How To Install Open Web Analytics on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Install Open Web Analytics on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Open Web Analytics on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Open Web Analytics (OWA) is an open-source analytic platform, written in PHP. The main purpose of this application is to analyze and monitor how people use your web pages or applications, which then provides you with analytics data for your website. This application can provide you with a complete analysis of a website or app to let you know exactly how your web pages work, and what needs to be improved on. OWA web analytics is used when you want full control over the analysis of your web pages without using third-party services, such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, and many more.

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 Web Analytics on a Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues
  • A non-root sudo useror 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 Web Analytics on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

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 LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, and PHP) server.

An Ubuntu 18.04 LAMP server is required. If you do not have LAMP installed, you can follow our guide here. Also, install all required PHP modules:

apt install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-soap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-intl php7.2-mysql php7.2-cli php7.2-zip php7.2-curl

Step 3. Installing Open Web Analytics (OWA) on Ubuntu.

The first thing to do is to go to Open Web Analytics’s download page and download the latest stable version of Open Web Analytics, At the moment of writing this article it is version 1.6.2:

cd /opt

Unpack the Open Web Analytics archive to the document root directory on your server:

sudo mv Open-Web-Analytics-1.6.2 /var/www/html/owa

We will need to change some folders permissions:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/owa/
sudo chmod 755 /var/www/html/owa/

Step 4. Configuring MariaDB for Open Web Analytics.

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 Open Web Analytics. 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 Open Web Analytics installation:

create database owa;
grant all privileges on owa.* to owa@localhost identified by 'your_strong_password';
flush privileges;

Step 5. Configuring Apache for Open Web Analytics (OWA).

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

touch /etc/apache2/sites-available/owa.conf
ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/owa.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/owa.conf
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/owa.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/owa

<Directory /var/www/html/owa/>
Options FollowSymlinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Save and close the file. Restart the Apache service for the changes to take effect:

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

Step 6. Accessing Open Web Analytics.

Open Web Analytics will be available on HTTP port 80 by default. Open your favorite browser and navigate to or http://server-ip 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.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Open Web Analytics. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Open Web Analytics (OWA) on Ubuntu 18.04 systems. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Open Web Analytics website.

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