Setup Parvula CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 | 18.10 with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM

If you want to run Parvula CMS on Ubuntu with Nginx HTTP server and PHP 7.2-FPM support, the steps below should be a place to start. Students and new users will learn how to set up Parvula with Nginx.

Parvula is an open source, simple, flat-file content management system (CMS) that’s extensible and do not require a database…. It helps you create personal or business websites in minutes just by uploading its content to your web server…. Parvula CMS offers features that may not be available to other PHP based CMS, like WordPress Joomla or Drupal…

For one, it doesn’t need a database server, all its data is simply stored in the file system (file-based, flat file CMS)…. It also provides native mark down WYSIWYG support, SEO friendly, flexible CSS framework with no installation required…

For more about Parvula, please check it homepage…

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install Parvula on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 / 18.04 LTS with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM support….

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

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

Parvula CMS requires a web server and Nginx HTTP server is probably the second most popular open source web server available today. To install Nginx 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

Now that Nginx is installed. to test whether the web server is working, open your browser and browse to the URL below.

If you see the page above, then Nginx is successfully installed.

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

Parvula CMS is a PHP based CMS and PHP is required. However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories. To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

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

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

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-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

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

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

The lines below is a good settings for most PHP based CMS. Update the configuration file with these and save.

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

Everytime you make changes to PHP configuration file, you should also restart Nginx web server. To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Now that PHP is installed, to test whether it’s functioning, create a test file called phpinfo.php in Nginx default root directory. ( /var/www/html/)

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by phpinfo.php


You should see PHP default test page.

PHP Test Page

Step 3: Download Parvula Latest Release

To get Parvula latest release you may want to get it from Github. Use Composer and git to download the latest version.

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 download Parvula packages from Github…

cd /var/www/html
sudo composer create-project bafs/parvula parvula
cd /var/www/html/parvula/
sudo composer install

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for Parvula root directory and give Nginx control.

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

Step 4: Configure Nginx

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

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

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/parvula;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

     client_max_body_size 100M;

     autoindex off;

     location / {
        try_files $uri /index.php$is_args$args;

    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 Parvula and Rewrite Module

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

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

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

You should then see Parvula default home page.

Parvula CMS Ubuntu

To logon to the backend portal, type:


Parvula cms ubuntu

The username and password can be found in this file.

cat /var/www/html/parvula/data/users/users.php

Congratulation! You have successfully installed Parvula CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 and 18.10.

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