How to Install Omeka Classic CMS with Apache on Ubuntu Linux

computer screen with dashboard
computer screen with dashboard

This article describes the steps to install Omeka CMS on Ubuntu Linux with Apache support.

Omeka Classic is a modern, lightweight web publishing platform (CMS) for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich content.

This cm is built on the LAMP or LEMP stack. It lets you focus on creating content by leveraging its easy management portal designs and technical quality without the bloats.

Whether creating a personal or business website, Omeka CMS can help you create and manage your content on every device with its modern user and admin interface.

For more on Omeka CMS, please visit its home page.

How to install Omeka CMS on Ubuntu Linux with Apache support

As described above, Omeka Classic is a modern, lightweight web publishing platform (CMS) for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich content.

Below is how to install it on Ubuntu Linux.

Install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Apache2 HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. So, install it since Omeka CMS 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 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 MariaDB service to 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 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): Press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter the 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 on to 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 MariaDB welcome message.

mariadb welcome

Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. to install it; you must 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 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 ideal setting to apply in your environment.

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, 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


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Create Omeka Database

Once you’ve installed all the packages required for Omeka CMS to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, run the commands below to create a blank Magento database.

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

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called omeka


Create a database user called omekauser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON omeka.* TO 'omekauser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Download and Install Omeka CMS

Run the commands below to download Omeka CMS’s latest content. Then unzip the download file and move the content to the Apache2 default root directory.

cd /tmp && wget
sudo mv omeka-2.6.1 /var/www/html/omeka

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

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

Configure Apache2 Omeka CMS Site

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

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

     <Directory /var/www/html/omeka/>
          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 Omeka CMS Site

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

sudo a2ensite omeka.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enmod headers
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Next, open the Omeka db.ini file and enter the database connection info you create above.

sudo nano /var/www/html/omeka/db.ini

Then edit the highlighted lines below and save.

; Database Configuration File ;
; Omeka requires MySQL 5 or newer.
; To configure your database, replace the X's with your specific
; settings. If you're unsure about your database information, ask
; your server administrator, or consult the documentation at
; <>.
host = "localhost" 
username = "omekauser" 
password = "new_password_here" 
dbname   = "omeka" 
prefix   = "omeka_" 
charset  = "utf8" 
;port     = "" 

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

You should see the Omeka installation page. Create the superuser and admin accounts and install them.

ubuntu omeka setup

That’s it! You can log in to the admin site by typing

Ubuntu omeka install

After that, Omeka should be installed and ready to use.


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