Install Dolphin (Boonex) Social Networking Engine on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.2

Dolphin (Boonex) is an open source social networking engine that you can use to build world-class social networking websites.  With Dolphin, you have full control over how your sites will look and and how they function. Every link, image, block, feature and module can be customised, modified and re-arranged.

This open source social networking engine will help you build robust social networking websites for your school, company or for any groups looking to collaborate around the same ideas or issues.

Whether you’re creating a personal or company social networking platform, Dolphin can help you build and manage your content on every device with its intuitive and powerful user and admin dashboard.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Dolphin on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04 LTS.

For more on Dolphin social platform , please vist its home page

When you’re ready to get Dolphin platform working on Ubuntu, please continue with the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

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

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

apache2 ubuntu install

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database servers to use with Magento. To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always 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 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 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

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to MariaDB server

sudo mysql -u root -p

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

mariadb welcome

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. in order 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 7.2

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 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

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

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

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below are great settings to apply in your environments.

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

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 3: Restart Apache2

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is 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 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


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Step 4: Create Magento Database

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

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called dolphin


Create a database user called dolphinuser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON dolphin.* TO 'dolphinuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download and Install Dolphin

Run the commands below to download Dolphin latest content. then unzip the download file and move the content to Apache2 default root directory.

cd /tmp && wget wget --no-check-certificate
unzip download?source=directory
sudo mv Dolphin-v.7.3.5 /var/www/html/dolphin

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

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2 Dolphin Site

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

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

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

<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/dolphin

     <Directory /var/www/html/dolphin/>
          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.

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

Step 7: Enable the Dolphin Site and Rewrite Module

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

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

Next, open your brwoser and go to the URL. and continue with the installation.

You should see Dolphin installatioin wizard page. Start the installation and confirm all requirements are met. then continue by completing the database connection info and creating an admin account. when done. you should be able to use Dolphin.

Dolphin Ubuntu Install

After installing, you should be able to access the site and backend.

Dolpine ubuntu setup

To logon to the backend, type the URL below:


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  1. Hey.. vielen dank für die Arbeit dieses Tutorial zu erstellen. Ich habe Ubuntu 18.04.1 auf einem Vserver installiert und Ihre Anweisungen befolgt. Schon mehrmals aber leider kommt immer beim Aufruf meiner Domain
    ( It seems to be script is not installed. Please, wait. Redirecting you to installation form)
    Ubuntu wurde frisch aufgesetzt
    1. Update – Upgrade
    2. install Nano
    2. Ihre Anweisung befolgt, sonst wurde nichts installiert.

    1. Bad translation in my comment ….
      It means that I followed the instructions and did not install anything other than Ubuntu, Nano, apache and Php. All instructions were executed in the original English. Time and Date were changed to German, Berlin. Mysql is perfect. But the installation of Dolphin does not load.

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