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Bolt is a lightweight content management system based on PHP. It is build from the beginning on Silex microftamework which makes it easy to start working on small applications. Bolt provides a good alternative for developers looking for a modern PHP system in place on WordPress. In this blog post we will be performing an installation of Bolt CMS with MySQL on Ubuntu 20.04.

Cool features of Bolt CMS

  • Clean architecture built with Silex, very easy to learn
  • Standard components for Forms and Database
  • Clean purpose, not trying to solve every problem

First update and upgrade your server before installations

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

Also Set your timezone with the below command

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Reboot your system after updates

sudo reboot

Install required packages

The below packages are required for the installation of Bolt, run the below command to install them:

sudo apt install -y curl wget vim git unzip socat bash-completion apt-transport-https

Install PHP on Ubuntu

Here, we are going to install PHP 7.2 and some of the required modules. We’ll add ppa:ondrej/php PPA repository which has the build packages of PHP.

sudo apt -y install software-properties-common 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php 
sudo apt-get update

Install php 7.2 and its required modules

sudo apt install -y php7.2 php7.2-cli php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-zip php7.2-pgsql php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-curl php7.2-gd php7.2-mysql php7.2-intl php7.2-json php7.2-opcache php7.2-xml

Install Nginx on Ubuntu

Run the below command to install Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04 server machine.

sudo apt-get install nginx

Start and enable Nginx with the following commands:

sudo systemctl start nginx
sudo systemctl enable nginx

Install MySQL and Create a Database for Bolt

sudo apt -y install mysql-server
sudo systemctl start mysql
sudo systemctl enable mysql 

Secure mysql installation

$ sudo mysql_secure_istallation
Would you like to setup VALIDATE PASSWORD plugin? N 
New password: your_secure_password 
Re-enter new password: your_secure_password 
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

Connect to mysql to create a database for Bolt

sudo mysql -u root -p 

Enter root password created above. Once connected, run the following commands to create a database and database user.

CREATE USER 'bolt'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mypassword';
GRANT ALL ON bolt.* TO 'bolt'@'localhost'; 
mysql> exit

Configure Nginx for Bolt CMS

Create a file called bolt.conf in nginx path as shown.

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/bolt.conf

Add the following content into the created file

server { 
   listen 80; 
   listen [::]:80; 
   root /var/www/bolt; 
   index  index.php index.html index.htm; 

   location / { 
   try_files           $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string; 

   location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) { 
   try_files            /index.php =404; 
   fastcgi_split_path_info  ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$; 
   fastcgi_index            index.php; 
   fastcgi_pass             unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock; 
   include                  fastcgi_params; 
   fastcgi_param   PATH_INFO       $fastcgi_path_info; 
   fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name; 

  location = /bolt { 
   try_files                $uri /index.php?$query_string; 

  location ^~ /bolt/ { 
   try_files                 $uri /index.php?$query_string; 


Enable the created website by creating a simlink as shown:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/bolt.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/bolt.conf

Check nginx configiration and restart nginx

$ sudo nginx -t
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful
$ sudo systemctl restart nginx

Download Bolt CMS on Ubuntu 20.04

Change to your root directory

cd /var/www/

Now download the latest version of Bolt CMS from github with the below command:

sudo git clone

Once downloaded, you should see a directory named ‘bolt’. Change to the directory and install bolt

cd bolt
sudo composer install

Set up Bolt permissions

Bolt directory should be owned by nginx.

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/bolt 
chmod -R 755 /var/www/bolt

Configure bolt configuration file

sudo cp app/config/config.yml.dist app/config/config.yml

Now open Bolt from your browser to continue with the installations: You should get a page as below. Fill the requirements to create a user.

How to set up bolt cms on ubuntu 20.04

Once you submit the user settings, you should be taken to a page as shown

How to set up bolt cms on ubuntu 20.04 01

You should be done with installation. To access Bolt CMS admin, append Bolt on your url: Enjoy working with Bolt CMS! Remember, below are more interesting guides!!

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