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How to install Kirby CMS on Ubuntu 18.04

There are quite a lot of blogs and information sites. Yes, it is true, WordPress dominates this sector but more and more CMS are appearing to provide alternatives and that is positive for us users. Even for the sysadmin who need at some point one of them. Today, I’ll show you how to install Kirby CMS on Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Min 19. Let’s see.

Kirby is a CMS(Content Manager System) that is presented to us with the great novelty of not requiring a database manager like MariaDB. This is because vital information is stored in documents. All this without losing performance and flexibility.

On the other hand, Kirby offers the possibility to install plugins, to modify the appearance of the site in a very friendly way and the promise to adapt to your project in a way never seen before. Sounds good, so let’s install Kirby CMS on Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.

1. Upgrade the system

The first step is to update the system. To do this, open a terminal and run.

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:~$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Upgrade the system
Upgrade the system

With this you will have an updated system and ready to perform various installations.

It is important to perform this process to have installed the latest security patches and thus the system remains robust and stable.

2. Install Apache web server

As a CMS, you have to install a web server. There are several such as NGinx and lighttpd, however, I will use the Apache web server to perform this installation.

:~$ sudo apt install apache2
Installing Apache web server
Installing Apache web server

Now, you need to enable Apache to boot into the system. To do this, type the following command.

:~$ sudo systemctl enable apache2

Next, check the service status.

:~$ sudo systemctl status apache2
Enabling Apache service
Enabling Apache service

As you can see Apache is working correctly, however, to be even more secure open your web browser and go to http://YOUR_SERVER_IP you will have to see this.

Apcahe is working
Apache is working

Now, you can continue.

3. Install PHP

Kirby CMS is programmed in PHP. Therefore, it is necessary to install this programming language. It’s simple, so let’s get to it.

:~$ sudo apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-soap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-curl php7.2-zip
Installing PHP
Installing PHP

After the installation, you need to configure some things in PHP to make Kirby run smoothly. Open the php.ini file and modify the following.

:~$ sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/apache2/php.ini

file_uploads = On

allow_url_fopen = On

memory_limit = 256M

upload_max_filesize = 100M

max_execution_time = 360

date.timezone = YOUR_TIMEZONE

It is now necessary to test that PHP is correctly installed. Create a file called test.php in /var/www/html and add the following.

:~$ sudo nano /var/www/html/test.php


Test php
Test php

Finally, restart apache.

:~$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Now, open your web browser and go to http://IP_SERVER/test.php. You will see this:

PHP is working
PHP is working

Now, you have PHP working correctly.

4. Download and install Kirby CMS

Now you can download Kirby. For this, we’ll use your GitHub repository as our main source. First place yourself in the Apache folder, install the git tool and then proceed to start downloading Kirby.

:~$ cd /var/www/html
:~$ sudo apt install git
:~$ sudo git clone --recursive https://github.com/getkirby/starterkit.git kirby 
Download Kirby
Download Kirby

Next, change the permissions to the folder. This is to avoid compatibility problems with permissions when running the program.

:~$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/kirby/
:~$ sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/kirby/
Change the permissions
Change the permissions

So, that’s it.

5. Configure apache

There’s one thing missing for Kirby to be able to execute corrections. So, you need to configure apache.

Create a file named kirby.conf in /etc/apache2/sites-available/. Place the following.

:~$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/kirby.conf
Configure Apache
Configure Apache

Next, enable the new configuration and the rewrite module. Finally, restart apache.

:~$ sudo a2ensite kirby.conf
:~$ sudo a2enmod rewrite
:~$ sudo systemctl restart apache2
Restart apache
Restart apache

Open Kirby on the web browser

So, in your web browser, you can go to http://IP_SERVER/kirby or in my case http://osradar.lan.


Sure, that’s the sample site. The important thing is to go to the admin panel to create the main account. Go to http://ip_SERVER/kirby/panel/installor http://osradar.local/panel/install.

Creating the admin account
Creating the admin account

So, enter your data and then click install.

After that, you will see the admin panel.

Admin panel

So, that’s it.


Kirby presents itself as an innovative, simple and fast CMS. In addition, Its features are common to the rest of CMS but not needing a database manager, it becomes quite peculiar.

So, please share this post with your friends.

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  1. Thank you for your great article! I have faced one problem with the ssl on kirby. Do you have some tips to config kirby.conf to make the site be available on https?


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