How to Setup flatCore CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu Linux

laptop 4662049 640
laptop 4662049 640

flatCore, a flat-file CMS, can run on Apache2 efficiently. However, if you rather have an Nginx HTTP server with PHP 7.2-FPM running flatCore, then the steps below should get you there.

flatCore is an open-source, flat-file content management system (CMS) based on PHP and PDO/SQLite that can be used to build beautiful websites and apps with control over everything, including all your HTML.

If you are looking for a solution to edit your website live with ease, then flatCore is an excellent place to start. It is built on an open-source core with support for open standards, which might be very useful in helping you run your digital content.

For more about flatCore, please check their Homepage

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

Install Nginx HTTP Server

flatCore requires a web server, and the Nginx HTTP server is probably the second most popular open-source web server available today. To install the Nginx 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 the 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

Now that Nginx is installed browse your browser to the URL below to test whether the web server works.

Nginx Ubuntu install

If you see the page above, then Nginx is successfully installed.

Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

flatCore is a PHP-based CMS, and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu’s default repositories. To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

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-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-gd php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open Nginx’s PHP default configuration file.

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

The lines below are a good setting for most PHP-based CMS. Update the configuration file with these and save.

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

It would be best to restart the Nginx web server whenever you change the PHP configuration file. To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Once PHP is installed, create a test file called phpinfo.php in the Nginx default root directory. ( /var/www/html/)

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address, followed by phpinfo.php


You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP Test Page

Download flatCore Latest Release

To get flatCore latest Release, you may use the GitHub repository. Install the git tool to download flatCore packages.

sudo apt install git

After installing curl and Composer above, change into the Nginx root directory and download flatCore packages from Github.

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone flatcore

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for the flatCore root directory and give Nginx control.

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

Configure Nginx

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for flatCore. This file will control how users access WebsiteBaker content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called flat core.

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

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.

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

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
         try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    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;
         include fastcgi_params;

Save the file and exit.

Enable the flatCore and Rewrite Module

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

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

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

Then follow the on-screen instruction. Finally, choose the installation language and continue.

flatCore Ubuntu Install

Next, validate that all required packages are installed. And continue.

flatCore Ubuntu Install

After that, create an admin account for the site and click Start Installation.

flatCore Ubuntu Install

After that, the site should be created and ready to use.

flatCore ubuntu install

Don’t forget to delete the install folder.

sudo rm -rf /var/www/html/flatcore/install/


Congratulation! You have successfully installed flatCore CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and 18.10.

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