Boonex Dolphin is a popular social networking platform and web application designed for you to create easy-to-use community and social media oriented websites.
With dolphin, you can create small-scale social networks, a community page, or a social club for any topic you wish. Additionally, thanks to its user friendly interface and excellent customizability all through the web interface, you won’t need to know how to program or design websites to get up and running with Dolphin. Let’s get started with the installation.
At the time of this writing, the latest version of Dolphin is 7.3.0 and it requires:
- root access via SSH to the VPS where we plan to install Dolphin
- PHP >= 5.3.0 (PHP 5.5 or later is recommended) with the following PHP extensions enabled: curl, fileinfo, ftp, GD Graphics Library version 2.0.x+ compiled with FreeType fonts (or ImageMagick), JSON, mbstring, mysql, openssl, xsl and zip. Also, short_open_tag option in PHP should be enabled and open_basedir should not have any value.
- Apache Web Server >= 2.0 compiled with mod_rewrite module
- A mail server for sending emails (Sendmail, Postfix etc.)
- MySQL >= 4.1.2 or MariaDB installed on your Linux Cloud VPS (MySQL 5.5 or MariaDB 5.5 or later is recommended)
- JRE 1.6 or higher (some of Dolphin’s features require media streaming capabilities)
- Ability to create cron-jobs and execute files.
Step 1. Connect to your server
To connect to the server via SSH as the root user, use the following command:
ssh root@IP_ADDRESS -p PORT_NUMBER
Make sure to replace “IP_ADDRESS” and “PORT_NUMBER” with the actual server IP address and SSH port number. If you need a different user from root to log in, make sure the account has sudo privileges.
Step 2. Update OS packages
Before we can start with the Dolphin installation, we have to make sure that all Ubuntu OS packages installed on the server are up to date. We can do this by running the following commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
Once that’s done, we can move on to the next step.
Step 3. Install Apache web server
Check whether Apache is already installed and running on your server:
ps aux | grep apache2
We can also check if there are Apache2 packages installed on the server:
dpkg -l | grep apache2
If Apache is already installed on the server, we can skip the Apache installation steps and proceed with JAVA, ImageMagick and PHP installation.
If Apache is not installed, we can install it using:
apt-get install apache2
Once installed, start the Apache server and enable it to start on server boot:
systemctl start apache2 systemctl enable apache2
Step 4. Install JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and ImageMagick
Install Java Runtime Environment:
apt-get install openjdk-8-jre
Check if it is installed:
The output should be similar to this one:
openjdk version "1.8.0_191" OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_191-8u191-b12-0ubuntu0.18.04.1-b12) OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.191-b12, mixed mode)
Step 4.1. Install ImageMagick
Install ImageMagick using the following command:
apt-get install imagemagick
Step 5. Install PHP
Install PHP 7.2 and all of the required PHP modules and other dependencies with the following command:
sudo apt-get install php7.2 php7.2-common libapache2-mod-php7.2 \ php-imagick php7.2-curl php7.2-gd php7.2-mysql php7.2-dev \ php7.2-imap php7.2-intl php7.2-json php7.2-mbstring \ php7.2-xml php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-zip php7.2-xmlrpc \ php-pear php-apcu openssl
Step 6. Install PHP mcrypt
Install the PHP mcrypt module on the server using
sudo apt install php-dev libmcrypt-dev sudo pecl channel-update pecl.php.net sudo pecl install mcrypt-1.0.1
Step 7. Install MariaDB and Create a New Database
We will use MariaDB as our choice of database engine. We can install MariaDB server from the Ubuntu base repository using the following commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install mariadb-server-10.1 mariadb-server-core-10.1
Once the MariaDB installation is complete, run the following commands to start the MariaDB service and enable it to run on server boot:
sudo systemctl start mariadb sudo systemctl enable mariadb
Log in to the MariaDB server as the root user, create a new database and assign a MariaDB user with privileges for accessing and modifying the newly created Dolphin database:
mysql -u root -p mysql> CREATE DATABASE dolphindb; mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON dolphindb.* TO 'dolphinuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'sTr0ng-Pa55w0rd' WITH GRANT OPTION; mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES; mysql> quit
NOTE: Do not forget to replace ‘sTr0ng-Pa55w0rd’ with a strong password (we recommend a combination of letters and numbers and at least 10 characters long).
