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How to Install MyBB on Ubuntu 16.04

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 22, 2018
Linux Guides Server Apps Social Ubuntu
Archived content

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

MyBB is a free and open source, intuitive and extensible forum program. MyBB source code is hosted on GitHub. This guide will show you how to install MyBB forum software on a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Vultr instance.


  • PHP, at least version 5.2

  • MySQL, at least version 5.0

  • Nginx

  • The following PHP extensions:

    • SimpleXML

    • mbstring

    • gd

    • The respective vendor specific database PHP extension

NOTE: Replace all instances of with your domain name.

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

Install PHP, as well as the required PHP extensions.

sudo apt install -y php7.0 php7.0-cli php7.0-fpm php7.0-gd php7.0-mbstring php7.0-xml php7.0-mysql php7.0-pgsql

Check the version.

php --version

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

Step 2 - Install MySQL and create a database for MyBB

Install MySQL.

sudo apt install -y mysql-server

Check the version.

mysql --version

# mysql  Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.7.21, for Linux (x86_64) using  EditLine wrapper

Run the mysql_secure_installation script to improve the security of your MySQL installation.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Log into MySQL as the root user.

mysql -u root -p

# Enter password:

Create a new MySQL database and user, and remember the credentials.


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


Exit MySQL.


Step 3 - Install and configure Nginx

Install Nginx.

sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v

# nginx version: nginx/1.10.3 (Ubuntu)

Configure Nginx. Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/mybb.conf and populate the file with the following.

server {


  root /var/www/mybb;

  location / {

    index index.php;


  # Deny access to internal files.

  location ~ /(inc|uploads/avatars) {

    deny all;


  location ~ \.php$ {

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

    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

    include fastcgi_params;



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

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

Test the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install MyBB

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/mybb

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

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

Install unzip.

sudo apt install -y unzip

Download the latest release of MyBB and unzip it.

cd /var/www/mybb



mv /var/www/mybb/Upload/* /var/www/mybb

Remove the downloaded .zip file.


rmdir Upload

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

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

As the last step, open your domain and follow the installation wizard for MyBB. To access the installer you must navigate to the /install directory of your site in your web browser. For example, if your domain is and you uploaded your MyBB files to the root directory then navigate to To access MyBB admin, append /admin to your site URL. You have successfully installed your MyBB.

After the installation, you should remove the /install directory from your server to prevent anyone else from running the installation again.

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

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