How to Install CiviCRM on Ubuntu 18.04

In this article we will show you how to install WordPress, as well as deploy CiviCRM on an Ubuntu 18.04 VPS.

CiviCRM is an open source constituent relationship management (CRM) specifically designed for the needs of non-profit, non-governmental, and advocacy groups. It is developed and maintained by a growing community of contributors and is designed to manage information about an organization’s members, event registrants, donors, subscribers, grant application seekers, funders, and case contacts. CiviCRM can be deployed in conjunction with either WordPress, Drupal or Joomla to track contacts and their relationships to projects and initiatives.


At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest stable version of CiviCRM is 5.10.4 and it requires:

  • PHP 7.2 or greater (preferably the latest), with Curl, SOAP, DOM XML, Multibyte, Mcrypt and Zip PHP extensions. The memory_limit value set in PHP should be between 256 and 512 megabytes, and open_basedir and safemode should be disabled;
  • MySQL 5.6 or greater, MariaDB or Percona;
  • Apache web server 2.0 or higher compiled with mod_rewrite module.

Step 1: Log in to the Server & Update the Server OS Packages

Log in to your Ubuntu 18.04 VPS with SSH as the root user:

ssh root@IP_Address -p Port_number

Don’t forget to replace “IP_Address” and “Port_number” with your server’s respective IP address and SSH port numbers.

Before we can start with the CiviCRM installation, we have to make sure that all Ubuntu OS packages installed on the server are up to date. We can do this by running the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2: Install Apache Web Server

Check whether Apache is already installed and running on your server:

ps aux | grep apache2

We can also check if there are Apache2 packages installed on the server:

dpkg -l | grep apache2

If Apache is already installed on the server, we can skip the Apache installation steps and proceed with PHP installation.
If Apache is not installed, we can install it using:

apt-get install apache2

Once installed, start the Apache server and enable it to start on server boot:

systemctl start apache2
systemctl enable apache2

Step 3: Install MariaDB

We will use MariaDB as our database engine. We can install MariaDB server from the Ubuntu base repository using the following commands:

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server-10.1 mariadb-server-core-10.1

Step 4: Install the Required PHP Extensions

The default PHP version available from the official Ubuntu 18.04 repository is PHP 7.2.
Install the required PHP extensions:

apt-get install php7.2-curl php7.2-gd php7.2-mbstring php7.2-mysql php7.2-zip

Step 5: Install PHP Module “mcrypt”

Install the PHP “mcrypt” module on the server using pecl channel:

sudo apt install php-dev libmcrypt-dev
sudo pecl channel-update
sudo pecl install mcrypt-1.0.1

Step 6: Configure PHP

Locate the PHP configuration file:

php --ini | grep Loaded

The output should be something like this:

Loaded Configuration File:         /etc/php/7.2/cli/php.ini

Edit the php.ini configuration file:

vi /etc/php/7.2/cli/php.ini

Add/modify the following options:

memory_limit = 256M 
file_uploads = On	
allow_url_fopen = On
allow_url_include = Off
upload_max_filesize = 64M
short_open_tag = On	
max_execution_time = 300
default_charset = "UTF-8"

Make sure that ‘open_basedir’ and ‘safemode’ are not set:

#php -i | grep -i safemode

#php -i | grep -i open_basedir
open_basedir => no value => no value

Step 7: Enable Apache “Rewrite” Module

Enable the Apache rewrite module if it is not already done:

a2enmod rewrite

Restart the Apache service for the changes to take effect:

service apache2 restart

Step 8: Install WordPress

Download and extract the latest WordPress installation files in the document root directory of your WordPress website ( e.g /var/www/html/

cd /opt/
mkdir -p /var/www/html/
mv /opt/wordpress/* /var/www/html/
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/

Make sure to replace “” with your unique registered domain name.

Step 9: Create a Database for WordPress

Create a MySQL database for the WordPress website:

mysql -u root -p
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE wpdb;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wpdb.* TO 'wpuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'Str0ngPa55w0rd';
MariaDB [(none)]> exit;

Don’t forget to replace ‘Str0ngPa55w0rd’ with an actual strong password.

Step 10: Create a Virtual Host in Apache

Create a virtual host in Apache for your domain:

vi /etc/apache2/sites-available/

And add the following content to the file:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName ServerAlias DocumentRoot /var/www/html/ <Directory /var/www/html/> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory> ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/your-domain.com_error.log CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/your-domain.com_access.log combined </VirtualHost>

Replace ‘‘ with your actual domain.
To enable the virtual host we have just created, run the following command:


Then, disable the default Apache configuration:

a2dissite 000-default.conf

Restart Apache service for the changes to take effect:

systemctl restart apache2

Open in a web browser and finish the WordPress installation.

Step 11: Install CiviCRM

Download the latest version of CiviCRM from and extract it in the /var/www/html/ directory on your server:

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cd /opt
chown www-data:www-data -R /opt/civicrm/
mv /opt/civicrm/ /var/www/html/

Log in to your WordPress back-end as admin user, open and activate the CiviCRM plugin. CiviCRM may be configured to use the existing WordPress database, or a new database. It is best to create and use a separate database for CiviCRM.

Step 12: Create a Database for CiviCRM

Create a new MySQL database for CiviCRM:

mysql -u root -p
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE civicrmdb;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON civicrmdb.* TO 'wpuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'civicrmStr0ngPa55w0rd';
MariaDB [(none)]> exit;

Don’t forget to replace “civicrmStr0ngPa55w0rd” with an actual, strong password.

Then, go to the WordPress dashboard and click on the ‘CiviCRM Installer’ link at the top of the page. From there, change the database name, verify that all requirements are met, and install CiviCRM:
civicrm installer

That is it. CiviCRM has been installed on your server. You can now configure and extend CiviCRM according to your needs.
civicrm wordpress

Of course, you don’t have to install and configure CiviCRM on your Ubuntu 18.04 VPS if you use one of our Managed CiviCRM Hosting solutions, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to setup and configure CiviCRM on Ubuntu 18.04 for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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