Setup Grav CMS with Composer on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and Nginx, PHP 7.2-FPM Support

Just recently we showed you how to install Grav CMS with Composer support and Apache2 HTTP webserver and PHP 7.2. Well, this post shows you how to use Nginx with PHP 7.2-FPM instead to run Grav.

Grav is an open-source flat-file CMS that offers features that may not be available to other PHP based content management systems, like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

Students and new users looking for help installing the latest version of Grav CMS ( 1.5 ) from Github using Composer with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM support, the steps below should be a great place to start.

When you use Composer to install Grav packages, you can easily upgrade from the commmand line with Composer, which is much simpler.

Grav also has a built-in tool that allows webmasters to upgrade easily. but it must be configured first which may be intimidating for new users and students. So installing and updating using simple commands may be a great option if you’re new.

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install / upgrade Grav from Github repository via Composer with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM support on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 LTS servers.

To get started with installing Grav, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is probably the second most popular web server in use. so install it since Grav needs it.

To install Nginx HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

After installing Nginx, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Nginx service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

To test Nginx setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Nginx default test page as shown below. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected.

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. in order to install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-mysql php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default config file for Nginx.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below are great settings to apply in your environments.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
max_input_vars = 1500
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 3: Restart Nginx

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Nginx to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Step 4: Download Grav Latest Release

To get Grav latest release you may want to use Github repository. Install Composer, Curl and other dependencies to get started.

sudo apt install curl git
curl -sS  | sudo php -- --install-dir=/usr/local/bin --filename=composer

After installing curl and Composer above, change into the Nginx root directory and downaload Grav packages from Github.

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone -b master  grav
cd /var/www/html/grav
sudo composer install --no-dev -o
sudo bin/grav install

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Grav to function.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/grav/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/grav/

Step 6: Configure Nginx

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for Grav. This file will control how users access Grav content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called grav

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/grav

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/grav;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

     client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /grav/index.php?_url=$uri&$query_string;

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
         include fastcgi_params;

Save the file and exit.

Step 5: Enable the Grav and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/grav /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see Grav setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

Grav ubuntu install

Contragulations. you’ve just successfully installed Grav CMS.

To install Grav admin module, run the commands below.

cd /var/www/html/grav
sudo bin/gpm install admin

Now to access the admin portal, go to:

grav ubuntu install

In the future when you want to upgrade to a new simply run the commands below to upgrade.

cd /var/www/html/grav
sudo bin/gpm selfupgrade -f

That’s it!

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