Bolt is a sophisticated, lightweight and simple CMS built with PHP. It is released under the open source MIT-license and source code is hosted as a public repository on Github. Bolt is a tool for Content Management, which strives to be as simple and straightforward as possible. It is quick to set up, easy to configure, uses elegant templates. Bolt is created using modern open source libraries and is best suited to build sites in HTML5 with modern markup. In this tutorial, we will go through the Bolt CMS installation on Fedora 29 system by using Nginx as a web server, MariaDB as a database server, and optionally you can secure transport layer by using client and Let's Encrypt certificate authority to add SSL support.



The system requirements for Bolt are modest, and it should run on any fairly modern web server:

  • PHP version 5.5.9 or higher with the following common PHP extensions: pdo, mysqlnd, pgsql, openssl, curl, gd, intl, json, mbstring, opcache, posix, xml, fileinfo, exif, zip.
  • Access to SQLite (which comes bundled with PHP), or MySQL or PostgreSQL.
  • Apache with mod_rewrite enabled (.htaccess files) or Nginx (virtual host configuration covered below).
  • A minimum of 32MB of memory allocated to PHP.



  • An operating system running Fedora 29.
  • A non-root user with sudo privileges.


Initial steps


Check your Fedora version:

cat /etc/fedora-release
# Fedora release 29 (Twenty Nine)


Set up the timezone:

timedatectl list-timezones
sudo timedatectl set-timezone 'Region/City'


Update your operating system packages (software). This is an important first step because it ensures you have the latest updates and security fixes for your operating system's default software packages:

sudo dnf check-update; sudo dnf update -y


Install some essential packages that are necessary for basic administration of Fedora operating system:

sudo dnf install -y curl wget vim git unzip socat bash-completion


Step 1 - Install PHP and necessary PHP extensions


Install PHP, as well as the necessary PHP extensions:

sudo dnf install -y php-cli php-fpm php-common php-mbstring php-zip php-pgsql php-sqlite3 php-curl php-gd php-mysqlnd php-intl php-json php-opcache php-xml php-process


To show PHP compiled in modules, you can run:

php -m

. . .
. . .


Check PHP version:

php --version

# PHP 7.2.14 (cli) (built: Jan  8 2019 09:59:17) ( NTS )
# Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
# Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
#     with Zend OPcache v7.2.14, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies


Start and enable PHP-FPM service:

sudo systemctl start php-fpm.service
sudo systemctl enable php-fpm.service


We can move on to the next step, which is the database installation and setup.


Step 2 - Install MariaDB and create a database for Bolt CMS


Bolt CMS supports MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL databases. In this tutorial, we will use MariaDB as a database server.


Install MariaDB database server:

sudo dnf install -y mariadb-server


Check MariaDB version:

mysql --version
# mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.3.11-MariaDB, for Linux (x86_64) using readline 5.1


Start and enable MariaDB service:

sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service


Run mysql_secure installation script to improve MariaDB security and set the password for MariaDB root user:

sudo mysql_secure_installation


Answer each of the questions:

Would you like to setup VALIDATE PASSWORD plugin? N
New password: your_secure_password
Re-enter new password: your_secure_password
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y


Connect to MariaDB shell as the root user:

sudo mysql -u root -p
# Enter password


Create an empty MariaDB database and user for Bolt CMS and remember the credentials:

MariaDB> GRANT ALL ON dbname.* TO 'username' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';



Exit fromMariaDB:

MariaDB> exit


Replace dbname, username and password with your own names.


Step 3 - Install client and obtain Let's Encrypt certificate (optional)


Securing your website with HTTPS is not necessary, but it is a good practice to secure your site traffic. In order to obtain TLS certificate from Let's Encrypt we will use client. is a pure unix shell software for obtaining TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt with zero dependencies. 


Download and install

sudo su - root
git clone
./ --install --accountemail
source ~/.bashrc
cd ~


Check version: --version
# v2.8.1


Obtain RSA and ECC/ECDSA certificates for your domain/hostname:

# RSA 2048 --issue --standalone -d --keylength 2048
# ECDSA --issue --standalone -d --keylength ec-256


If you want fake certificates for testing you can add --staging flage to the above commands.


