Tutorial: Run HumHub on VPS?

12 minutes read

Running HumHub on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) allows you to create your own social network website. Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it:

  1. Choose a VPS provider: Select a VPS provider that suits your needs and budget. Some popular options include Amazon Web Services (AWS), DigitalOcean, and Linode.
  2. Set up your VPS: Create a new VPS instance on your chosen platform. This usually involves selecting the specifications of your server, such as the operating system, memory, storage, etc.
  3. Connect to your VPS: Once your VPS is set up, you will need to connect to it using SSH (Secure Shell). SSH allows you to securely access and manage your server remotely.
  4. Install necessary software: Ensure that the required software (e.g., Apache/Nginx, MariaDB/MySQL, PHP) is installed on your VPS. These components are necessary to run HumHub.
  5. Set up a web server: Configure your web server (Apache or Nginx) to serve web pages. Create a virtual host or server block to point to the HumHub directory on your server.
  6. Create a database: Set up a new database for your HumHub installation. It's recommended to use MariaDB or MySQL. Create a new database and a user with access privileges to that database.
  7. Download HumHub: Visit the official HumHub website and download the latest release. You can either download it manually and upload it to your server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or use the command line to download it directly on your VPS.
  8. Extract the HumHub files: After downloading HumHub, extract the files from the downloaded package. Transfer them to the appropriate directory on your server, typically the document root of your web server (e.g., /var/www/html).
  9. Configure HumHub: Copy the provided configuration file (usually called "protected/config/env.php.dist") to "protected/config/env.php". Open the newly created file and update the database settings with the details of the database you previously set up.
  10. Install HumHub: Access your VPS through a web browser by typing in your domain name or IP address. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process of HumHub. You will be prompted to create an admin user and provide other necessary information.
  11. Configure additional settings: After the installation, log in to the HumHub admin panel and configure additional settings, such as enabling modules, setting up email notifications, enabling SSL, etc.
  12. Customize your HumHub installation: Customize the appearance and functionality of your HumHub website according to your preferences. You can install additional modules, themes, and extensions from the HumHub marketplace.

That's it! Following this tutorial will allow you to successfully run HumHub on a VPS and start building your own social network website.

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What are the system requirements for running HumHub on a VPS?

The system requirements for running HumHub on a VPS are as follows:

Operating System:

  • Linux (recommended) or Windows

Web Server:

  • Apache 2.4 or Nginx
  • Apache Modules: mod_rewrite (for Apache), mod_headers (for Apache), mod_fastcgi (for Apache+FPM only)


  • MySQL 5.7 or MariaDB 10.2 or higher
  • PostgreSQL 9.6 or higher


  • Version 7.2 or higher with the following extensions: curl gd intl mbstring pdo_mysql (for MySQL) or pdo_pgsql (for PostgreSQL) simplexml xmlrpc zip zlib


  • Memcached or Redis (optional, but recommended for performance)


  • At least 1 GB of free disk space (exact usage depends on the expected size of your community)

Other Requirements:

  • SSH access to the VPS for installation and maintenance
  • Domain or subdomain with DNS properly configured to point to your VPS

It's also recommended to have a decent amount of memory and CPU resources to ensure good performance, especially if you expect high traffic or plan to run additional services alongside HumHub.

What is the recommended server stack for HumHub on a VPS?

The recommended server stack for running HumHub on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) would typically include the following components:

  1. Operating System: Linux (Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian) is commonly used due to its stability, security, and wide support.
  2. Web Server: Apache or Nginx are popular choices for serving web content. They can handle requests and deliver the HumHub application to users.
  3. Database Server: MySQL or MariaDB are commonly used as a relational database management system (RDBMS). They store the HumHub data, including user information, posts, and other content.
  4. PHP: HumHub is built using PHP, so it requires a PHP interpreter installed on the server. Install the latest stable version of PHP along with necessary extensions like mbstring and pdo_mysql.
  5. Caching: To improve performance, it is recommended to set up a caching mechanism such as Memcached or Redis. This will help reduce the load on the database and speed up page rendering.
  6. Security: Ensure to configure appropriate firewall rules and SSL certificates to protect your server and user data. Tools like Let's Encrypt can help with obtaining SSL certificates.

Remember to regularly update all the components of the server stack to ensure security and stability. The exact setup may vary based on personal preferences, system requirements, and available resources.

How to integrate third-party applications with HumHub running on a VPS?

