Running ActiveCollab 3 On Nginx (LEMP) On Debian Wheezy/Ubuntu 12.10

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
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Last edited 04/10/2013

This tutorial shows how you can install and run activeCollab 3 on a Debian Wheezy or Ubuntu 12.10 system that has nginx installed instead of Apache (LEMP = Linux + nginx (pronounced “engine x”) + MySQL + PHP). nginx is a HTTP server that uses much less resources than Apache and delivers pages a lot of faster, especially static files.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

1 Preliminary Note

I want to install activeCollab in a vhost called here with the document root /var/www/

You should have a working LEMP installation, as shown in this tutorial:

A note for Ubuntu users:

Because we must run all the steps from this tutorial with root privileges, we can either prepend all commands in this tutorial with the string sudo, or we become root right now by typing

sudo su

2 Installing APC

APC is a free and open PHP opcode cacher for caching and optimizing PHP intermediate code. It’s similar to other PHP opcode cachers, such as eAccelerator and XCache. It is strongly recommended to have one of these installed to speed up your PHP page.

APC can be installed as follows:

apt-get install php-apc

Reload PHP-FPM as follows:

/etc/init.d/php5-fpm reload

3 Installing activeCollab

The document root of my web site is /var/www/ – if it doesn’t exist, create it as follows:

mkdir -p /var/www/

Next download activeCollab from the activeCollab web site (you need to buy a license – it’s not freeware) to your local computer; from there, upload it to your server (e.g. the /tmp directory), unzip it and place it in your document root:

cd /tmp
cd for-upload/
mv * /var/www/

It is recommended to make the document root and the activeCollab files in it writable by the nginx daemon which is running as user www-data and group www-data:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/

If you haven’t already created a MySQL database for activeCollab (including a MySQL activeCollab user), you can do that as follows (I name the database activecollab in this example, and the user is called ac_admin, and his password is ac_admin_password):

mysqladmin -u root -p create activecollab

mysql -u root -p

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON activecollab.* TO ‘ac_admin’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘ac_admin_password’;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON activecollab.* TO ‘ac_admin’@’localhost.localdomain’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘ac_admin_password’;



Next we create an nginx vhost configuration for our vhost in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/ directory as follows:

vi /etc/nginx/sites-available/

server {
       listen 80;
       root /var/www/;

       if ($http_host != "") {
                 rewrite ^$request_uri permanent;

       index index.php index.html;

       location = /favicon.ico {
                log_not_found off;
                access_log off;

       location = /robots.txt {
                allow all;
                log_not_found off;
                access_log off;

       # Deny all attempts to access hidden files such as .htaccess, .htpasswd, .DS_Store (Mac).
       location ~ /\. {
                deny all;
                access_log off;
                log_not_found off;

       location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ /index.phppath_info=$uri&$args;
                access_log off;
                expires max;

       location ~ \.php$ {
                try_files $uri =404;
                include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
                fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
                fastcgi_index index.php;
                fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
                fastcgi_intercept_errors on;

To enable the vhost, we create a symlink to it from the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ directory:

cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/

Reload nginx for the changes to take effect:

/etc/init.d/nginx reload

Now we can launch the web-based activeCollab installer by going to – click on the Validate button to have the installer check if the system requirements are fulfilled:

(JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to view the large image as an image overlay.)

If the system requirements are fulfilled, you can now fill in your database details and click on Connect:

(JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to view the large image as an image overlay.)

Next, specify an email address and password for the administrator account, accept the license agreement and click on Install:

(JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to view the large image as an image overlay.)

That’s it – click on the Log in Now! button or go to

(JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to view the large image as an image overlay.)

… to log into activeCollab:

(JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to view the large image as an image overlay.)

This is how the activeCollab interface looks:

(JavaScript must be enabled in your browser to view the large image as an image overlay.)

4 Links

About The Author

Falko Timme is the owner of nginx WebhostingTimme Hosting (ultra-fast nginx web hosting). He is the lead maintainer of HowtoForge (since 2005) and one of the core developers of ISPConfig (since 2000). He has also contributed to the O’Reilly book “Linux System Administration”.

Check out the original source here., document root, eaccelerator, intermediate code, intermediatec ode, local computer, roo tprivileges, root privileges, tmp directory

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