How to Install Automad CMS on Fedora Linux

Automad is a file-based open-source content management system and template engine written in PHP. Instead of using a database, Automad uses human-readable text files to store content, hence making it portable and easy to install. It can also be version-controlled by using Git or Mercurial. It offers database features like searching and tagging and provides a template engine that allows anyone to create their themes and templates.


You require the following software

  • PHP version 7.3 or higher.
  • Web server software

Before we begin, let’s confirm if our system is running on Fedora 30 version. Issue the command below.

cat /etc/fedora-release
Fedora release 30 (Thirty)

Create a non-root user with sudo privileges.

 useradd -c "Jane Doe" janedoe && passwd janedoe

Proceed to add the user to the wheel group since this group has full admin privileges. 

sudo usermod -aG wheel janedoe

Switch to the user you just created

su - janedoe

Check for system updates and update the system packages.

sudo dnf check-upgrade && sudo dnf upgrade -y

Configure Date and time

The next step is to configure the date and time for your region’s timezone using the timedatectl utility.

To list all the available timezones, issue the following command

timedatectl list-timezones

Now issue the following command to change the current timezone

timedatectl set-timezone <time_zone>

Replace timezone with your preferred timezone value from the timedatectl list-timezones command.


Let’s install PHP and its dependencies

dnf install php

Install the following basic PHP extensions

sudo dnf -y install php-cli php-fpm php-mysqlnd php-zip php-devel php-gd php-mcrypt php-mbstring php-curl php-xml php-pear php-bcmath php-json

To confirm if PHP has installed, issue the following command

 php -v

You should obtain PHP 7. 3 or higher, as shown below.

PHP 7.3.11 (cli) (built: Oct 22 2019 08:11:04) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.3.11, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
[root@fedora-s-1vcpu-1gb-nyc3-01 ~]# 

Start and enable the PHP-FPM service using the following commands

systemctl start php-fpm
systemctl enable php-fpm

You should obtain the following output

Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/ → /usr/lib/systemd/system/php-fpm.service.


NGINX, pronounced like “engine-ex” is a popular open-source web server used as a web server, reverse proxy, HTTP cache load balancer well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server. Nginx is powering over 400 million websites worldwide. In addition, it also offers low memory usage and high concurrency since it uses an asynchronous, event-driven approach for handling connections.

sudo dnf install -y nginx

You should see something like this:

Last metadata expiration check: 0:37:48 ago on Thu 07 Nov 2019 09:03:43 PM EAT.
Dependencies resolved.
 Package Architecture Version Repository Size
 nginx x86_64 1:1.16.1-1.fc30 updates 548 k
Installing dependencies:
 gperftools-libs x86_64 2.7-5.fc30 fedora 287 k
 libunwind x86_64 1.3.1-2.fc30 fedora 63 k
 nginx-mimetypes noarch 2.1.48-5.fc30 fedora 20 

Start the NGINX server by executing the following command.

systemctl start nginx

You can also check the status of the NGINX server by issuing the following command.

systemctl status nginx

You should obtain the following output if iNGINX is active.

? nginx.service - The nginx HTTP and reverse proxy server
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
  Drop-In: /usr/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service.d
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2019-11-07 21:45:56 EAT; 10s ago

Navigate to your server, and you should see something like this:

NGINX Configuration

Automad comes already configured to run on the Apache server, but since you want to install Automad on an NGINX server, you need to create automad.conf file  

Create automad.conf by running the command:

 sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/automad.conf 

Add the following contents to it

server {
  listen 80;
  root /var/www/automad;
  index index.php index.html;
  client_max_body_size 100M;
  location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
  location ~ \.php$ {
   fastcgi_index index.php;
   fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php-fpm/www.sock;
   fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
   include fastcgi_params;

Replace at server_name; with your server name

Test if the configuration file is okay.

 sudo nginx -t

If the configuration file is okay, you should get a message like this:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Install Automad CMS

The last part is to install Automad CMS on your fedora server. The latest version of Automad can be found on the official site.

Create a new directory /var/www/automad and change the ownership to janedoe

sudo mkdir /var/www/automad
sudo chown -R janedoe:janedoe /var/www/automad

Download and extract the latest version, unzip it and move it to the var/www/automad directory

unzip automad-master

Go into the automad directory

cd /var/www/automad

Move all the files to the document root

mv automad-master/* . && mv automad-master/.* .

Dont forget to remove the residue files.

sudo rm 
sudo rm -rf automad-master

Change the ownership of Automad to nginx for it to function properly

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

Edit the /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf and change the user and group from apache to nginx. 

sudo nano /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

# user = nginx
# group = nginx

Restart the PHP-FPM service.

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm.service

Reload NGINX for any changes

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

The process is now complete, and you can now navigate to and set up your CMS. The CMS dashboard provides instructions to follow to get Automad set up ready. You should see something like this.

Create a user account and download the file to your local server. Move now the downloaded file  (accounts.php) to your “/config” directory. 

scp accounts.php <user>@server:/var/www/html/automad/config/

The Automad dashboard should be ready to use

You can now logon to the dashboard:

Categorized as Linux