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How to Install Neos CMS on Debian 9

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 22, 2019
CMS Debian Linux Guides Server Apps
Archived content

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

Neos is a Content Application Platform with a CMS and an application framework at its core. This guide will show you how to install Neos CMS on a fresh Debian 9 server.


  • Nginx

  • MySQL version 5.7.7 or greater, MariaDB version 10.2.2 or greater or PostgreSQL version 9.4 or greater. In this guide we will use MariaDB.

  • PHP version 7.1.0 or greater with the following extensions:

    • mbstring

    • tokenizer

    • pdo_mysql

Before you begin

Check the Debian version.

lsb_release -ds

# Debian GNU/Linux 9.5 (stretch)

Ensure that your system is up to date.

apt update && apt upgrade -y

Install packages required for finishing this tutorial.

apt install -y sudo curl git unzip apt-transport-https vim dirmngr

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

Install PHP

Add the repository for newer versions of PHP.

sudo wget -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/php.gpg

echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/php.list

sudo apt update

Install PHP 7.2 and required PHP extensions.

sudo apt install -y php7.2 php7.2-cli php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mysql php7.2-xml php7.2-mbstring php-imagick

Check the version.

php --version

# PHP 7.2.8-1+0~20180725124257.2+stretch~1.gbp571e56 (cli) (built: Jul 25 2018 12:43:00) ( NTS )

Restart PHP-FPM.

sudo systemctl restart php7.2-fpm.service

Install MariaDB and setup the database

Install MariaDB.

sudo apt install -y software-properties-common dirmngr

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 0xF1656F24C74CD1D8

sudo add-apt-repository 'deb [arch=amd64,i386,ppc64el] stretch main'

sudo apt update

sudo apt install -y mariadb-server

Check the version.

mysql --version && sudo mysqld --version

# mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.2.16-MariaDB, for debian-linux-gnu (x86_64) using readline 5.2

# mysqld  Ver 10.2.16-MariaDB-10.2.16+maria~stretch-log for debian-linux-gnu on x86_64 ( binary distribution)

Run mysql_secure_installation to improve security and set the password for the root user.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Connect to the MariaDB shell as the root user.

sudo mysql -u root -p

# Enter password

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

CREATE DATABASE dbname CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

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



Install and configure Nginx

Neos can work with many popular web servers. In this tutorial we will use Nginx.

Install Nginx.

sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v

# nginx version: nginx/1.10.3

Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/neos.conf and set up Nginx virtual server for Neos CMS.

server {

  listen 80;

  listen [::]:80;

  server_name; # Check this

  root /var/www/neos/Web; # Check this

  index index.php;

  location / {

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


  location ~ \.php$ {

    include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;

    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock; # Check this

    fastcgi_param FLOW_CONTEXT Production;

    fastcgi_param FLOW_REWRITEURLS 1;



Save the file and exit.

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

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

Test the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install Composer

Install Composer globally by issuing the following commands.

php -r "copy('', 'composer-setup.php');"

php -r "if (hash_file('sha384', 'composer-setup.php') === '93b54496392c062774670ac18b134c3b3a95e5a5e5c8f1a9f115f203b75bf9a129d5daa8ba6a13e2cc8a1da0806388a8') { 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

# Composer version 1.7.1 2018-08-07 09:39:23

Install Neos CMS using Composer

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/neos

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

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

Go to your document root directory.

cd /var/www/neos

Install Neos CMS and all of its dependencies.

composer create-project --no-dev neos/neos-base-distribution .

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

sudo ./flow core:setfilepermissions johndoe www-data www-data

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

Go to and follow the on-screen instructions.

You will get a confirmation that the setup has been completed, and that you can enter the front-end or back-end of your Neos website. To access Neos admin, append /neos to your website URL.

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