginx

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Next, open your browser and browse the server hostname or IP address, and you should see the RazorCMS page. Enter your blog info and complete the setup.

Login with the following credentials:

  1. Login in with the following default credentials:
  • Username/email:
  • Password: password
ubuntu install razorcms


razorCMS began as a database-less flat file content management system, forked from an LCMS project. Its structure allowed you to have just the amount of functionality needed in a flat file CMS solution, adding extensions (blade packs) for additional functionality while allowing setup on simple servers with no database.

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