Step 8. Create an Apache Virtual Host
In order to access the Dolphin instance with a domain name, we need to create a virtual host. For example, create a new Apache configuration file named ‘
dolphin.conf‘ on the Cloud VPS:
Add the following lines:
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin email@example.com DocumentRoot /var/www/dolphin/ ServerName yourdomain.com ServerAlias www.yourdomain.com <Directory /var/www/dolphin/> Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory> ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/yourdomain.com-error_log CustomLog /var/log/apache2/yourdomain.com-access_log common </VirtualHost>
IMPORTANT: Do not forget to replace ‘yourdomain.com‘ with your actual domain name.
Save the file and enable the Apache configuration that we created for Dolphin:
sudo a2ensite dolphin.conf
We can also disable the default Apache virtual host file if needed:
Restart the Apache web server for the changes to take effect:
systemctl restart apache2
Step 9. Configure PHP
Locate the PHP configuration file:
php --ini | grep Loaded
The output should be something like this:
Loaded Configuration File: /etc/php/7.2/cli/php.ini
php.ini configuration file:
Add/modify the following options:
memory_limit = 128M file_uploads = On allow_url_fopen = On allow_url_include = Off upload_max_filesize = 256M short_open_tag = On max_execution_time = 360 default_charset = "UTF-8" extension=mcrypt.so
Make sure that ‘
exec‘ PHP function is allowed (i.e. it is not listed in disable_functions) and ‘
open_basedir‘ is not set:
#php -i | grep -i disable_functions disable_functions => no value => no value #php -i | grep -i open_basedir open_basedir => no value => no value
Once again, restart the Apache web server for the changes to take effect:
service apache2 restart
Download the latest version of Dolphin available at ‘https://github.com/boonex/dolphin.pro’ in the
/opt directory on the server and extract it using the following commands:
cd /opt wget https://github.com/boonex/dolphin.pro/archive/master.zip unzip master.zip
Move the unpacked Dolphin files in the document root directory of your website:
mv dolphin.pro-master /var/www/dolphin
Set the proper file permissions so the web server user can write in certain files and directories of the Dolphin instance:
chown www-data:www-data -R /var/www/dolphin
Also, run the following command to make the ‘
ffmpeg.exe‘ file executable:
chmod 755 /var/www/dolphin/flash/modules/global/app/ffmpeg.exe
Open http://yourdomain.com/ in your favorite web browser and follow the easy instructions: check whether file and directory permissions are set properly on the server and check the paths to website’s document root and scripts.
On the next page, enter 3306 as database host port number, enter the database name, database user and password. On the next page, set a website title, site description, enter your email address and create a new administrator user.
To keep your Dolphin instance secure, remove the write flag from the ‘
chmod -w /var/www/dolphin/inc/
Also, set a new cron job for Dolphin with the following command:
Then add the following lines:
MAILTOfirstname.lastname@example.org * * * * * cd /var/www/dolphin/periodic; /usr/bin/php -q cron.php
Do not forget to change ‘email@example.com‘ with your actual email address, save the file and restart the cron service for the changes to take effect:
service cron restart
After finishing the installation, it is recommended to delete all files and sub-directories from the install directory located in the document root of the Dolphin instance as a security precaution, so run the following command:
rm -rf /var/www/dolphin/install/
That is everything! We successfully installed Dolphin on an Ubuntu 18.04 Cloud VPS. We can now proceed to the admin panel and configure Dolphin, install additional modules etc.