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How To Install Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Fork CMS is a free open source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and uses Symphony components. It combines the much-needed intuitive and user-friendly interface with technological innovations and powerful apps that help you create, manage and monitor your website.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt commands in the terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Install the LAMP server.

A Ubuntu 20.04 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here.

Step 3. Installing Composer.

Run the following command to install Composer:

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

Verify your Composer installation:


Step 4. Installing Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04.

By default, Fork CMS is not available on Ubuntu 20.04 base repository. Now we run the commands below to install the latest stable release of Fork from the command line:

composer create-project forkcms/forkcms
sudo mv forkcms/* /var/www/html/

We will need to change some folders permissions:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/

Step 5. Configuring MariaDB.

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script. You should read and below each step carefully which will set the root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MariaDB:


Configure it like this:

- Switch to unix_socket authentication [Y/n] Y
- Set root password? [Y/n] y
- Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
- Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] y
- Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
- Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y

Next, we will need to log in to the MariaDB console and create a database for Fork CMS. Run the following command:

mysql -u root -p

This will prompt you for a password, so enter your MariaDB root password and hit Enter. Once you are logged in to your database server, you need to create a database for Fork CMS installation:

MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE forkdb;
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE USER 'forkuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-strong-password';
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON forkdb.* to forkuser@'localhost';
MariaDB [(none)]> exit

Step 6. Configure Apache.

Now we create a new virtual host directive in Apache. For example, create a new Apache configuration file named ‘fork.conf’ on your virtual server:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/fork.conf

Add the following file:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin admin@your-domain.com
    ServerName your-domain.com
    ServerAlias www.your-domain.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/

    <Directory />
        Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
        AllowOverride All
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
        Require all granted

    <Directory /var/www/html>
        Require all denied

    ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/fork_error_log
    TransferLog /var/log/apache2/fork_access_log

Save and close the file, then restart the Apache webserver so that the changes take place:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2ensite fork.conf
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 7. Set up HTTPS.

We should enable a secure HTTPS connection on Fork CMS. We can obtain a free TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt. Install the Let’s Encrypt client (Certbot) from Ubuntu 20.04 repository:

sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-apache

Next, run the following command to obtain a free TLS certificate using the Apache plugin:

certbot --apache -d your-domain.com

You will be asked to provide your email and accept the term of service:

Enabled Apache rewrite module
Redirecting vhost in /etc/apache2/sites-available/fork.conf to ssl vhost in /etc/apache2/sites-available/fork-le-ssl.conf

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://your-domain.com

You should test your configuration at:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   Your key file has been saved at:
   Your cert will expire on 2022-08-11. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

If the test is successful, reload Apache for the change to take effect:

sudo apache2ctl -t
sudo systemctl reload apache2

Step 8. Configure Firewall.

By default, the UFW firewall is enabled on Ubuntu. Depending on your Apache virtual host configuration file, open ports 80 and 443 to allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic:

sudo ufw allow 80/tcp
sudo ufw allow 443/tcp
sudo ufw reload

Step 9. Accessing Fork CMS Web Interface.

Once successfully installed, open your web browser and access the Fork CMS web interface using the URL https://your-domain.com/install. You should see the Fork CMS containing the login password:

Install Fork CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Fork CMS. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the Fork CMS viewer on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Fork CMS website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to idroot.us, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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