After running the above commands, your certificates and keys will be in:

For RSA: /home/username/ directory.

For ECC/ECDSA: /home/username/example.com_ecc directory.


To list your issued certs you can run: --list


Create directories to store your certs. We will use /etc/letsencrypt directory.

mkdir -p /etc/letsecnrypt/
sudo mkdir -p /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc


Install/copy certificates to /etc/letsencrypt directory.

# RSA --install-cert -d --cert-file /etc/letsencrypt/ --key-file /etc/letsencrypt/ --fullchain-file /etc/letsencrypt/ --reloadcmd "sudo systemctl reload nginx.service"
# ECC/ECDSA --install-cert -d --ecc --cert-file /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/cert.pem --key-file /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/private.key --fullchain-file /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/fullchain.pem --reloadcmd "sudo systemctl reload nginx.service"


All the certificates will be automatically renewed every 60 days.


After obtaining certs exit from the root user and return back to normal sudo user:



Step 4 - Install NGINX and configure NGINX for Bolt CMS


Bolt CMS can work fine with many popular web server software. In this tutorial, we selected Nginx. If you prefer Apache web server over Nginx, check out to learn more.


Download and install Nginx from the Fedora repository:

sudo dnf install -y nginx


Check the Nginx version:

nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.14.1


Start and enable Nginx service:

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


Configure Nginx for Bolt CMS by running:

sudo vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/bolt.conf


And populate the file with the following configuration:

server {

  listen 80;
  listen 443 ssl http2;
  root /var/www/bolt/public;
  index index.php;

  # RSA
  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/;
  # ECC
  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/fullchain.pem;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/private.key;

  location / {
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

  location = /bolt {
    try_files $uri /index.php?$query_string;

  location ^~ /bolt/ {
    try_files $uri /index.php?$query_string;

  location ~ /index.php/(.*) {
    rewrite ^/index.php/(.*) /$1 permanent;

  location ~ /\. { deny all; }
  location ~ /\.(htaccess|htpasswd)$ { deny all; }
  location ~ /\.(?:db)$ { deny all; }
  location ~* /(.*)\.(?:markdown|md|twig|yaml|yml)$ { deny all; }

  location ~ [^/]\.php(/|$) {
    include default.d/php.conf;
    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+?\.php)(/.*)$;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    fastcgi_param HTTP_PROXY "";
    fastcgi_param HTTPS $https if_not_empty;
    fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php-fpm/www.sock;



NOTE: For complete and production ready Nginx config for Bolt CMS check out


Check Nginx configuration for syntax errors:

sudo nginx -t


Reload Nginx service:

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service


Step 5 - Install Bolt CMS


Create /var/www directory:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/


Navigate to /var/www directory:

cd /var/www/


Download the latest release Bolt CMS via wget and unzip it:

sudo wget && sudo unzip


Remove downloaded file:

sudo rm


Rename the bolt-v3.6.4 directory to just bolt:

sudo mv bolt-v3.6.4 bolt


Change directory to document root:

cd /var/www/bolt


To finish the installation you will need to rename the following files:

sudo mv .bolt.yml.dist .bolt.yml
sudo mv composer.json.dist composer.json
sudo mv composer.lock.dist composer.lock
sudo mv src/Site/CustomisationExtension.php.dist src/Site/CustomisationExtension.php


Provide the appropriate ownership:

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


Run sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf and set the user and group to nginx. Initially, they will be set to apache:

sudo vim /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
# user = nginx
# group = nginx


Restart PHP-FPM service:

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm.service


Navigate to the folder where you uploaded Bolt CMS in your web browser and follow the instructions on the screen.


Step 6 - Complete the Bolt CMS Installation and Setup


After opening your site in a web browser, you should be redirected to another page.


Fill in the required information to create a user and click the "Create the first user" button to continue. After that Bolt CMS admin interface should show up.


Bolt CMS installation is now finished. To access Bolt CMS admin append /bolt to your site IP or domain.


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