How to Install BookStack on CentOS 7

Published on: Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm EST

BookStack is a simple, self-hosted platform for organising and storing information. BookStack is entirely free and open-sourced, as well as MIT licensed. The source is available on GitHub. In this tutorial, we will install BookStack on a fresh CentOS 7 Vultr instance.


  • PHP Version 7.0.0 or greater and the following extensions:
    • OpenSSL
    • PDO
    • MBstring
    • Tokenizer
    • GD
    • MySQLND
    • Tidy
    • SimpleXML
    • DOM
  • MariaDB
  • Git (Not strictly required but helps manage updates)
  • Composer

Check the CentOS version.

cat /etc/centos-release
# CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core)

Create a new non-root user account with sudo access and switch to it.

useradd -c "John Doe" johndoe && passwd johndoe
usermod -aG wheel johndoe
su - johndoe

NOTE: Replace johndoe with your username.

Set up the timezone.

timedatectl list-timezones
sudo timedatectl set-timezone 'Region/City'

Ensure that your system is up to date.

sudo yum update -y

Install necessary packages.

sudo yum install -y curl git wget vim unzip bash-completion 

Disable SELinux.

sudo setenforce 0

Enable the EPEL repository.

sudo rpm -Uvh

Install PHP and required PHP extensions

Setup the Webtatic YUM repo.

sudo rpm -Uvh

Install PHP and necessary PHP extensions.

sudo yum install -y php72w php72w-cli php72w-fpm php72w-gd php72w-json php72w-mbstring php72w-mcrypt php72w-mysql php72w-xmlrpc php72w-common php72w-tidy php72w-ldap php72w-mcrypt php72w-xml php72w-zip

Check the version.

php -v

Start and enable php-fpm.

sudo systemctl start php-fpm.service
sudo systemctl enable php-fpm.service

Install MariaDB

Install MariaDB.

sudo vim /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB.repo

# Copy/paste this to the /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB.repo file

name = MariaDB
baseurl =

sudo yum install -y MariaDB-server MariaDB-client

Check the version.

mysql --version

Start and enable MariaDB.

sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

Run the mysql_secure installation script to improve MariaDB security and to set the root user password.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Connect to the MariaDB shell as the root user.

mysql -u root -p
# Enter password:

Create an empty MariaDB database and user for BookStack, and remember the credentials.

GRANT ALL ON dbname.* TO 'username' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

Install Nginx

Install Nginx.

sudo yum install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v

Start and enable Nginx.

sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

Configure Nginx for BookStack. Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/bookstack.conf and add the following configuration.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;


    root /var/www/bookstack/public;

    index index.php index.html;

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

    location ~ \.php$ {
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        try_files $uri =404;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

Test the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install Composer

Install Composer.

php -r "copy('', 'composer-setup.php');"
php -r "if (hash_file('SHA384', 'composer-setup.php') === '544e09ee996cdf60ece3804abc52599c22b1f40f4323403c44d44fdfdd586475ca9813a858088ffbc1f233e9b180f061') { echo 'Installer verified'; } else { echo 'Installer corrupt'; unlink('composer-setup.php'); } echo PHP_EOL;"
php composer-setup.php
php -r "unlink('composer-setup.php');"
sudo mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Check the version.

composer --version

Install BookStack

Create a document root folder.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/bookstack

Change ownership of the /var/www/bookstack directory to johndoe.

sudo chown -R johndoe:johndoe /var/www/bookstack

Clone the release branch of the BookStack GitHub repository into the document root folder.

cd /var/www/bookstack
git clone --branch release --single-branch .

Run composer install from the /var/www/bookstack directory.

composer install

Copy the .env.example file to .env and fill it with your own database and mail details.

cp .env.example .env

Ensure that the storage, bootstrap/cache and public/uploads folders are writable by the web server.

In the application root, run php artisan key:generate to generate a unique application key.

Run php artisan migrate to update the database.

Change ownership of the /var/www/bookstack directory to nginx.

sudo chown -R nginx:nginx /var/www/bookstack

Run sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf and set the user and group to nginx. Initially, it will be set to apache.

sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
# user = nginx
# group = nginx

Restart the php-fpm service.

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm.service

You can now login using the default admin details with a password of password. It is recommended to change these details directly after first logging in.