How to Install Bludit on Debian 9

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of installing Bludit on a Debian 9 VPS.

Bludit is a flexible and easy to use open-source flat-file CMS written in PHP which doesn’t need a database server to function. This of course makes installation more simple, and makes the overall usage of this CMS more lightweight when compared to database-oriented CMS platforms such as WordPress. Let’s begin with the installation.

Prerequisites

  • Debian 9 VPS. For the purposes of this tutorial we will use our SSD 1 VPS hosting plan.
  • SSH access with root privileges (or access to an admin account with sudo privileges)
  • PHP 5.6 or greater with mbstring, GD, DOM, XML and JSON PHP extensions enabled.
  • Apache web server 2.0 or higher compiled with mod_rewrite module. Alternatively, we can use PHP Built-in web server, Nginx or Lighttpd as a web server.

Step 1: Log in via SSH and Update the System

Log in to your Debian 9 VPS using SSH.

ssh [email protected]IP_Address -p Port_number

Don’t forget to replace “IP_Address” and “Port_number” with the proper values for your VPS.

You can check whether you have the proper Debian version installed on your server with the following command:

# lsb_release -a

You should get this output:

Distributor ID: Debian
Description: Debian GNU/Linux 9.9 (Stretch)
Release: 9.9
Codename: stretch

Then, run the following command to make sure that all installed OS packages on the server are updated to their latest available versions:

apt update 
apt upgrade

You can also enable automatic updates on your Debian 9 VPS by following one of our previous tutorials.

With that out of the way, we can start installing the packages that we’ll need.

Step 2: Apache Web Server Installation

To install the Apache web server, run the following command:

apt-get install apache2

After the installation is complete, you should enable Apache to start automatically upon server boot with:

systemctl enable apache2

You can also check the status of your Apache service with the following command:

systemctl status apache2

Output:

● apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; disabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2019-08-07 03:34:36 CDT; 3min 47s ago
 Main PID: 429 (apache2)
   CGroup: /system.slice/apache2.service
           ├─429 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
           └─430 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2

PHP 7.2 is not available through the Debian built-in repositories, so we will use a third-party repo instead. If you already have PHP 7.2, you can skip this step. PHP 7.2 can be installed using a third-party repo. To do this, install the ‘software-properties-common’ and few other packages packages:

apt-get install software-properties-common apt-transport-https lsb-release ca-certificates

Then, add the repo and update your sources:

wget -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/php.gpg https://packages.sury.org/php/apt.gpg
echo "deb https://packages.sury.org/php/ $(lsb_release -sc) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/php.list
apt-get update

Finally, install PHP 7.2 using the following command:

apt-get install php7.2 php7.2-cli php7.2-common

To install the required PHP 7.2 extensions, you can use the following command:

apt-get install php7.2-mbstring php7.2-gd php7.2-json php7.2-intl php7.2-curl php7.2-xml php7.2-zip

Use the following command to check the PHP version currently installed on your server:

php -v

You should receive the following output:

PHP 7.2.20-2+0~20190725.24+debian9~1.gbp69697c (cli) (built: Jul 25 2019 11:53:56) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.2.20-2+0~20190725.24+debian9~1.gbp69697c, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

Disable PHP 7.0 in Apache and enable PHP 7.2:

a2dismod php7.0
a2enmod php7.2

Also, enable the mod_rewrite module in Apache if it is not enabled yet:

a2enmod rewrite

Then, restart Apache2 for the changes to take effect:

service apache2 restart

Step 4: Download and Install Bludit

At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest stable version is Bludit. Download the latest stable version of Bludit to the /var/www/html directory. The download link has been added to the command for you:

cd /var/www/html
wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/bludit-s3/bludit-builds/bludit_latest.zip

Extract the ‘bludit_latest.zip’ archive and rename the directory:

unzip bludit_latest.zip

Create a .htaccess file in the /var/www/html/bludit/ directory (you can use your preferred text editor if you like):

vi /var/www/html/bludit/.htaccess

Add the following text to the file:

AddDefaultCharset UTF-8

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

# Enable rewrite rules
RewriteEngine on

# Deny direct access to .txt files
RewriteRule ^bl-content/(.*)\.txt$ - [R=404,L]

# All URL process by index.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^(.*) index.php [PT,L]

</IfModule>

Save and close the file.

Change the permissions of the files and directories inside the /var/www/html/bludit directory so the web server user (www-data) can access them:

chown www-data: -R /var/www/html/bludit

Step 5: Create an Apache Configuration File

Now we will configure the Apache configuration file for Bludit. This file will control how users access Bludit content. Run the following commands to create a new configuration file called bludit.conf

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/bludit.conf

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

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin [email protected]yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/bludit/
ServerName yourdomain.com
ServerAlias www.yourdomain.com

<Directory /var/www/html/bludit/>
Options FollowSymlinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted
</Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/yourdomain.com_error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/yourdomain.com_access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and enable the newly created Apache configuration and restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

a2ensite bludit
systemctl restart apache2

Step 6: Access Bludit

Now, open your web browser and type the URL of your server. In our case, the URL is http://yourdomain.com/. You will be redirected to the Bludit installer page (http://yourdomain.com/install.php):

bludit installer

Select the Language during the install process, then create a new administrator user account.

That’s it. If you followed all of the instructions properly now you should be able to access the administrator back-end at http://yourdomain.com/ admin and start using Bludit.


Of course, you don’t have to install Bludit on Debian 9 if you use one of our Managed Debian Hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to install Bludit on your Debian VPS for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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