X
    Categories Tutorials

How to Install Magento 2 with Varnish, Apache and Pound as SSL Termination

In this article, we will show you how to install Magento 2 on an Ubuntu 16.04 VPS with MariaDB, Varnish as a full page cache, Apache and Pound as SSL termination. This guide should work on other Linux VPS systems as well but was tested and written for an Ubuntu 16.04 VPS.

Before we begin, you may want a different setup for your Magento. You can follow this tutorial to install Magento 2 on an Ubuntu 16.04 VPS with MariaDB, PHP-FPM 7.0, Varnish as a full page cache, Nginx as SSL termination and Redis for session storage and page caching.

Or you can check out this tutorial to install Magento 2 on an Ubuntu 16.04 VPS with MariaDB, Varnish as a full page cache, Apache and Memcache for session storage.

If you have any different requirements, just get a Linux VPS from us and we’ll set everything up for you, free of charge.

1. Login and update your server

First of all, you need to login to your Ubuntu 16.04 VPS via SSH as user root:

ssh root@server_IP_address

It is also recommended to start a screen session by executing the following command

screen -U -S magento

Update the system and install necessary packages with:

apt-get update && apt-get -y upgrade
apt-get -y install curl nano git

It is crucial that you always keep your server up to date. You can even enable automatic updates in order to achieve this.

2. Install and configure MariaDB

Install the latest MariaDB 10.0 server from the official Ubuntu repositories:

apt-get install -y mariadb-server

Next, we need to create a database for our Magento installation.

mysql -u root -p
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE magento;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON magento.* TO 'magento'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'strong_password';
MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
MariaDB [(none)]> \q

Do not forget to replace ‘strong_password’ with an actual strong password. You can even generate a strong password from the command line.

3. Install Apache2 web server

apt-get install apache2

4. Install PHP and required PHP modules

To install the latest stable version of PHP version 7 and all necessary modules, run:

apt-get install php7.0 libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-mbstring php7.0-curl php7.0-zip php7.0-gd php7.0-mysql php7.0-mcrypt php7.0-xsl php-imagick php7.0-gd php7.0-cli php-pear php7.0-intl

Change few default PHP settings:

sed -i "s/memory_limit = .*/memory_limit = 256M/" /etc/php/7.0/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/upload_max_filesize = .*/upload_max_filesize = 128M/" /etc/php/7.0/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/zlib.output_compression = .*/zlib.output_compression = on/" /etc/php/7.0/cli/php.ini
sed -i "s/max_execution_time = .*/max_execution_time = 18000/" /etc/php/7.0/cli/php.ini

Enable the Apache2 rewrite module if it is not already done:

a2enmod rewrite

In order to activate the new configuration, restart the Apache web server using the following command:

service apache2 restart

5. Install Composer

Composer is a dependency manager for PHP with which you can install packages. Composer will pull in all the required libraries and dependencies you need for your project.

curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php
mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

6. Install Magento 2 from Github

Clone the Magento repository to the ~/myMagentoSite.com directory using the following command:

git clone https://github.com/magento/magento2.git /var/www/myMagentoSite.com

Get the latest Magento 2 stable release:

cd /var/www/myMagentoSite.com
git checkout $(git describe --tags $(git rev-list --tags --max-count=1))

Run composer to install all Magento dependencies:

composer install

To continue with the installation you can either use the installation wizard or the command line, in this guide we will use the latter.

bin/magento setup:install \
--base-url=http://myMagentoSite.com/ \
--db-host=localhost \
--db-name=magento \
--db-user=magento \
--db-password=strong_password \
--admin-firstname=First  \
--admin-lastname=Last \
--admin-email=user@myMagentoSite.com \
--admin-user=admin \
--admin-password=strong_password123 \
--language=en_US \
--currency=USD \
--timezone=America/Chicago \
--use-rewrites=1

If the installation is successful you will see something like below:

[SUCCESS]: Magento installation complete.
[SUCCESS]: Magento Admin URI: /admin_1m0ezr

Run the crontab command to create a cronjob

crontab -u www-data -e

and add the following line:

* * * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/myMagentoSite.com/bin/magento cron:run | grep -v "Ran jobs by schedule" >> /var/www/myMagentoSite.com/var/log/magento.cron.log

Finally, set the correct permissions:

chown -R www-data: /var/www/myMagentoSite.com

7. Configure Apache

Create a new virtual host directive in Apache. For example, you can create a new Apache configuration file named ‘magento.conf’ on your server:

touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/magento.conf
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/magento.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/magento.conf
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/magento.conf

Then, add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin admin@yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/myMagentoSite.com/
ServerName myMagentoSite.com
ServerAlias www.myMagentoSite.com
<Directory /var/www/myMagentoSite.com/>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
</Directory>
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/myMagentoSite.com-error_log
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/myMagentoSite.com-access_log common
</VirtualHost>

Restart the Apache web server for the changes to take effect:

service apache2 restart

You should be now able to login to your Magento back-end by going to http://myMagentoSite.com/admin_1m0ezr using the information you set when running the bin/magento setup:install.

