How to Setup GetSimple CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu Linux

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icons on computer screen

GetSimple works excellently on an Apache2 HTTP server. However, the steps below are a great place to start for those wanting to run it with Nginx. Our previous tutorial showed you how to set GetSimple with Apache2. And this post does it with Nginx.

GetSimple CMS is an open-source, flat-file content management system (CMS) with an easy-to-use interface for creating great websites and blogs.

It has everything you need to create a website for small or big projects and 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 to function. It’s a flat-file CMS. It also provides native markdown WYSIWYG support, SEO-friendly, flexible CSS framework, and easy installation and management.

For more about GetSimple, please check out its homepage.

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

Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

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

To install Nginx HTTP on the 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 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

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

nginx default home page test

Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules.

PHP 7.2-FPM 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-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 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc 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 Nginx’s PHP default config file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/nginx/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
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
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 Nginx to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Download GetSimple Latest Release

Next, visit the GetSimple site and download the latest package. Or run the commands below to download GetSimplepckages.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file and move it into a new GetSimple CMS root directory.

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

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

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

Configure Nginx GetSimple Site

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

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

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/getsimple;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
         try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?id=$uri&$args;

    location ~* /admin/.*\.php$ {
            try_files $uri /admin/index.php?id=$uri&$args;
            fastcgi_index index.php;

    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, please enable it by running the commands below.

Enable the GetSimple Site

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

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

Restart Nginx

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Next, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address, and you should see the GetSimple page.
GetSimple Ubuntu Install

Create the site name and admin account. Click Install Now!

GetSimple Ubuntu setup

That’s it!

GetSimple ubuntu install


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