Setup Directus CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 Support

Directus CMS works great with Apache2 HTTP server. however, if you prefer Nginx with your setup, the steps below should be a great place to start. You’ll learn how to install Directus with Nginx support instead.

Directus CMS is an open source, headless content management system (CMS) built on the LAMP or LEMP stack. It comes with a flat, crisp and clear design to help you create great content. It decouples content for use in apps, websites, or any other data-driven projects.

Whether you’re creating a personal or business website, Directus can help you manage your content with intuitive interface on every device.

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

If you currently runing your website and content on other CMS like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla you may want to give Directus a try. It’s a great alternative to those PHP based content mangement systems.

For more on Directus , please vist its home page

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is the second most popular web server in use. so install it, since Directus needs it.

To install Nginx HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

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

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

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

nginx default home page test

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-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM 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-FPM

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2-FPM and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-sqlite 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 Nginx.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/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
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
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 Nginx

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Nginx to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Step 4: Create Directus Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Directus 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 directus


Create a database user called directususer with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON directus.* TO 'directususer'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download and Install Directus

Run the commands below to download Directus content. you can always find the latest version from this link.

cd /tmp && wget
sudo mkdir /var/www/html/directus
sudo unzip -d /var/www/html/directus

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

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx Directus Site

Finally, configure Nginx configuration file for Directus . This file will control how users access Directus content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called directus

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/directus

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.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/directus;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$args;
    location /api {
    if (!-e $request_filename) {
        rewrite ^/1/extensions/([^/]+) /api/api.php?run_extension=$1 last;
    rewrite ^ /api/api.php?run_api_router=1 last;

    location ~ \.php$ {
    include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
    fastcgi_pass             unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_param   SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

Save the file and exit.

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

Step 7: Enable the Directus Site

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/directus /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

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

Click Next to start the installation wizard and select the language.

Directus ubuntu install

Next, create an administor account to manage the platform in the backend. and continue

Directus ubuntu setup

After that, type in the database connection info you created above and continue..

Directus ubuntu setup

Finally, click Install to complete the setup. after that, you be prompted to logon

Directus ubuntu setup

Don’t forget to delete the installation directory.

sudo rm -rf /var/www/html/directus/installation/


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1 Comment

  1. “Step 4: Create Magento Database”
    WAT? At first, I thought I gone mad. I have not googled for magento setup tutorial….

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