How to Setup Live Helper Chat with Nginx on Ubuntu Linux

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install the Live Helper Chat platform on Ubuntu 18.04 | 16.04 with an Nginx HTTP server.

Our previous tutorial showed you how to install Live Helper Chat on Ubuntu with an Apache2 server. This one shows you how to run it with Nginx instead.

Live Helper Chat is a free, open-source chat software for websites developed in PHP.

With Live Helper Chat, you can install or embed it on your websites and provide live chat service with unlimited operators, chats at the same time, multiple departments, multiple locations, and more.

Whether you’re creating a personal or company chat support platform, Live Helper Chat can help you with customer support chat on your sites and works across every device with its intuitive and powerful user and admin dashboard.

For more on Live Helper Chat, please visit its home page

To get started with installing Live Helper Chat, follow the steps below:

Install Nginx HTTP

Nginx HTTP Server is the most popular web server, so install it since Live Helper Chat 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 find out if the Nginx HTTP server is installed, simply open your web browser and type in the server’s IP or hostname.

When you see a page similar to the one below, then Nginx is installed and working.

nginx default home page test

Install MariaDB Database Server

Live Helper Chat also needs a database server to store its content. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open-source database servers to use with Live Helper Chat.

To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt 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

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): 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 into the 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

Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. 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-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-bcmath php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip php7.2-sqlite

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 make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below is a great setting to apply in your environment.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
max_input_vars = 1500
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and close it.

Create Live Helper Chat Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, create a Live Helper Chat database.

Run the commands below to log on to MariaDB. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called livehelperchat

CREATE DATABASE livehelperchat;

Create a database user called livehelperchatuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the livehelperchat database.

GRANT ALL ON livehelperchat.* TO 'livehelperchatuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Download Live Helper Chat Latest Release

To get Live Helper Chat’s latest release you may want to use the GitHub repository. Install wget if you don’t already have it and continue. Then change into the /tmp directory, download Live Helper Chat and extract it into its root directory.

sudo apt install wget
cd /tmp
sudo mv livehelperchat-master /var/www/livehelperchat

Since you just ran the web server as root, you should make sure any newly created files are owned by the www-data user and group.

To do that, run the commands below:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/livehelperchat/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/livehelperchat/

Configure Nginx

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for Live Helper Chat. This file will control how users access Live Helper Chat content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called livehelperchat

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

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/livehelperchat/lhc_web;
    index  index.php;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/;

    client_max_body_size 100M;
    autoindex off;

    location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         include fastcgi_params;
         fastcgi_intercept_errors on;

Save the file and exit.

Enable the Live Helper Chat

After configuring the Virtual Host above, enable it by running the commands below

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

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name or hostname. This is often localhost but can be a hostname or IP address. Your server admin or hosting company will have this information available.

Continue with the installation wizard and validate that all requirements are met and continue.

Live Helper Chat Ubuntu

Next, enter the database username, password, and the database created above.

Live Helper Chat Ubuntu

After that, create an admin account to manage the platform.

Live Helper Chat Ubuntu

After installing, log in and start to begin managing your platform.

Live Helper Chat Ubuntu


You have learned how to install Live Helper Chat on Ubuntu with the Nginx HTTP server. If you find any errors above, please leave a comment below