Learn How To Install MyBB on Ubuntu 16.04

September 9, 2019

Table of Contents

If you are using a different system, please check our other tutorials.

MyBB is a free and open source, intuitive and extensible forum program. MyBB source code is hosted on GitHub. This guide will show you how to install MyBB forum software on a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 LTS IT Web Services instance.


  • PHP, at least version 5.2
  • MySQL, at least version 5.0
  • Nginx
  • The following PHP extensions:
    • SimpleXML
    • mbstring
    • gd
    • The respective vendor specific database PHP extension

NOTE: Replace all instances of example.com with your domain name.

Before you begin

Check the Ubuntu version.

lsb_release -ds
# Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS

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

Ensure that your system is up to date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Step 1 – Install PHP and required PHP extensions

Install PHP, as well as the required PHP extensions.

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

Check the version.

php --version
# PHP 7.0.28-0ubuntu0.16.04.1 (cli) ( NTS )

Step 2 – Install MySQL and create a database for MyBB

Install MySQL.

sudo apt install -y mysql-server

Check the version.

mysql --version
# mysql  Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.7.21, for Linux (x86_64) using  EditLine wrapper

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

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Log into MySQL as the root user.

mysql -u root -p
# Enter password:

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

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

Exit MySQL.


Step 3 – Install and configure Nginx

Install Nginx.

sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.10.3 (Ubuntu)

Configure Nginx. Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/mybb.conf and populate the file with the following.

server {
  server_name forum.example.com;
  root /var/www/mybb;
  location / {
    index index.php;
  # Deny access to internal files.
  location ~ /(inc|uploads/avatars) {
    deny all;
  location ~ .php$ {
    fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    include fastcgi_params;

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

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

Test the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install MyBB

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/mybb

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

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

Install unzip.

sudo apt install -y unzip

Download the latest release of MyBB and unzip it.

cd /var/www/mybb
wget https://resources.mybb.com/downloads/mybb_1815.zip
unzip mybb_1815.zip
mv /var/www/mybb/Upload/* /var/www/mybb

Remove the downloaded .zip file.

rm mybb_1815.zip
rmdir Upload

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

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

As the last step, open your domain and follow the installation wizard for MyBB. To access the installer you must navigate to the /install directory of your site in your web browser. For example, if your domain is example.com and you uploaded your MyBB files to the root directory then navigate to http://example.com/install. To access MyBB admin, append /admin to your site URL. You have successfully installed your MyBB.

After the installation, you should remove the /install directory from your server to prevent anyone else from running the installation again.

sudo rm -rf /var/www/mybb/install/

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