How to Setup MyBB Forum Software on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx

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This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install and configure MyBB bulletin board Forum software on Ubuntu.

MyBB is a free, open-source forum software powering thousands of engaging and vibrant communities online. It enables individuals and webmasters to set up community bulletin boards in minutes to stay in touch with groups of people or ideas.

MyBB is highly customization with an advanced plugin system, built-in template and theme editor, Powerful and convenient tools for forum moderators, and features that you can’t find in some of the traditional forum platforms.

Some of the features included with MyBB are:

  • phpBB bulletin board and permission system
  • CMS features allowing the creation of new pages and blocks
  • Clean administration interface
  • Many ready to use features: Photo Gallery, Downloads, Knowledge Base, Links, Chat.
  • Multi-language and multi-template ready
  • Lots of community modifications
  • .and many others.

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

Install Nginx

MyBB is PHP-based and requires a webserver. The most popular open-source web server in use today is Nginx. To install Nginx, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get 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 MyBB. 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 always 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): Press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter the 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 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-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-pgsql php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-imagick php7.2-bcmath php7.2-gmp 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 a great setting to apply in your environment.

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

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

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

To test PHP 7.2 settings with Nginx, create a phpinfo.php file in the Nginx root directory by running the commands below

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

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file. then browse to your server hostname followed by /phpinfo.php

http://localhost/phpinfo.php

You should see the PHP default test page.

PHP 7.2 ubuntu nginx

Create MyBB Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, create a MyBB 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 mybb

CREATE DATABASE mybb;

Create a database user called mybbuser with a new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the mybbuser database.

GRANT ALL ON mybb.* TO 'mybbuser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Download MyBB Latest Release

Next, continue below to download the MyBB package. To download, go to the link below and download the latest version.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file into the Nginx root directory.

wget https://resources.mybb.com/downloads/mybb_1821.zip
unzip mybb_1821.zip
sudo mv Upload /var/www/mybb

Change or modify the directory permission to fit the Nginx configuration.

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

Configure Nginx

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

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

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;

    server_name  example.com www.example.com;
    root   /var/www/mybb;
    index  index.php;
    
    access_log /var/log/nginx/example.com.access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/example.com.error.log;

    client_max_body_size 100M;
  
    autoindex off;

    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 MyBB

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

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

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

http://example.com

Continue below at the Welcome screen.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

Then validate that all requirements are met and proceed.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

Next, type in the database username, database name, and password. then proceed.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

After that, setup the main site configurations and continue

MyBB Ubuntu Install

From there set up the site admin account and complete the setup.

MyBB Ubuntu Install

After that, all should be installed and ready to use

MyBB Ubuntu Install

Enjoy!

Run the commands below to delete the install directory

sudo rm -rf /var/www/mybb/install

Congratulation! You have successfully installed the MyBB bulletin board on Ubuntu 18.04.

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