8. Install and configure Varnish

To install Varnish, simply run the following command:

apt-get install varnish

From you Magento Admin dashboard click on the STORES link (left sidebar) -> Configuration -> ADVANCED -> System -> Full Page Cache

Uncheck “Use system value” and from the Caching Application list, select Varnish Cache (Recommended), save the configuration, click on the Varnish Configuration link and click on the Export VCL for Varnish 4 button. The varnish.vcl file which we will use will be exported in the /var/www/myMagentoSite.com/var/ directory.

Flush the Magento cache with:

php bin/magento cache:flush

Delete the /etc/varnish/default.vcl and symlink it to the exported varnish configuration.

rm -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl
ln -sf /var/www/myMagentoSite.com/var/varnish.vcl /etc/varnish/default.vcl

To change varnish port from 6081 to 80, we need to edit the systemd service configuration.

Create a new customexec.conf file

mkdir -p /etc/systemd/system/varnish.service.d
nano /etc/systemd/system/varnish.service.d/customexec.conf

paste the following:

[Service]
ExecStart=
ExecStart=/usr/sbin/varnishd -j unix,user=vcache -F -a :80 -T localhost:6082 -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl -S /etc/varnish/secret -s malloc,256m

and reload systemd units

systemctl daemon-reload

Now we need to change Apache listening port from 80 to 8080. To do that, open the Apache ports configuration file and change it as follows:

nano /etc/apache2/ports.conf

Listen 80 -> Listen 8080
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/magento.conf

<VirtualHost *:80> -> <VirtualHost *:8080>

If everything is setup correctly now you should be able to login to your Magento back-end by going to https://myMagentoSite.com/admin_1m0ezr.

Stuck somewhere? Get a VPS from us and we’ll do all of this for you, free of charge!

9. Install and configure Pound as SSL termination

For this part of the tutorial we assume that you already have an SSL certificate installed for your domain.

If you don’t already have an SSL certificate, you can purchase a trusted SSL certificate here.

Varnish doesn’t support SSL traffic, so you will need to install a proxy or load balancer like Pound to handle the SSL traffic. To do this, we will configure Pound to only listen on port 443 and pass the traffic to Varnish on port 80.

First, let’s install Pound with:

apt-get install pound

Open the Pound configuration file:

nano /etc/pound/pound.cfg

and set the following:

ListenHTTPS
    Address 1.2.3.4 ## this should be your server public IP address
    Port 443
    Cert "/etc/apache2/ssl/myMagentoSite.com.pem" ## path to your SSL certificate
    HeadRemove "X-Forwarded-Proto"
    AddHeader "X-Forwarded-Proto: https"
    Service
        BackEnd
            Address 127.0.0.1
            Port 80
        End
    End
End

After you are done, restart your Apache and Varnish, and Pound:

service apache2 restart
service varnish restart
service pound restart

10. Further Optimizations

To further optimize your Magento installation from your Magento admin dashboard:

1. Go to STORES -> Configuration -> CATALOG -> Catalog -> Use Flat Catalog Category, select Yes and click Save Config.
2. Go to STORES -> Configuration -> ADVANCED -> Developer -> JavaScript Settings and set both Merge JavaScript Files and Minify JavaScript Files to Yes and click Save Config..
3. Go to STORES -> Configuration -> ADVANCED -> Developer -> CSS Settings and set both Merge CSS Files and Minify CSS Files to Yes and click Save Config.
4. Consider using a CDN – Content Delivery Network

Do not forget to flush the cache again:

php bin/magento cache:flush

You can also follow our guide on how to speed up Magento.

That’s it. You have successfully installed Magento 2 with Memcache as a session storage and page caching, Varnish as a full page caching and Apache on your Ubuntu 16.04 VPS and you have set up Pound as SSL termination. For more information about how to manage your Magento installation, please refer to the official Magento documentation.


Installing Magento 2 with Varnish, Apache and Pound as SSL termination, is an easy task if you have a VPS with us. Feel free to ask our expert Linux Administrators to install these for you, and it will be taken care of immediately. They are available 24×7, so you can get the help you need at any time.

PS. Feel free to share this blog post if you liked it by using the social network shortcuts – you can also leave a comment instead, found under the share buttons.
admin: