Setup InvoicePlane on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.1-FPM

Our recently tutorial on InvoicePlane showed students and new users how to install it on Ubuntu with Apache2 HTTP and PHP 7.1 support. This post shows students and new users how to do it with Nginx and PHP 7.1-FPM instead.

When you want to install InvoicePlane with Nginx, the steps below should be a great place to start.

Invoice Plane is an open source online app that allows users and busineses to manage their complete billing cicle from invoicing to quotes and payments. This platform is built on the LAMP or LEMP stack and can used to provide CRM-like management for individuals and businesses.

Whether you’re a small or medium-size business, you may find this app useful. It’s designed from the ground up for ease of use to allow business owners create and manage their business invoices and expenses.

If you’re looking for a robust, secure and easy to use invoicing and time tracking system with multi-language interface, you may want to give Invoice a try. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Invoice Plane on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.1 support.

To get started with installing Invoice Plane, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is the most popular web server in use. so install it, since Invoice Plane 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 MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database servers to use with Magento. To install MariaDB run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

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

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to MariaDB server

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on. if successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message

mariadb welcome

Step 3: Install PHP 7.1-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.1-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 7.1-FPM

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.1-FPM

sudo apt update

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

sudo apt install php7.1-fpm php7.1-common php7.1-gmp php7.1-curl php7.1-intl php7.1-mcrypt php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xmlrpc php7.1-mysql php7.1-gd php7.1-xml php7.1-cli php7.1-zip

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

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/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
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: Create Invoice Plane Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for Invoice Plane to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create a blank Magento database.

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called invoiceplane

CREATE DATABASE invoiceplane;

Create a database user called invoicepleneuser with new password

CREATE USER 'invoiceplaneuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON invoiceplane.* TO 'invoiceplaneuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Step 5: Download Invoice Plane Latest Release

To get Invoice Plane 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 Invoice Plane packages from Github.

cd /var/www/html
sudo git clone 
cd /var/www/html/InvoicePlane
sudo composer install

After that, run the commands below to create InvoicePlane’s ipconfig file.

sudo cp /var/www/html/InvoicePlane/ipconfig.php.example /var/www/html/InvoicePlane/ipconfig.php

Change the URL for the portal. by running the commands below to open its config file.

sudo nano /var/www/html/InvoicePlane/ipconfig.php

Then make the URL change as shown below and save the file.

# Set your URL without trailing slash here, e.g. 
# If you use a subdomain, use 
# If you use a subfolder, use /subfolder

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

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

Step 6: Configure Nginx

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

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

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/invoiceplane;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

     client_max_body_size 100M;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri&$args;       

    location ~ \.php$ {
               include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
               fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.1-fpm.sock;
               fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
               include fastcgi_params;

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the Invoice Plane and Rewrite Module

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

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/invoiceplane /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

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


Then follow the on-screen instructions. you will be asked to input your database configuration, administrative details and other configuration settings. When complete you may sign-in and start using Invoice Plane.

Return to /index.php/sessions/login anytime thereafter to sign-in.

Invoice Plane ubuntu install


Invoice plane ubuntu setup

Congratulation! You have successfully installed Invoice Plane on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and may work on upcoming 18.10.

If you want to secure your installation, you may disable the setup for now. To do so, replace the line DISABLE_SETUP=false with DISABLE_SETUP=true in your ipconfig.php file.

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