How to Install Kirby CMS with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

graphic designer 4562741 640
graphic designer 4562741 640

Kirby is a flat-file Content Management System (CMS) with no database involved. It helps you create your personal or business websites in minutes by uploading their content to your server. In addition, Kirby CMS 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; all its data is stored in the file system (file-based, flat file CMS). It also provides native markdown WYSIWYG support, SEO friendly, flexible CSS framework with no installation required.

For more about Kirby, please check its homepage.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Kirby on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 / 18.04 LTS with Apache2 and PHP 7.2 support.

When you’re ready to get Kirby working, continue with the steps below:

Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. Install it since Kirby 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 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

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

apache2 ubuntu install

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 libapache2-mod-php7.2 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 the PHP default config file for Apache2.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/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
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and closeout.

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


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Download Kirby’s Latest Release

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

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

Take notes of the branch number. If there are newer branch numbers, replace the one below with them.

cd /var/www/html/
sudo apt install git
sudo git clone --recursive kirby

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

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

Configure Apache2 Kirby Site

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

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/kirby.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/html/kirby/

     <Directory /var/www/html/kirby/>
          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, please enable it by running the commands below.

Enable the Kirby Site and Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite kirby.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

Restart Apache2

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Next, open your browser and browse the server hostname or IP address, and you should see the Kirby page.
Kirby CMS ubuntu Install

Kirby is a databaseless flat file content management system. 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.

To login to the backend panel, go to the address below:

You’ll be prompted to create a new admin account.

Kirby CMS ubuntu setup

You should be able to log on with the username and password you created.

Ubuntu Kirby Install

After creating the first admin account, you can return to the backend by using the URL below:


You have successfully installed Kirby CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and 18.10. For more tutorials on Ubuntu, please search our site.

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1 Comment

  1. Tried this step:
    cd /var/www/html/
    sudo apt install git
    sudo git clone –recursive kirby

    It did not work. Came back with a prompt for a github username and password. So, the instructions need to be updated to reflect that this is needed prior to completing the procedure. or a username and password need to be provided in the instructions

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