How to Install CuteNews CMS with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

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

CuteNews is a flat-file content management system (CMS) based on PHP that is easy to install and set up. No database, just PHP — plain and simple!

It also comes with a search function, file upload management, backup & restore, IP banning, permission level supporting flood protection, and many more.

If you are looking for a solution to edit your website live and with ease and don’t want to fiddle with SQL, then CuteNews is a great place to start. It comes with an easy plugin system, widget support, and easy backup because there’s only one directory.

For more about CuteNews, please check their Homepage

To get started with installing CuteNews, follow the steps below:

Install Apache2 HTTP Server

CuteNews 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 PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

CuteNews 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

Download CuteNews Latest Release

After installing the server and packages above, go to the CuteNews download page and get the latest. Or use the commands below to download version 1.1 from its Github site.

cd /tmp
sudo mv cutenews-2.0-master /var/www/cutenews

Next, created these folders by running the commands below:

sudo mkdir /var/www/cutenews/cdata
sudo mkdir /var/www/cutenews/plugins
sudo mkdir /var/www/cutenews/cdata/{news,users,plugins,btree,backup,log}

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for the CuteNews root directory and give Apache2 control.

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

Configure Apache2

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/cutenews.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/cutenews

     <Directory /var/www/html/cutenews/>
          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 CuteNews

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

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

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

Then follow the on-screen instruction.

CuteNews ubuntu install

Since there is no database, just create an admin account and continue.

cutenews ubuntu install

After that, the site should be created and ready to use.

Congratulation! You have successfully installed CuteNews CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and 18.10.