Table of Contents
- Step 1: Add a Sudo User
- Step 2: Update Debian 9 System
- Step 3: Install Apache Web Server
- Step 4: Install PHP 7.0
- Step 5: Install MariaDB (MySQL) Server
- Step 6: Create Database for CMS Made Simple
- Step 7: Install CMS Made Simple Files
- Step 8: Complete CMS Made Simple Installation
If you are using a different system, please check our other tutorials.
How to Install CMS Made Simple 2.2 on a CentOS 7 LAMP VPS
How to Install CMS Made Simple 2.2 on a Fedora 26 LAMP VPS
How to Install CMS Made Simple 2.2 on a FreeBSD 11 FAMP VPS
How to Install CMS Made Simple 2.2 on an Ubuntu 16.04 LAMP VPS
CMS Made Simple 2.2 is a flexible and extensible, free and open source Content Management System (CMS) intelligently designed to be versatile and adaptable to the needs of developers, designers and end-users. CMS Made Simple 2.2 features an intuitive user interface and simple to use WYSIWYG page editor, elegantly simple content management capabilities, flexible layout and templating possibilities using Smarty tags, a rich modular API, and the ability to fully integrate with third-party PHP applications.
In this tutorial we are going to install CMS Made Simple 2.2 on a Debian 9 LAMP VPS using Apache web server, PHP 7.1, and a MariaDB database.
- A clean IT Web Services 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
sudo command isn’t installed by default in the IT Web Services Debian 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
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
wheel 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
Then use the
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 CMS Made Simple:
sudo apt-get -y install php php-gd php-mbstring php-common php-mysql php-imagick php-xml libapache2-mod-php php-curl php-tidy 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:
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 CMS Made Simple
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 CMS Made Simple:
CREATE DATABASE cms_db CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci; CREATE USER 'cms_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'UltraSecurePassword'; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON cms_db.* TO 'cms_user'@'localhost'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; EXIT;
You can replace the database name
cms_db and username
cms_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 CMS Made Simple 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 CMS Made Simple installation package:
sudo wget http://s3.amazonaws.com/cmsms/downloads/14054/cmsms-2.2.4-install.zip
Please note: You should definitely check for the most recent version by visiting the CMS Made Simple download page.
List the current directory to check that you have successfully downloaded the file:
sudo rm index.html
Let’s quickly install
unzip so we can unzip the file:
sudo apt-get -y install unzip
Now uncompress the zip archive:
sudo unzip cmsms-2.2.4-install.zip
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
Now we’re ready to move on to the final step.
Step 8: Complete CMS Made Simple Installation
It’s now time to visit the IP address of your server instance in your browser, or if you’ve already configured your IT Web Services DNS settings (and given it enough time to propagate) you can simply visit your domain instead.
To access the CMS Made Simple installation page, enter your IT Web Services instance IP address into your browser address bar, followed by
The CMS Made Simple installer contains quite a lot of options, so here are a few pointers to help you along:
Welcome page, select your language and leave the
Enable advanced modeoption set to
No. When you are ready, click the
Nextbutton to continue.
You will see a warning message informing you that you have files in the webroot directory. This is perfectly fine, so just click on the
Installbutton to continue to step 3.
You will see a message confirming that you have passed all
Compatibility Tests. You can simply click
Nextto continue to Step 4.
Fill in your database details as follows:
Database Hostname: localhost Database Name: cms_db User name: cms_user Password: UltraSecurePassword
Server Timezonesettings will get detected automatically, so you can click
Enter your admin details as follows:
User name: admin Email Address: <your admin email> Password: <your password> Repeat password: <the same password>
Web Site Nameand select any
Additional Languagesyou want to install, and click
You will now be prompted to
Install Application Filesso simply click
You will be shown a list of database tasks the installer will perform so, again, simply click
You will see a confirmation page with a message saying
We are done!
You can access the admin section by simply clicking on the
CMSMS admin panel link and then entering your username and password on the resulting login page.
If you are not redirected to the admin login page, you can enter the admin address manually:
For security reasons, you should remove the installer files from your webroot before continuing:
sudo rm cmsms-2.2.4-install.*
You are now ready to start adding your content and configuring the look and feel of your site. Make sure you check out the excellent CMS Made Simple documentation for more information about how CMS Made Simple works.
Do you need help setting up this on your own service?
Please contact us and we’ll provide you the best possible quote!