How to Setup Matomo (PIWIK) on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx

This article describes steps one can take to install Matomo on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx support.

Matomo, formally PIWIK is an open-source analytics platform built on the LAMP or LEMP stack. It provides full website analytics for small and medium-sized businesses.

When you want to take full control of your website analytics and data without using third-party solutions, like Google Analytics, then Matomo is a great place to start.

Matomo is the only analytics platform that gives you full control over your data and more:

  • Free open-source software
  • 100% data ownership
  • User privacy protection
  • User-centric insights
  • Customizable and extensible
  • Easy to use
  • No data limits

For more on Matomo, please visit its home page

How to install Matomo on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx support

As described above, Matomo, formally PIWIK is an open-source analytics platform built on the LAMP or LEMP stack. It provides full website analytics for small and medium-sized businesses.

Below is how to install it on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx support.

Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is the second most popular web server in use. So, install it, since Matomo 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.

http://localhost
nginx default home page test

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 the 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 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

mariadb welcome

Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 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 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 the 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 is great setting to apply in your environments.

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
date.timezone = America/Chicago

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

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

Create Matomo Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Matomo to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, run the commands below to create a blank Matomo database.

To log on to the MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called matomo

CREATE DATABASE matomo;

Create a database user called matomouser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON matomo.* TO 'matomouser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Download and Install Matomo

Run the commands below to download Matomo content.

cd /tmp && wget https://builds.matomo.org/piwik.zip
unzip piwik.zip
sudo mv piwik /var/www/html/matomo

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

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

Configure Nginx Matomo Site

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

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

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

    client_max_body_size 100M;

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

Save the file and exit.

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

Enable the Matomo Site

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

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

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

Restart Nginx

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Now open your browser and browse to the server URL or hostname.

http://example.com/

Click Next to start the installation wizard.

matomo ubuntu install

Type in the database connection info and create an administrator account to manage the platform in the backend. and continue

matomo ubuntu install

After entering the info above, click Next to create a superuser account to manage the platform.

matomo ubuntu install

You’ll then be given the tracking code to add to the website you want to track.

To track your web traffic with Matomo you need to make sure some extra code is added to each of your web pages.

In most websites, blogs, CMS, etc. you can use a pre-made plugin to do the technical work for you. If no plugin exists you can edit your website templates and add this code to the </head> tag which is often defined in a ‘header.php’, ‘header.tpl’, or similar template file.

JavaScript Tracking Code

Make sure this code is on every page of your website. We recommend pasting it immediately before the closing </head> tag.

You’ll find the private website configuration system at http://example.com/index.php

matomo ubuntu install

Enjoy!

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