Install OctoberCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.1 Support

When looking for a great content management systems, don’t ignore OctoberCMS.  Although WordPress is the king of CMS, OctoberCMS has some benefits that probably not available on WordPress and other CMS out there.

OctoberCMS is a free, open source, self-hosted and secure content management platform based on Laravel PHP framework. It is simple and modular, built from the ground up for ease of use to allow webmasters and editors create powerful and dynamic content websites.

If you’re looking for a robust, secure and easy to use content management platform to manage your websites or blogs that’s 100% free, you’ll find OctoberCMS to be useful. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install OctoberCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB and PHP 7.1 support.

This post covers installing the latest version of OctoberCMS.

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

Step 1: Install Apache2 Web Server

Since a web server is required. go and install the most popular web server, which is Apache2. to do that, run the commands below :

sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable directory listing globally.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Next, run the commands below 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

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

OctoberCMS also requires a database server to function. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

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

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server.

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

sudo systemctl restart mysql.service

Step 3: Install PHP and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 isn’t available on 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 7.1

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

Run the commands below to install PHP 7.1 and related modules.

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

After install PHP 7.1, run the commands below to open Apache2 PHP default file.

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

Then make the change the following lines below in the file and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 64M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Step 4: Create OctoberCMS Database

Now that you’ve install all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First go and create a blank OctoberCMS database.

Run the commands below to logon to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called october


Create a database user called octoberuser with new password

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

Then grant stripeuser full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON october.* TO 'octoberuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download OctoberCMS Latest Release

Next, visit OctoberCMS site and download the latest version.

After downloading, run the commands below to create a root directory for OctoberCMS and extract the downloaded file into Apache2 root directory.

cd /tmp && wget -O
sudo unzip
sudo mv install-master /var/www/html/octobercms

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

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

Step 6: Configure Apache2

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

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

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

Step 7: Enable the OctoberCMS and Rewrite Module

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

sudo a2ensite octobercms.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

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

Then follow the on-screen instructions. you will be asked to input your database configuration, administrative details and other configuration settings. When complete you may sign-in and start using OctoberCMS. Return to anytime thereafter to sign-in.

octobercms ubuntu

Enter the database info and continue

octobercms ubuntu install

Create the administrator login for the site and continue

octobercms ubuntu

After that select to install with a theme, then sit and relax and wait for the installation to complete.

octobercms ubuntu installation


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1 Comment

  1. Hi, !Robot.

    Really nice tutorial, it was really helpful for me as an initiated in the CMS world and specifically in the October CMS world.
    I would have a suggestion, because I’ve followed your tutorial, but at some point I had an issue. I’ve installed the project in a “Projects” directory outside “/var/www/html/” and I didn’t wanted to give ownership to www-data, the apache user, because it will lock me outside and I will not be able to edit the October CMS files in any way. So I’ve used a different command:

    sudo chown -R :www-data

    But then I had a problem, because the October CMS sent an exception. Because the www-data user will not have write permissions. So I’ve altered the permissions command also, to give write permissions to the group(chmod 775)

    sudo chmod -R 775

    I’ve saw that you mention it in a video tutorial also. But I thought that I could remind you to maybe put this as a comment in this tutorial.

    Thanks again.

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