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Install Fork CMS on CentOS 7: A Complete Tutorial

Fork is an open source CMS written in PHP. Fork’s source code is hosted on GitHub.
In this tutorial, we will teach you how to install Fork CMS on a fresh CentOS 7.4 DreamVPS instance.
Read what we have already covered on CMS and Centos Topics in our tutorial series;

  1. Installing Fuel CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS : A Complete Guide
  2. How to Install Microweber on CentOS 7


  • PHP 7.1 or higher.
  • MySQL 5.0 or higher.
  • NGINX or Apache 2.0 with .htaccess, mod rewrite, mod expires (optional but recommended) and mod deflate (optional) enabled.


Before you Begin

Check the 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, required PHP extensions, NGINX and MySQL

CentOS does not provide the latest PHP version in its default software repositories. You will need to add a ‘Webtatic YUM’ repo.
Download and install PHP 7.2 and required PHP extensions.

sudo yum install -y php72w-cli php72w-fpm php72w-common php72w-mbstring php72w-gd php72w-intl php72w-mysql php72w-xml

Check the PHP version.

php --version
PHP 7.2.2 (cli) (built: Feb  4 2018 10:14:07) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies

Install Nginx.

sudo vim /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx_mainline.repo
# Copy/paste this to the /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx_mainline.repo file
name=nginx repo
wget https://nginx.org/keys/nginx_signing.key
sudo rpm --import nginx_signing.key
rm nginx_signing.key
sudo yum install -y nginx

Check the Nginx version.

sudo nginx -v

Start and enable Nginx.

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

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 = https://yum.mariadb.org/10.2/centos7-amd64
sudo yum install -y MariaDB-server MariaDB-client

Check the MariaDB version.

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

Start and enable MariaDB.

sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start 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';
Exit MySQL.


Step 2 – Configure NGINX

Run ‘sudo vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/fork.conf’ and populate it with the following.

server {
    listen 80;
    root /var/www/fork;
    index index.php index.html;
    server_name example.com;
    location / {
        # Checks whether the requested url exists as a file $uri or directory $uri/ in the root, else redirect to /index.php.
        try_files $uri $uri/ @redirects;
    location @redirects {
        rewrite ^ /index.php;
    location ~ \.php$ {
        try_files $uri =404;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_pass; # Make sure to doublecheck this!
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        fastcgi_read_timeout 60;
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    # Don't pollute the logs with common requests
    location = /robots.txt  { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
    location = /favicon.ico { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
    # As Fork CMS has the app_root as doc_root, we need to restrict access to a few things for security purposes!
    location ~* ^/(composer\..*|vendor\/.*|Procfile$|\.git\/.*|src\/Console.*|.*\.gitignore|\.editorconfig|\.travis.yml|autoload\.php|bower\.json|phpunit\.xml\.dist|.*\.md|app\/logs\/.*|app\/config\/.*|src\/Frontend\/Cache\/CompiledTemplates.*|src\/Frontend\/Cache\/Locale\/.*\.php|src\/Frontend\/Cache\/Navigation\/.*\.php|src\/Frontend\/Cache\/Search\/.*|src\/Backend\/Cache\/CompiledTemplates\/.*|src\/Backend\/Cache\/Locale\/.*\.php)$ {
        deny all;
        access_log off;
        log_not_found off;
    # Deny access to dot-files.
    location ~ /\. {
        deny all;
        access_log off;
        log_not_found off;

A summary of the changes that you will be making are as follows.

  • Change the value of the root directive to point to the correct location of your website, such as ‘/var/www/fork’.
  • Change the value of the ‘server_name’ directive to point to your domain name or IP address.
  • Make sure you check if ‘fastcgi_pass’ is set correctly.

Test the NGINX configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload NGINX.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service


Step 3 – Download and install Composer

Download Composer dependencies.

sudo yum install -y curl git unzip

Download and install Composer, the dependency manager for PHP.

php -r "copy('https://getcomposer.org/installer', 'composer-setup.php');"
php -r "if (hash_file('SHA384', 'composer-setup.php') === '544e09ee996cdf60ece3804abc52599c22b1f40f4323403c44d44fdfdd586475ca9813a858088ffbc1f233e9b180f061') { echo 'Installer verified'; } else { echo 'Installer corrupt'; unlink('composer-setup.php'); } echo PHP_EOL;"
php composer-setup.php
php -r "unlink('composer-setup.php');"
sudo mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Check the Composer version.

composer --version
# Composer version 1.6.3 2018-01-31 16:28:17


Step 4 – Download and install Fork CMS via Composer

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/fork

Change ownership of the ‘/var/www/fork’ directory to ‘johndoe’.

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

Download the latest stable release of Fork CMS from the command line.

cd /var/www/fork
composer create-project forkcms/forkcms .
Change ownership of the /var/www/fork directory to nginx.
sudo chown -R nginx:nginx /var/www/fork
Run sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf and set user and group to nginx.
sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
# user = nginx
# group = nginx

Restart ‘php-fpm.service’.

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm.service

Edit the ‘app/config/parameters.yml.dist’ file and set database information.

sudo vim /var/www/fork/app/config/parameters_install.yml

Create ‘/var/lib/php/session’ directory and change its ownership to user Nginx.

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/php/session
sudo chown -R nginx:nginx /var/lib/php/session

Finally, using your preferred web browser, open your site and follow the Fork CMS installer. After following the installer you should have Fork up and running. To access the Fork admin area just append ‘/private’ to your site URL.

Updated on December 23, 2018

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