Install Polr on Ubuntu 18.04

Updated on December 23, 2019
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Polr is a free and open-source link shortener written in PHP and Lumen. It allows you to quickly host your own URL shortener. It's significant features include a management dashboard, detailed link analytics, and an API. This tutorial will guide you through the process of installing Polr on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.


This tutorial requires a Vultr Cloud Compute instance with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and root access, as well as a valid domain name pointing to your server.

Install Apache

Polr requires a web server, a MySQL database, and PHP. For this tutorial we will be using the Apache web server.

Update the repository list.

apt-get update

Install the Apache webserver.

apt-get install apache2 -y

Disable the default Apache site configuration and delete the default Apache index.html file.

a2dissite 000-default.conf
rm /var/www/html/index.html

Create a new Apache configuration file for the Polr installation.

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/polr.conf

Paste the following snippet into the newly created file, replacing with your own domain name.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/public"
    <Directory "/var/www/html/public">
        Require all granted
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
   ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
   CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Enable the configuration.

a2ensite polr.conf

Polr requires Apache's mod_rewrite enabled. Enable the Apache rewrite module.

a2enmod rewrite

Restart the Apache service.

systemctl restart apache2.service

Install PHP

Polr requires PHP and a number of PHP modules.

apt-get install php php-pdo php-mysql php-mbstring php-tokenizer php-json php-curl -y

Install MySQL & Create a Database

Polr stores data in an SQL database. Install the MySQL server.

apt-get install mysql-server -y

Secure the MySQL installation by running the provided script.


When prompted for a root password, choose a safe password and proceed through the installation.

Would you like to setup VALIDATE PASSWORD plugin? [Y/N] N
New password: <Your Password>
Re-enter new password: <Your 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

Login to the MySQL console.

mysql -u root -p

When asked for a password, enter the root password created earlier. Once you are logged in to the console, create a new database for Polr.


Create a new database user and grant it privileges to the created database. You can replace username and password with the username and password of your choice.

mysql>GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on polr.* to 'username'@'localhost' identified by 'password';

Exit the MySQL console.


Install Polr

Clone the Polr repository from Github.

cd /var/www/html
git clone --depth=1

Move the downloaded files to the root of the webserver.

mv ./polr/.[!.]* . && mv ./polr/* . && rm -rf polr

Composer is required to install dependencies. Download the Composr package and install the unzip module used by it.

curl -sS | php
apt-get install unzip -y

Install the dependencies with Composer.

php composer.phar install --no-dev -o

Copy the provided configuration file to enable the web-based installer.

cp .env.setup .env

Set the appropriate file permissions.

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

Complete the installation

Navigate to to launch the web-based Polr installer and enter the required information. Use the MySQL credentials created earlier for database configuration. Once you have submitted the setup form, the Polr installation will be completed.