How To Install Open Source Social Network on Ubuntu 16.04

Install Open Source Social Network on Ubuntu 16.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure Open Source Social Network on your Ubuntu 16.04. For those of you who didn’t know, Opensource-Social Network (OSSN) is a social networking software written in PHP. It allows you to make a social networking website and helps your members build social relationships, with people who share similar professional or personal interests.

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 Open Source Social Network (OSSN) on a Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 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.
  • An active internet connection.
  • 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 Open Source Social Network on Ubuntu 16.04

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

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2. Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP) server.

A Ubuntu 16.04 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here. Also, install all required PHP modules:

apt-get install php7.0-mysql php7.0-curl php7.0-json php7.0-cgi php7.0 libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-mcrypt

Step 3. Installing Open Source Social Network.

The first thing to do is to go to OSSN’s download page and download the latest stable version of OSSN, At the moment of writing this article it is version 4.2:

cd /opt/
wget -O
unzip -d /var/www/html/

We will need to change some folders permissions:

chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/html/ossn/

Step 4. Configuring MariaDB for Open Source Social Network.

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 a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MariaDB.


Configure it like this:

- 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 the OSSN. 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 OSSN installation:

MariaDB [(none)]> SET GLOBAL sql_mode='';
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE DATABASE ossndb;
MariaDB [(none)]> CREATE USER 'ossnuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'y0ur-pAssW0RD';
MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON ossndb.* TO 'ossnuser'@'localhost';
MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES; 
MariaDB [(none)]> \q

Step 5. Configuring Apache web server for Open Source Social Network.

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

sudo a2enmod rewrite
touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/ossn.conf
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/ossn.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/ossn.conf
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/ossn.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/ossn/
<Directory /var/www/html/ossn/>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/ common

Next, You can edit the PHP configuration file:

nano /etc/php/7.0/cli/php.ini

And modify these lines:

allow_url_fopen = On
file_uploads = On
upload_max_filesize = 32M

OSSN also needs a directory for storing the uploaded files such as images. For security reasons we will create this directory outside of the document root directory:

mkdir -p /var/www/ossndatadir

Finally, we can restart the Apache webserver so that the changes take place:

systemctl restart apache2.service

Step 6. Accessing Open Source Social Network.

Open Source Social Network will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to or http://server-ip-address/ and complete the required steps to finish the installation. If you are using a firewall, please open port 80 to enable access to the control panel. Log in to the OSSN administration back-end and configure OSSN according to your needs.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed the Open Source Social Network. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Open Source Social Network on Ubuntu 16.04 systems. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Open Source Social Network 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, 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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