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How to Install Craft CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 15, 2018
CMS Linux Guides Server Apps Ubuntu
Archived content

This article is outdated and may not work correctly for current operating systems or software.

Craft CMS is an open source CMS written in PHP. Craft CMS source code is hosted on GitHub. This guide will show you how to install Craft CMS on a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Vultr instance.


Server Requirements

  • PHP 5.3.0 - 7.1.x with safe mode disabled

  • MySQL 5.1.0 or later, with the InnoDB storage engine installed

  • A web server (Apache, Nginx, IIS)

  • A minimum of 32MB of memory allocated to PHP

  • A minimum of 20MB of free disk space

  • A minimum of 1MB of database space

Required PHP Extensions

  • Reflection Extension

  • PCRE Extension

  • SPL Extension

  • PDO Extension

  • PDO MySQL Extension

  • Mcrypt Extension

  • GD Extension with FreeType Support (unless ImageMagick Extension is installed)

  • OpenSSL Extension

  • Multibyte String Extension

  • JSON Extension

  • cURL

  • crypt() with BLOWFISH_CRYPT enabled

Optional PHP Extensions

  • DOM Extension

  • iconv Extension

  • ImageMagick Extension

  • SimpleXML

Before you begin

Check the Ubuntu version.

lsb_release -ds

# Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS

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

adduser johndoe --gecos "John Doe"

usermod -aG sudo johndoe

su - johndoe

NOTE: Replace johndoe with your username.

Set up the timezone.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Ensure that your system is up to date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Step 1 - Install PHP and required PHP extensions, MySQL and NGINX

Download and install PHP 7.0 and required PHP extensions. We will also install optional PHP extensions.

sudo apt install -y php7.0 php7.0-cli php7.0-fpm php7.0-mysql php7.0-mcrypt php7.0-gd php7.0-mbstring php7.0-json php7.0-curl php7.0-xml php7.0-common php-imagick

Check PHP version.

php --version

# PHP 7.0.28-0ubuntu0.16.04.1 (cli) ( NTS )

# Copyright (c) 1997-2017 The PHP Group

# Zend Engine v3.0.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Zend Technologies

#     with Zend OPcache v7.0.28-0ubuntu0.16.04.1, Copyright (c) 1999-2017, by Zend Technologies

Because there are many existing Vultr Docs detailing the installation of MySQL and NGINX, this article will only cover the configuration of NGINX. You will need to create a database for Craft.

Step 2 - Configure NGINX

Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/craft.conf and copy/paste the following.

server {

  listen [::]:80;

  listen 80;


  root /var/www/craft/public;

  index index.html index.htm index.php;

  charset utf-8;

  location / {

    try_files $uri/index.html $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;


  location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {

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

    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;

    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock;

    fastcgi_index index.php;

    include fastcgi_params;

    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

    fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_path_info;

    fastcgi_param HTTP_PROXY "";       



Activate the new craft.conf configuration by linking the file to the sites-enabled directory.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/craft.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Test the NGINX configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload NGINX.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Step 3 - Download and install Craft CMS

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/craft

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

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

Navigate to document root.

cd /var/www/craft

Download the latest stable release of Craft CMS.


Install unzip package.

sudo apt install unzip

Unzip Craft CMS.



Tell Craft how to connect to your database.

vim craft/config/db.php

Change ownership of the /var/www/craft directory to www-data.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/craft

Run sudo vim /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf and append the following directive at the end of this file.


Now that everything’s set up, point your browser to and follow the Craft installer.

To access Craft's administrative interface append /admin to your IP/domain.

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