29th May, 2017 | Tutorials |

How to Install Forma LMS on Ubuntu 14.04

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Forma LMS is an open source web based e-learning platform or learning management system used to manage and deliver training courses online.

Forma LMS is developed as form of Docebo.

Several main features of Forma LMS:

You can learn more about Forma LMS by visiting the Forma LMS website.


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


We will install Forma LMS in fresh installation of Ubuntu Server 14.04. We also need these application to be able to run Forma LMS:

Update the Base System

Before we install Forma LMS, let's update the system to the latest update.

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

Install Apache 2

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

$ sudo apt-get -y install apache2 apache2-bin apache2-data apache2-mpm-prefork libaio1 libapache2-mod-php5 libapr1 libaprutil1 libdbd-mysql-perl libdbi-perl libhtml-template-perl libmysqlclient18 libterm-readkey-perl libwrap0 ssl-cert tcpd

We can check Apache 2 service status using command below

sudo service apache2 status
 * apache2 is running

We can also check whether Apache 2 is listening and on which port using 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 Forma LMS.

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 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 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 Forma LMS

Now we have a secure MySQL installation, time to create a database and user for formalms 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 a new database named formalms using command below:

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

Create a User for F orma LMS

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

Don't forget to change the password formalms123secret below with better password.

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `formalms`.* TO 'formalms'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'formalms123secret';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

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

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 formalms is PHP 5. We will install PHP 5 and several common PHP libraries.

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

Restart Apache 2 process so the changes will be applied:

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Install Forma LMS

All prerequisites are already installed. We're ready to install formalms. The latest stable version of formalms is available Forma LMS download page.

At the time of this writing, the latest stable version is version 1.4.2, let's download formalms compressed file using wget.

$ wget -c "" -O

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 formalms using unzip

$ unzip -d formalms

Move formalms folder to Apache directory:

$ sudo mv formalms /var/www

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

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

The Forma LMS files are ready, now let's create Apache Virtual Host configuration to serve formalms.

Configure Apache Virtual Host for http Only

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

<VirtualHost *:80>

DocumentRoot /var/www/formalms

<Directory /var/www/formalms> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted </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 formalms installation.

Enable the site using a2ensite command.

$ sudo a2ensite formalms

Reload apache2 process so it read the new virtualhost configuration:

$ sudo service apache2 reload

FormaLMS Setup Wizard

Now open FormaLMS address. In the first step we can choose installation language.

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Step 2 is system check, only LDAP that have red status, since we don't plan to use LDAP in this tutorial we can ignore this.

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Step 3 is the license agreement. FormaLMS is release under GNU General Public License version 2. You can read the complete license and then check I agree with the term of the license checkbox. Click Next step

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Step 4 is base URL and database configuration.

Input FormaLMS URL that you plan to use and input database name and credential that we created before.

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Step 5 is admin configuration. Input administrator username, first name, last name, email and password that you want to use.

Also choose languages that you want to install. I choose English and Indonesian.

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Step 6 will import database schema and install language that we already choose on previous step.

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Installation complete. You can click FormaLMS home URL.

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We will be redirected to formaLMS homepage where we can login to FormaLMS using admin credential that we created on setup wizard.

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After successfully login we will go to FormaLMS dashboard.

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Configure https only site for FormaLMS

Secure connection is now a requirement for web application.

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/formalms-ssl.conf with contents below. Don't forget to change:

<VirtualHost *:80>
   Redirect permanent /

<VirtualHost *:443>


DocumentRoot /var/www/formalms

<Directory /var/www/formalms> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory>

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

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

Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000"



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

$ sudo a2dissite formalms
$ sudo a2ensite formalms-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 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 formalms on Ubuntu 14.04.

We installed all the prerequisites, create user and database on MySQL for Forma LMS and also configure Apache 2 virtual hosts to be able to serve formalms.

We also configure https settings for formalms so we run Forma LMS securely.

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