How to Setup Kirby CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu Linux

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Kirby is a flat-file CMS with no database requirement, offering features like native markdown WYSIWYG support and a flexible CSS framework. Installation on Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/18.10 involves setting up Nginx HTTP server and PHP 7.2-FPM, then downloading the latest Kirby release from GitHub. Configuring Nginx and enabling the Kirby site concludes the setup.

This article explains setting up Kirby CMS with Nginx support on Ubuntu Linux.

Kirby is a flat-file Content Management System (CMS) with no database involved. It helps you create your personal or business websites in minutes by uploading their content to your server.

Setting up Kirby CMS with Nginx on Ubuntu Linux allows you to create your personal or business websites in minutes by uploading their content to your server. Kirby CMS offers features that may not be available to other PHP-based CMS, like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.

For example, unlike other CMS platforms, Kirby doesn’t require a database server; all its data is stored in the file system. Additionally, Kirby provides native markdown WYSIWYG support, SEO-friendly, flexible CSS framework with no installation required.

Nginx HTTP Server is used here as it is the second most popular web server that Kirby needs. This brief tutorial shows the steps to install Kirby on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 / 18.04 LTS with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM support.

For more about Kirby, please check its homepage.

Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is probably the second most popular web server, so install it since Kirby 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. You should see the Nginx default test page, as shown below. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected.

http://localhost
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-FPM and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-sqlite3 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/fpm/php.ini

Then, save the changes on the following lines below in the file. The value below is an excellent 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 Kirby’s Latest Release

Next, visit the Kirby site and download the latest package. Or run the commands below to download Kirby packages from GitHub.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file and move it into a new Kirby root directory. After that, change into the Kirby root directory to install the PHP-required packages.

Take notes of the branch number. If there are newer branch numbers, replace the one below with them.

cd /var/www/html/
sudo apt install git
sudo git clone --recursive https://github.com/getkirby/starterkit.git kirby

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

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

Configure Nginx Kirby Site

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

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

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/kirby;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;
    server_name  example.com www.example.com;

    client_max_body_size 100M;

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

    location ~ /panel {
        index index.php;
        try_files $uri $uri/ /panel/index.php?$uri&$args;
    }

    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.

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

Enable the Kirby Site and Rewrite Module

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/kirby /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Restart Nginx

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Next, open your browser and browse the server hostname or IP address. You should see the Kirby page.

http://example.com
Kirby CMS ubuntu Install

Kirby is a databaseless flat file content management system. Its structure allowed you to have just the amount of functionality needed in a flat file CMS solution, adding extensions (blade packs) for additional functionality while allowing setup on simple servers with no database.

To login to the backend panel, go to the address below:

http://example.com/panel/install

You’ll be prompted to create a new admin account.

Kirby CMS ubuntu setup

You should be able to log on with the username and password you created.

Ubuntu Kirby Install

After creating the first admin account, you can return to the backend by using the URL below:

http://example.com/panel/login

Enjoy!

You have successfully installed Kirby CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and 18.10. For more tutorials on Ubuntu, please search our site.

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