How to Install Craft CMS on CentOS 7

Updated on June 15, 2018
How to Install Craft CMS on CentOS 7 header image

Craft CMS is an open source CMS written in PHP. Craft CMS source code is hosted on GitHub. This guide will show you how to install Craft CMS on a fresh CentOS 7 Vultr instance.


Server Requirements

  • PHP 5.3.0 - 7.1.x with safe mode disabled
  • MySQL 5.1.0 or later, with the InnoDB storage engine installed
  • A web server (Apache, Nginx, IIS)
  • A minimum of 32MB of memory allocated to PHP
  • A minimum of 20MB of free disk space
  • A minimum of 1MB of database space

Required PHP Extensions

  • Reflection Extension
  • PCRE Extension
  • SPL Extension
  • PDO Extension
  • PDO MySQL Extension
  • Mcrypt Extension
  • GD Extension with FreeType Support (unless ImageMagick Extension is installed)
  • OpenSSL Extension
  • Multibyte String Extension
  • JSON Extension
  • cURL
  • crypt() with BLOWFISH_CRYPT enabled

Optional PHP Extensions

  • DOM Extension
  • iconv Extension
  • ImageMagick Extension
  • SimpleXML

Before you begin

Check CentOS version.

cat /etc/centos-release
# CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core)

Create a new non-root user account with sudo access and switch to it.

useradd -c "John Doe" johndoe && passwd johndoe
usermod -aG wheel johndoe
su - johndoe

NOTE: Replace johndoe with your username.

Set up the timezone.

timedatectl list-timezones
sudo timedatectl set-timezone 'Region/City'

Ensure that your system is up to date.

sudo yum update -y

Install required and useful packages.

sudo yum install -y wget vim unzip bash-completion

Disable SELinux.

sudo setenforce 0

Step 1 - Install PHP and required PHP extensions

CentOS does not provide the latest PHP version in its default software repositories. We’ll need to add a Webtatic YUM repo. For steps on how to do that, you can follow this Vultr guide.

sudo yum install -y php71w php71w-cli php71w-fpm php71w-mysql php71w-mcrypt php71w-gd php71w-mbstring php71w-json php71w-curl php71w-xml php71w-common

Check PHP version.

php --version
# PHP 7.1.14 (cli) (built: Feb  4 2018 09:05:29) ( NTS )
# Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
# Zend Engine v3.1.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies

Start and enable php-fpm service.

sudo systemctl start php-fpm.service
sudo systemctl enable php-fpm.service

Step 2 - Install MariaDB and create database

Download and install MariaDB.

sudo vim /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB.repo

# Copy/paste this to the /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB.repo file

name = MariaDB
baseurl =

sudo yum install -y MariaDB-server MariaDB-client

Check MariaDB version.

mysql --version && mysqld --version
# mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.2.13-MariaDB, for Linux (x86_64) using readline 5.1
# mysqld  Ver 10.2.13-MariaDB for Linux on x86_64 (MariaDB Server)

Start and enable MariaDB.

sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

Run the mysql_secure_installation script to improve the security of your MariaDB installation.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Log in to MariaDB as the root user.

mysql -u root -p
# Enter password:

Create a new MariaDB database and user, and remember the credentials.

create database dbname;
grant all on dbname.* to 'username' identified by 'password';
flush privileges;

Exit MySQL.


Step 3 - Install and configure NGINX

Install NGINX server.

sudo yum install -y nginx

Check NGINX version.

sudo nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.12.2

Start and enable NGINX service.

sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

Configure NGINX. Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/craft.conf and copy/paste the following.

server {
  listen [::]:80;
  listen 80;

  root /var/www/craft/public;

  index index.html index.htm index.php;
  charset utf-8;

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

  location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;
    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
    fastcgi_index index.php;
    include fastcgi_params;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $fastcgi_path_info;
    fastcgi_param HTTP_PROXY "";       

Test NGINX configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload NGINX.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Step 4 - Download and install Craft CMS

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/craft

Change ownership of the /var/www/craft directory to johndoe.

sudo chown -R johndoe:johndoe /var/www/craft

Navigate to document root.

cd /var/www/craft

Download the latest stable release of Craft CMS.


Unzip Craft CMS.


Tell Craft how to connect to your database.

vim craft/config/db.php

Change ownership of the /var/www/craft directory to nginx.

sudo chown -R nginx:nginx /var/www/craft

Run sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf and set user and group to nginx. Initially, it will be set to user and group apache.

sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
# user = nginx
# group = nginx

Restart php-fpm.service.

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm.service

Now that everything’s set up, point your browser to and follow the Craft installer.

To access Craft's administrative interface, append /admin to your IP/domain.