To integrate third-party applications with HumHub running on a VPS, you can follow these steps:

  1. Identify the third-party application: Determine the specific application you want to integrate with HumHub and understand its functionality and requirements.
  2. Install and configure HumHub: Set up HumHub on your VPS following the installation instructions provided by HumHub. Ensure it is up and running properly, accessible over the internet.
  3. Obtain API keys or credentials: Most third-party applications require API keys or credentials to authenticate and authorize access to their services. Go to the website or developer portal of the desired application, sign up if necessary, and obtain the required API keys or credentials.
  4. Install and enable the required modules or extensions: Some third-party applications may offer pre-built HumHub integration modules or extensions. Check if such modules are available and install them on your HumHub installation. Enable these modules in the HumHub administration panel.
  5. Configure the integration module: Each integration module will have its specific configuration settings. Access the HumHub administration panel, locate the integration module settings, and enter the API keys or credentials obtained from the third-party application.
  6. Test the integration: Once the configuration is complete, create test accounts in both HumHub and the third-party application. Verify if the integration is functioning as expected by performing actions like syncing users, permissions, data, or any other functionality specific to the integration.
  7. Customize or extend the integration: If needed, you can further customize or extend the integration by leveraging APIs provided by HumHub and the third-party application. This may involve developing custom code or scripts to achieve the desired functionality.
  8. Monitor and maintain the integration: Regularly monitor the integration to ensure its stability and reliability. Update HumHub, integration modules, and third-party application APIs as new versions become available to stay up-to-date with security patches and feature enhancements.

Note: The specific steps may vary depending on the third-party application you want to integrate with HumHub. It is recommended to refer to the documentation or support resources provided by both HumHub and the third-party application for detailed instructions.

How to set up user roles and permissions in HumHub on a VPS?

To set up user roles and permissions in HumHub on a VPS, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Install HumHub: Firstly, install HumHub on your VPS by following the official installation guide provided by the HumHub documentation.
  2. Configure database: Set up a database for HumHub to store its data. Create a new MySQL database and grant the necessary privileges to a dedicated MySQL user.
  3. Configure webserver: Configure your web server (like Apache or Nginx) to host the HumHub application. Set up the virtual host and ensure that it points to the correct directory where your HumHub installation resides.
  4. Access HumHub: Open your web browser and access HumHub using your domain name or IP address. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the initial setup.
  5. Log in to HumHub: After the setup is complete, log in to HumHub as the administrator using the provided credentials.
  6. Access Administration Panel: Once logged in, click on the Admin Panel in the top menu bar to access the administration settings.
  7. Manage Roles: In the Admin Panel, go to the "Users" section and select "User Roles." Here, you can manage the existing roles or create new roles according to your requirements.
  8. Create New Role: Click on the "Add Role" button to create a new role. Provide a name for the role and assign the desired permissions by checking the corresponding checkboxes. Save the changes.
  9. Assign Roles: Now, go back to the "Users" section and select "User Administration." Find the users you want to assign roles to and edit their profile. In the "Roles" tab, assign the appropriate roles.
  10. Test the Roles: Log out from the administrator account and log in with the user accounts you assigned the roles to. Verify that the assigned roles have the expected permissions and restrictions in the HumHub interface.

By following these steps, you can successfully set up user roles and permissions in HumHub on a VPS, giving you control over user access and privileges within your HumHub installation.

How to configure a reverse proxy for improved performance on HumHub running on a VPS?

Configuring a reverse proxy can help improve the performance of HumHub running on a VPS by offloading some of the work from the application server. Here are the steps to configure a reverse proxy for improved performance:

  1. Install and configure Nginx: Start by installing Nginx on your VPS. You can do this by running the following command: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install nginx
  2. Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy: Create a new Nginx configuration file by opening a text editor and creating a file with a .conf extension, such as humhub.conf, in the /etc/nginx/conf.d/ directory. Add the following configuration to the file: server { listen 80; server_name your-domain.com; location / { proxy_pass http://localhost:3000; proxy_set_header Host $host; proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme; proxy_http_version 1.1; proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade; proxy_set_header Connection 'upgrade'; proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade; } } Replace your-domain.com with your actual domain name. This configuration assumes that your HumHub application is running on port 3000. If it is running on a different port, change the proxy_pass line accordingly.
  3. Test the Nginx configuration: Run the following command to test the Nginx configuration for syntax errors: sudo nginx -t If no errors are reported, you can proceed.
  4. Restart Nginx: Restart Nginx to apply the new configuration: sudo systemctl restart nginx
  5. Update HumHub configuration: Open the .env file of your HumHub installation and set the following parameters: HUMHUB_PROXY_ENABLED=true HUMHUB_PROXY_IP=localhost HUMHUB_PROXY_PORT=80 This tells HumHub to trust the reverse proxy at localhost:80.
  6. Test the reverse proxy: Access your HumHub installation through your domain name or IP address. Make sure that everything is functioning as expected.

By configuring a reverse proxy, Nginx will handle incoming web requests and forward them to the HumHub application server, reducing the workload on the application server and potentially improving performance.

What is a VPS and why is it used for HumHub?

A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a virtual machine that is provided by a hosting service. It emulates a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment, allowing users to have more control and resources compared to traditional shared hosting.

HumHub is an open-source social networking platform that requires certain system requirements to function properly. It needs PHP, a database (such as MySQL or PostgreSQL), and a web server (such as Apache or Nginx) to run. Using a VPS for HumHub allows users to have dedicated resources and more control over the server environment. It ensures better performance, scalability, and security compared to shared hosting environments. Additionally, a VPS allows for customization of server configurations and software installations specific to HumHub's requirements.

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