12th March, 2017 | Tutorials |

How to Install CMS Made Simple on Ubuntu 14.04

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CMS Made Simple is an open source content management systems that allows faster and easier management of website content. CMS Made Simple is scalable making it suitable for small businesses right through to large corporations.

Several built-in features of CMS Made Simple are:

There are some features like Search, WYSIWYG, Pools and Picture Album that available via extra modules.

You can learn more about CMS Made Simple from its Homepage.


In this tutorial we'll learn how to install CMS Made Simple on Ubuntu 14.04. We will also install and configure its prerequisites.


We will install CMS Made Simple on a fresh installation of Ubuntu Server 14.04. We also need these applications to be able to run CMS Made Simple:

Update the Base System

Before we install CMS Made Simple, let's update the system to the latest update.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Install Apache 2

After applying the latest update to our base system, let's start installing Apache 2 and required libraries.

$ sudo apt-get -y install apache2 apache2-bin apache2-data apache2-mpm-prefork libaio1 libapr1 libaprutil1 libdbd-mysql-perl libdbi-perl libhtml-template-perl libmysqlclient18 libterm-readkey-perl libwrap0 ssl-cert tcpd

We can check the Apache 2 service status using command below:

sudo service apache2 status
 * apache2 is running

We can also check which port Apache 2 is listening on using the command below:

 sudo netstat -naptu | grep apache
tcp6       0      0 :::80                   :::*                    LISTEN      14873/apache2

Install MySQL 5.6

We will install and use MySQL 5.6 as database for CMS Made Simple.

We will use MySQL Server 5.6 since MySQL 5.6 is the most up to date version of MySQL shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

$ sudo apt-get -y install mysql-server-5.6

We need to setup MySQL root password. Please input password for MySQL root user.

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Verify root password.

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Securing MySQL Installation.

We will secure MySQL installation by running mysql_secure_installation.

Enter root password that we set on installation:

$ mysql_secure_installation 

In order to log into MySQL to secure it, we'll need the current password for the root user. If you've just installed MySQL, and you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank, so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): OK, successfully used password, moving on...

Since we already have root password set, answer this part with n:

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MySQL
root user without the proper authorisation.

You already have a root password set, so you can safely answer 'n'.

Change the root password? [Y/n] n ... skipping.

Remove the anonymous user to improve security. This will make sure people or applications have the correct username and password to login to MySQL. Answer with Y:

By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MySQL without having to have a user account created for
them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

We also want remove the root login from remote machine. Answer with Y:

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

Previously the test database was created automatically by MySQL installation, but MySQL 5.6 does not create test database. We can still choose Y, it will throw error but that's fine.

By default, MySQL comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y - Dropping test database... ERROR 1008 (HY000) at line 1: Can't drop database 'test'; database doesn't exist ... Failed! Not critical, keep moving... - Removing privileges on test database... ... Success!

The last step is to reload MySQL privilege table:

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

All done! If you've completed all of the above steps, your MySQL installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MySQL!

Cleaning up...

Create a Database for cmsmadesimple

Now we have a secure MySQL installation, it's time to create database and user for cmsmadesimple itself.

Login to MySQL using root credential.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 58
Server version: 5.6.30-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.


Create new database named cmsmadesimple using the command below:

mysql> CREATE DATABASE cmsmadesimple;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

Create a User for cmsmadesimple

The database for cmsmadesimple is ready, let's create a username and password and grant privileges to cmsmadesimple database.

Don't forget to change the password cmsmadesimple123secret below with a better password.

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `cmsmadesimple`.* TO 'cmsmadesimple'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'cmsmadesimple123secret';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

We need to run the FLUSH PRIVILEGES command so that the privileges table will be reloaded by MySQL and we can use new credentials.

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Exit from MySQL console by typing \q:

mysql> \q

Install PHP 5

The last component that we have to install before we can install cmsmadesimple is PHP 5. We will install PHP 5 and several common PHP libraries.

$ sudo apt-get -y install libapache2-mod-php5 php5-cli php5-common php5-json php5-mysql php5-readline

Install Additional PHP Libraries

$ sudo apt-get install php5-gd php5-curl

Restart the Apache 2 process so the changes will be applied:

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Install CMS Made Simple

All prerequisites are already installed. We're ready to install cmsmadesimple.

The latest stable version of CMS Made Simple is available CMS Made Simple download page.

At the time of this writing, the latest stable version is version 2.1.6, let's download cmsmadesimple compressed file using wget.

