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Install CMSimple on Ubuntu

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Basic Information

Many websites in the internet run on Content Management Systems (CMS) nowadays. A CMS provides a relatively easy way to publish web content to the internet. The good thing about a CMS is that no software development skills are necessary. Although there are often good templates and plugins provided the fine tuning to have a CMS with a fancy design still can be tricky.

CMS with high market shares are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!. These names are around all the time when it is about CMS and web page development. These systems are put on web servers like the Apache web server and they use a database system like MySQL to store the content like blog posts and pages in it.

I am sure there are use cases for CMS where it can be an advantage to not store content in a database system. Webhosters for example limit the amount of available databases to their customers – means in short: more databases cost more money.

I want to introduce a CMS which doesn’t need a database to store its content. The name of the CMS is “CMSimple”. All the pages and the contents of CMSimple are stored in files. The next paragraphs show the procedure to have CMSimple up and running.

Here are the steps I took to install CMSimple on a Ubuntu PC for test purposes:

1. Download

Open a terminal and download the Zip File from the CMSimple download page:

sudo wget https://www.cmsimple.org/downloads_cmsimple50/CMSimple_5-8.zip /tmp
sudo unzip /tmp/CMSimple_5-8.zip

2. Install the Apache2 Web Server

sudo apt-get --yes install apache2 apache2-data apache2-utils
sudo apt-get --yes install libapache2-mod-php

The command above installs the Apache web server on Ubuntu. The next command starts the web server:

sudo service apache2 start

3. Put the CMS on the Webserver

Now the downloaded and extracted files need to be put to the web server directory and permissions need to be modified:

sudo mkdir /var/www/html/cms
sudo cp -r /tmp/CMSimple_5-8/* /var/www/html/cms/
sudo rm -rf /var/www/html/cms/2*
sudo cp /var/www/html/cms/setup/setupControl.php /var/www/html/cms/
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data  /var/www/html/cms/*

4. Login and change the Password

The developers of CMSimple write on their page that there is a limit of 5 minutes for you to change the password. After that time you have to start all over again.

So open a browser and type the following URL to the address line of the browser:


Set a password with at lease 5 positions. I personally recommend to set a 16 positions complex password on production pages.

On the next screen type the same password in to the “Password:” input box. Leave the “User (optional):” input box blank.


Now the hard work just starts. Customize your page with text, images and all the stuff a fancy page requires. As mentioned above the content is just stored in the file system. This can be also an performance advantage and the loading time could be reduced compared to other extensive CMS.

If you are doing a technology evaluation currently, give CMSimple a chance. Small web projects could be done for sure with this CMS. New designs, so called templates, can be easily created for CMSimple.

If you are interested in a CMS with a database as a data storage, check out my WordPress, Joomla! or Confluence tutorial!

Have fun 😊

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