Install HumHub on an Ubuntu VPS with Nginx and MariaDB

In 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/yourwebsite.com/{public_html,logs}
~# git clone https://github.com/humhub/humhub.git /var/www/yourwebsite.com/public_html

Install MariaDB and create a database.

~#  apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 0xcbcb082a1bb943db
~# add-apt-repository 'deb http://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/mariadb/repo/10.0/ubuntu trusty main'
~# apt-get -y update
~# echo -e "Package: *\nPin: origin ftp.osuosl.org\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/yourwebsite.com
server {
    server_name yourwebsite.com;
    listen 80;
    root /var/www/yourwebsite.com/public_html;
    access_log /var/www/yourwebsite.com/logs/access.log;
    error_log /var/www/yourwebsite.com/logs/error.log;
    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/yourwebsite.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/yourwebsite.com
~# /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Set the correct permissions

~# chown -R www-data: /var/www/yourwebsite.com/public_html/

Create cron Jobs

30 * * * * /var/www/yourwebsite.com/public_html/yiic cron hourly >/dev/null 2>&1
00 18 * * * /var/www/yourwebsite.com/public_html/yiic cron daily >/dev/null 2>&1

Enable url rewriting

Add the following lines in the /var/www/yourwebsite.com/public_html/protected/config/local/_settings.php 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.
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