$ wget -c

Extract the downloaded file using unzip. If your system don't have unzip yet, you can install unzip using command below:

$ sudo apt-get -y install unzip

Extract cmsmadesimple using unzip

$ unzip

Create a directory named cmsmadesimple and move extracted files to this directory.

$ mkdir cmsmadesimple
$ mv cmsms-2.1.6-install.php cmsmadesimple

Move cmsmadesimple folder to Apache directory:

$ sudo mv cmsmadesimple /var/www

Change ownership of cmsmadesimple directory to www-data user and group.

$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/cmsmadesimple

The CMS Made Simple files are now ready, now let's create Apache Virtual Host configuration to serve CMS Made Simple.

Configure the Apache Virtual Host for http Only

Create new apache configuration file on /etc/apache2/sites-available/cmsmadesimple.conf with contents below.

<VirtualHost *:80>

DocumentRoot /var/www/cmsmadesimple

<Directory /var/www/cmsmadesimple> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted php_value post_max_size 10M php_value max_execution_time 60 php_value upload_max_filesize 10M </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ combined


Don't forget to change above with the domain name that you use for your cmsmadesimple installation.

Enable the site using a2ensite command.

$ sudo a2ensite cmsmadesimple

Reload apache2 process so it read the new virtualhost configuration:

$ sudo service apache2 reload

CMS Made Simple Setup Wizard

CMS Made Simple is ready to setup. Point your browser to CMS Made Simple Address http://<cms-made-simple-address>/cmsms-2.1.6-install.php we will get CMS Made Simple installation wizard.

The First step we can choose installation language and installation mode. Choose Yes on Advance Mode.

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Step 2 will try to detect existing software installation it will show no installation detected. Click Install

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Step 3 is a system check. We should pass all test except one warning that show there are some php functions that is disabled (pcntl_*).

CMS Made Simple does not use any of the disabled functions so we can safely ignore this warning. Click Next

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In step 4 we configure database for CMS Made Simple. Input database name and database credential that we already created.

Choose your server timezone. Most likely this will be UTC but if you set your server timezone to non UTC, adjust this value accordingly.

Leave Query Variable empty.

Choose Yes on install sample content.

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In Step 5 we need to input CMS Made Simple admin account. Choose Yes on Salt Password. Click Next

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Step 6 configure site name and additional languages to be installed on our CMS Made Simple site. Click Next

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In Step 7 CMS Made Simple files start to be copied. Click Next

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Step 8 is database related setup. Click Next

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Installation is finished. We can go to the homepage or admin panel.

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Our CMS Made Simple site is ready.

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The CMS Made Simple admin panel is located at /admin. We can login using admin credentials that we created during the setup.

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After successfully logging in we will get CMS Made Simple admin dashboard.

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Remove CMS Made Simple Setup File

To secure our CMS Made Simple installation let's remove the installation file.

$ rm -f /var/www/cmsmadesimple/cmsms-2.1.6-install.php

Configure https Only Site for CMS Made Simple

A secure connection is now a requirement for web applications. The last step that we will do in this tutorial is changing the connection to only use https. We assume that you already have SSL certificate and private key.

Let's create new apache virtual host configuration on /etc/apache2/sites-available/cmsmadesimple-ssl.conf with contents below. Don't forget to change:

<VirtualHost *:80>
   Redirect permanent /

<VirtualHost *:443>


DocumentRoot /var/www/cmsmadesimple

<Directory /var/www/cmsmadesimple> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted php_value post_max_size 10M php_value max_execution_time 60 php_value upload_max_filesize 10M </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ combined

SSLEngine on SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/ SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/apache2/ssl/ SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/

# Uncomment the following directive when using client certificate authentication #SSLCACertificateFile /path/to/ca_certs_for_client_authentication

# HSTS (mod_headers is required) (15768000 seconds = 6 months) Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000"



We will also disable cmsmadesimple http only virtual host and enable the new virtual host config.

$ sudo a2dissite cmsmadesimple
$ sudo a2ensite cmsmadesimple-ssl

The new virtual host configuration need Apache mod_ssl and mod_headers modules. We need to enable those modules.

$ sudo a2enmod ssl
$ sudo a2enmod headers

Now, restart the Apache 2 service so it will reload its configuration. We need to restart instead of reload since we enable new module.

$ sudo service apache2 restart


In this tutorial we learned how to install cmsmadesimple on Ubuntu 14.04.

We installed all the prerequisites, created a user and database on MySQL for CMS Made Simple and also configure Apache 2 virtual hosts to be able to serve cmsmadesimple.

We also configured https settings for cmsmadesimple so we run CMS Made Simple securely.

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