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How to Install PyroCMS on Debian 9

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 5, 2018
CMS Debian Linux Guides PHP Server Apps
Archived content

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

PyroCMS is an open source CMS written in PHP. PyroCMS source code is hosted on GitHub. In this guide we'll walk through the entire PyroCMS installation process on Debian 9 Vultr instance.


Before you can install PyroCMS on a server, there are a few requirements that need to be met.

  • 1GB of RAM

  • PyroCMS supports Apache or Nginx, however, we will be using a LEMP stack

  • PHP version 7.0 or greater

  • The following PHP extensions:

    • PDO

    • cURL

    • SQLite

    • OpenSSL

    • Mbstring

    • Fileinfo

    • Tokenizer

    • GD Library, (version 2.0 or greater), or Imagick PHP extension, (version 6.5.7 or greater)

Before you begin

Check the Debian version.

lsb_release -ds

# Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 (stretch)

Ensure that your system is up to date.

apt update && apt upgrade -y

Install necessary packages.

apt install -y sudo unzip apt-transport-https curl wget 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 and required PHP extensions

Download and install PHP 7.0 and required PHP extensions.

sudo apt install -y php7.0 php7.0-cli php7.0-fpm php7.0-mysql php7.0-curl php7.0-sqlite3 php7.0-mbstring php7.0-gd php7.0-xml

Check the version.

php --version

# PHP 7.0.27-0+deb9u1 (cli) (built: Jan  5 2018 13:51:52) ( NTS )

# Copyright (c) 1997-2017 The PHP Group

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

#     with Zend OPcache v7.0.27-0+deb9u1, Copyright (c) 1999-2017, by Zend Technologies

Install MariaDB

Download and install MariaDB.

sudo apt install -y mariadb-server

Check the version.

mysql --version

# mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.1.26-MariaDB, for debian-linux-gnu (x86_64) using readline 5.2

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

sudo mysql_secure_installation

# Enter current password for root (enter for none):

# Set root password? [Y/n] Y

# New password: ******************

# Re-enter new 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

# Success.

# All done!

Log in to MariaDB as the root user.

sudo mysql -u root -p

# Enter password:

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

create database dbname;

grant all on dbname.* to 'username' identified by 'password';

flush privileges;

Exit MariaDB.


Install Nginx

Install Nginx.

sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v

# nginx version: nginx/1.10.3

Configure Nginx as a FastCGI proxy. Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/pyro.conf and use the following configuration.

server {

  listen 80;

  server_name; # Check this

  root /var/www/pyro/public; # Check this

  index index.php index.html;

  charset utf-8;

  location / {

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


  location ~ \.php$ {

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

    fastcgi_index index.php;

    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

    include fastcgi_params;



NOTE: Make sure to point the web root to Pyro's public directory.

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

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

Test the Nginx configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Download and install Composer

Download Composer dependencies if they are not already available on your system.

sudo apt install -y curl git unzip

Download and install Composer, the dependency manager for PHP.

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 Composer version.

composer --version

# Composer version 1.6.5 2018-05-04 11:44:59

Download and install PyroCMS via Composer

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/pyro

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

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

Download the latest stable release of PyroCMS from the command line.

cd /var/www/pyro

composer create-project pyrocms/pyrocms .

NOTE: You may run out of memory when installing Pyro via Composer. It may be wise to stop Nginx, php-fpm and MySQL servers with sudo systemctl stop nginx.service php7.0-fpm.service mariadb.service to save on memory usage and start them again after this step. If that doesn't help you to avoid errors with Composer, then you'll need to setup Swap.

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

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

Using your preferred web browser, open your site and follow the PyroCMS installer. After following the installer you will have PyroCMS up and running. To access the PyroCMS admin area just append /admin to your site URL.

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