Install HumHub on an Ubuntu VPS with Nginx and MariaDB

humhubIn this guide we will show you how install HumHub on an Ubuntu VPS with Nginx and MariaDB. HumHub is a flexible open source social network application written in PHP on top of the Yii framework. HumHub has a bunch of great features such sharing documents and files, responsive design, user spaces, activity stream and many more. This should work on other Linux VPS systems as well but was tested and written for Ubuntu 14.04 VPS.


Update the system and install necessary packages.

~# apt-get -y update && apt-get -y upgrade
~# apt-get install software-properties-common python-software-properties git curl imagemagick

Install PHP and Nginx

apt-get install nginx php5-fpm php5-cli php5-gd php5-mysql php5-curl php5-ldap php5-memcached

Clone the git repository

Create a root directory for your web site and clone the git repository from github

~# mkdir -p /var/www/{public_html,logs}
~# git clone /var/www/

Install MariaDB and create a database.

~#  apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xcbcb082a1bb943db
~# add-apt-repository 'deb trusty main'
~# apt-get -y update
~# echo -e "Package: *\nPin: origin\nPin-Priority: 1000" | tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/mariadb
~# apt-get install mariadb-server
~# mysql -uroot -p
MariaDB [(none)]> create database humhub;
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON humhub.* TO 'humhub'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'humhubPassword';
MariaDB [(none)]> flush privileges;
MariaDB [(none)]> \q

Nginx configuration

Create a new Nginx server block with the following content

~# cat <<'EOF' > /etc/nginx/sites-available/
server {
    listen 80;
    root /var/www/;
    access_log /var/www/;
    error_log /var/www/;
    index index.php;
    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;
    location ~* \.(?:ico|css|js|gif|jpe?g|png|ttf|woff)$ {
        access_log off;
        expires 30d;
        add_header Pragma public;
        add_header Cache-Control "public, mustrevalidate, proxy-revalidate";
    location ~ \.php$ {
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(.*)$;
        fastcgi_keep_conn on;
        include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny all;

    location /protected {
        deny all;

    location /uploads/file {
        deny all;

Symlink it and restart the server

~# ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
~# /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Set the correct permissions

~# chown -R www-data: /var/www/

Create cron Jobs

30 * * * * /var/www/ cron hourly >/dev/null 2>&1
00 18 * * * /var/www/ cron daily >/dev/null 2>&1

Enable url rewriting

Add the following lines in the /var/www/ file

<?php return array ( 'components'=>
array (
'urlManager' => array(
'urlFormat' => 'path',
'showScriptName' => false,

Finally, open your browser and run the HumHub installation process.

For more information about how to manage your HumHub installation, please refer to the
HumHub website.

Of course you don’t have to do any of this if you use one of our Linux VPS Hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to setup this for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.
PS. If you liked this post please share it with your friends on the social networks using the buttons on the left or simply leave a reply below. Thanks.

OpenVPN setup script for Debian and Ubuntu
Install Apache Cassandra on a Debian 7 VPS
Install Django CMS on Ubuntu 12.04 with MariaDB, Gunicorn and Nginx
  • michel


    Author Reply

    Hello, I have followed your instructions step by step in Ubuntu 15.04. x64
    difference: mariaDB I installed from the official ubuntu repo.
    I noticed that the folder “local” and the file “_setup.php” in /var/www/ is missing.
    The page is:
    Firefox displayed “404 Not Found nginx/1.6.2 (Ubuntu)”

    What could be missing that nginx can’t access the web directory of humhub?

    best regards

    • admin


      Author Reply

      Please check your nginx configuration file and make sure that the document root is properly set (e.g. ‘/var/www/humhub/public_html’. Also, check the nginx error log for more information on your problem.

  • Tony


    Author Reply

    first of all thank you for your procedure which I followed step by step but when I try got the welcome page of nginx.
    Any idea how to fix it please?