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ProcessWire CMS 3.0 is a simple, flexible and powerful, free and open source Content Management System (CMS). ProcessWire CMS 3.0 features an easy-to-use jQuery-style API, fully modular plugin architecture, and a flexible and powerful templating system that delivers an equally satisfying user experience for designers, developers, and end-users.
In this tutorial we are going to install ProcessWire CMS 3.0 on a Debian 9 LAMP VPS using Apache web server, PHP 7.1, and a MariaDB database.
- A clean Vultr Debian 9 server instance with SSH access
Step 1: Add a Sudo User
We will start by adding a new
First, log into your server as
ssh [email protected]_VULTR_IP_ADDRESS
sudo command isn’t installed by default in the Vultr Debain 9 server instance, so we will first install
apt-get -y install sudo
Now add a new user called
user1 (or your preferred username):
When prompted, enter a secure and memorable password. You will also be prompted for your “Full Name” and some other details, but you can simply leave them blank by pressing
Now check the
/etc/sudoers file to make sure that the
sudoers group is enabled:
Look for a section like this:
%sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
This line tells us that users who are members of the
sudo group can use the
sudo command to gain
root privileges. It should be uncommented by default so you can simply exit the file.
Next we need to add
user1 to the
usermod -aG sudo user1
We can verify the
user1 group membership and check that the
usermod command worked with the
Now use the
su command to switch to the new sudo user
su - user1
The command prompt will update to indicate that you are now logged into the
user1 account. You can verify this with the
Now restart the
sshd service so that you can login via
ssh with the new non-root sudo user account you have just created:
sudo systemctl restart sshd
root account (which will disconnect your
You can now
ssh into the server instance from your local host using the new non-root sudo user
ssh [email protected]_VULTR_IP_ADDRESS
If you want to execute
sudo without having to type a password every time, then open the
/etc/sudoers file again, using
Edit the section for the
sudo group so that it looks like this:
%sudo ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL
Please note: Disabling the password requirement for the sudo user is not a recommended practice, but it is included here as it can make server configuration much more convenient and less frustrating, especially during longer systems administration sessions. If you are concerned about the security implications, you can always revert the configuration change to the original after you finish your administration tasks.
Whenever you want to log into the
root user account from within the
sudo user account, you can use one of the following commands:
sudo -i sudo su -
You can exit the
root account and return back to your
sudo user account any time by simply typing
Step 2: Update Debian 9 System
Before installing any packages on the Debian server instance, we will first update the system.
Make sure you are logged in to the server using a non-root sudo user and run the following commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get -y upgrade
Step 3: Install Apache Web Server
Install the Apache web server:
sudo apt-get -y install apache2
systemctl command to start and enable Apache to execute automatically at boot time:
sudo systemctl enable apache2 sudo systemctl start apache2
Check your Apache default site configuration file to ensure that the
DocumentRoot directive points to the correct directory:
sudo vi /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf
DocumentRoot configuration option will look like this:
We now need to enable the
mod_rewrite Apache module, so ensure that your Apache deafult site configuration file is still open, and add the following
Directory Apache directives just before the closing
</VirtualHost> tag, so that the end of your configuration file looks like this:
<Directory /var/www/html/> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews AllowOverride All Order allow,deny allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost>
The most important directive shown above is
Now save and exit the file, and enable the
mod_rewrite Apache module:
sudo a2enmod rewrite
We will restart Apache at the end of this tutorial, but restarting Apache regularly during installation and configuration is certainly a good habit, so let’s do it now:
sudo systemctl restart apache2
Step 4: Install PHP 7.0
We can now install PHP 7.0 along with all of the necessary PHP modules required by ProcessWire CMS:
sudo apt-get -y install php php-gd php-mbstring php-common php-mysql php-imagick php-xml libapache2-mod-php php-curl php-zip
Step 5: Install MariaDB (MySQL) Server
Debian 9 defaults to using MariaDB database server, which is an enhanced, fully open source, community developed, drop-in replacement for MySQL server.
Install MariaDB database server:
sudo apt-get -y install mariadb-server
Start and enable MariaDB server to execute automatically at boot time:
sudo systemctl enable mariadb sudo systemctl start mariadb
Secure your MariaDB server installation with:
root password will be blank, so simply hit enter when prompted for the
When prompted to create a MariaDB/MySQL
root user, select “Y” (for yes) and then enter a secure
root password. Simply answer “Y” to all of the other yes/no questions as the default suggestions are the most secure options.
Step 6: Create Database for ProcessWire CMS
Log into the MariaDB shell as the MariaDB
root user by running the following command:
sudo mariadb -u root -p
To access the MariaDB command prompt, simply enter the MariaDB
root password when prompted.
Run the following queries to create a MariaDB database and database user for ProcessWire CMS:
CREATE DATABASE pw_db CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci; CREATE USER 'pw_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'UltraSecurePassword'; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON pw_db.* TO 'pw_user'@'localhost'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; EXIT;
You can replace the database name
pw_db and username
pw_user with something more to your liking, if you prefer. Also, make sure that you replace “UltraSecurePassword” with an actually secure password.
Step 7: Install ProcessWire CMS Files
Change your current working directory to the default web directory:
If you get an error message saying something like
'No such file or directory' then try the following command:
cd /var/www/ ; sudo mkdir html ; cd html
Your current working directory will now be:
/var/www/html/. You can check this with the
pwd (print working directory) command:
wget to download the ProcessWire CMS installation package:
sudo wget https://github.com/processwire/processwire/archive/master.zip
Please note: You should definitely check for the most recent version by visiting the ProcessWire CMS download page.
List the current directory to check that you have successfully downloaded the file:
Let’s quickly install
unzip so we can unzip the file:
sudo apt-get -y install unzip
sudo rm index.html
Now uncompress the zip archive:
sudo unzip master.zip
Move all of the installation files to the web root directory:
sudo mv processwire-master/* /var/www/html
Change ownership of the web files to avoid any permissions problems:
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data * ./
Restart Apache again:
sudo systemctl restart apache2
Step 8: Complete ProcessWire CMS Installation
It’s now time to visit the IP address of your server instance in your browser, or if you’ve already configured your Vultr DNS settings (and given it enough time to propagate) you can simply visit your domain instead.
To access the ProcessWire CMS installation page, enter your Vultr instance IP address into your browser address bar, followed by
The ProcessWire CMS installer contains a lot of options, so here are a few pointers to help you along:
On the ProcessWire CMS installation welcome page, click the
Get Startedbutton to start the installation process.
Now select your preferred installation profile (or demo site) and click
You will see a
Compatibility Checkpage. If you see any errors, it probably means you are missing some PHP modules or have a permissions problem, otherwise you can simply click
Enter the following values into the
MySQL Database Settingspage:
DB Name: pw_db DB User: pw_user DB Pass: UltraSecurePassword DB Host: localhost DB Port: 3306
You can leave the
File Permissionsettings at their default values, or you can adjust them if you understand the implications.
You can enter the future hostnames of your site in the appropriate section, or you can edit the
site/config.phpfile later if you prefer.
Continueto configure the database and install the ProcessWire CMS files.
Next, select your preferred
You can change the
Admin URLif you prefer, or you can simply leave it at the default value.
Admin Login Detailsas shown below:
User (a-z 0-9): <admin username> Password: <admin password> Password (again): <same admin password> Email Address: <admin email address>
Once all of the appropriate details have been entered, you can click
Continueto finalize the ProcessWire installation.
Once the installation is complete, simply click on the
Login to Adminbutton to log in the the Admin section.
You may see a warning saying something like:
Warning: your server locale is undefined and may cause issues. Please add this to /site/config.php file (adjust en_US.UTF-8â€ as needed): setlocale(LC_ALL,'en_US.UTF-8');
You can fix this error by editing the
sudo vi site/config.php
Append the appropriate value to the end of the file:
If you can’t figure out what value to use, you can find a list of appropriate values for your particular server instance by running the
Don’t forget to save and exit the
site/config.php file when you are finished editing.
For security purposes, make sure you change the permissions on the
sudo chmod 400 site/config.php
sudo systemctl restart apache2
You are ready to start adding your content and configuring the look and feel of your site. Make sure you check out the excellent ProcessWire CMS documentation for more information about how to build and configure your site.
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