How to Install BookStack with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

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The article provides an in-depth guide on installing BookStack on Ubuntu Linux with Apache support. BookStack is an open-source platform that allows users to create wikis and documentation. It revolves around the setup process for Apache2 HTTP Server, MariaDB Database Server, PHP 7.1, and related modules required for BookStack, creating a BookStack database, and downloading…

This article describes installing BookStack on Ubuntu Linux with Apache support.

Bookstack is an open-source platform for creating documentation and wiki content for your users. It’s built on the LAMP or LEMP stack and is excellent for creating professional documentation for any project.

Installing BookStack with Apache on Ubuntu Linux allows you to create a professional documentation platform for your project. Apache is the most widely used web server, which makes it a reliable choice for hosting BookStack.

Ubuntu Linux is a popular operating system known for its stability and security. You can create a robust and secure documentation platform for your project using Apache with Ubuntu Linux.

For more on BookStack, please visit its home page.

How to install BookStack on Ubuntu Linux with Apache support

As described above, BookStack is an open-source platform for creating documentation and wiki content for your users. It’s built on the LAMP or LEMP stack and is excellent for creating professional documentation for any project.

Below is how to install it on Ubuntu Linux with Apache support.

Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. So, install it since BookStack needs it.

To install Apache2 HTTP on the Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can 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

To test the Apache2 setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address. You should see the Apache2 default test page, as shown below. When you see that, then Apache2 is working as expected.

http://localhost
apache2 ubuntu install

Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open-source database servers for Magento. 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 service to start 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 17.10 and 18.04 LTS

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

After that, run the commands below to secure the MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

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

Restart MariaDB server

Type the commands below to log into the MariaDB server to test if MariaDB is installed.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then, type the password you created above to sign on. If successful, you should see a MariaDB welcome message.

mariadb welcome

Install PHP 7.1 and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 may not be available in Ubuntu 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

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

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

After installing PHP 7.1, run the commands below to open the PHP default config file for Apache2.

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

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

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
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 Apache2 to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Apache2, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Apache2, create a phpinfo.php file in the Apache2 root directory by running the commands below

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

Then, type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file. Then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php

http://localhost/phpinfo.php

You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Create BookStack Database

Once you’ve installed all the packages required for BookStack to function, continue below to start configuring the servers.

First, run the commands below to create a blank BookStack database.

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then, create a database called bookstack

CREATE DATABASE bookstack;

Create a database user called bookstackuser with a new password

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

Then, grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON bookstack.* TO 'bookstackuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Download and Install BookStack

Run the commands below to install Composer and use it to download BookStack content.

sudo curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/bin --filename=composer
cd /var/www/html/
sudo apt install git
sudo git clone https://github.com/BookStackApp/BookStack.git --branch release --single-branch
cd BookStack
sudo composer install

Next, create the environment configuration file from the example file. and configure the database connection info

sudo mv .env.example .env
sudo nano .env

and enter the database connection info you made above

# Database details
DB_HOST=localhost
DB_DATABASE=bookstack        
DB_USERNAME=bookstackuser
DB_PASSWORD=database_user_password

Save and exit.

After that, run the commands below in the BookStack directory to create the application’s unique key and migrate the database.

sudo php artisan key:generate
sudo php artisan migrate

Next, run the commands below to change the root folder permissions.

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

Configure the Apache2 BookStack Site

Finally, configure the Apache2 configuration file for BookStack. This file will control how users access BookStack content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called bookstack. conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/bookstack.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/BookStack/public
     ServerName example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/BookStack/public/>
          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.

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

Enable the BookStack Site

After configuring the Virtual Host above, please enable it by running the commands below, then restart the Apache2 server.

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

Next, open your browser and go to the URL. Type in the database connection info and continue.

http://example.com

Type default admin user ‘admin@admin.com‘ with password ‘password,’ then press the ‘Login’ button.

BookStack ubuntu install

Log in and begin using BookStack.

~Enjoy!

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4 responses to “How to Install BookStack with Apache on Ubuntu Linux”

  1. dude mcduderson Avatar
    dude mcduderson

    there’s a typo in step :

    sudo mv .env.example .env
    sudo nano .evn

    should be sudo nano .env

    thanks for the write up!

  2. xyz Avatar
    xyz

    Why would I need php7.1-sqlite for Bookstack to run when I’m using MariaDB?

  3. Labber Avatar
    Labber

    Thank you for the tutorial, i got to the step where i can log in.
    For me the HTML page looks very strange, the icons are way too big and the site seems just broken layout-wise.
    I really dont know how to phrase the problem, does that sound familiar to anybody?

  4. Pete Avatar
    Pete

    It looks like I’m stuck on this step:

    sudo php artisan key:generate
    sudo php artisan migrate

    It seems like I don’t know what the bookstack directory is.

    I have followed every single step exactly as written, but when I go to the “Var” directory where the www/html folder is with the php.info, index, and bookstack files, I open a terminal there and enter “sudo php artisan key:generate”
    but I get an error saying “could not open input file: artisan”

    I have tried this from different directories but non seem to work.

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