Webtrees Installation

Webtrees is the web’s leading on-line collaborative genealogy application. Here are the steps I followed to install it on my server.

After the initial setup of my new server, installation of a basic Webtrees site was simple. Create the database, configure Nginx, download, install and configure Webtrees itself.

Database Creation

Create an account and a database for Webtrees:

mysql -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 5340 to server version: 3.23.54
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer.
mysql> CREATE DATABASE alltheforest_com;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON alltheforest_com.* TO "alltheforest_com"@"localhost"
    -> IDENTIFIED BY "password";
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

mysql> EXIT

Nginx Configuration

I created the /etc/nginx/conf.d/alltheforest.com.conf file:

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name alltheforest.com;
    client_max_body_size 64M;

    index index.php index.html;
    include /etc/nginx/default.d/*.conf;
    root  /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$request_uri;

Restart the nginx service:

systemctl restart nginx

Webtrees Install

Firstly I created a new directory for the site:

mkdir -p /var/www/alltheforest.com

Then I downloaded and extracted the latest version of Webtrees:

curl -L https://launchpad.net/webtrees/1.6/1.6.2/+download/webtrees-1.6.2.zip -o /tmp/webtrees.zip
unzip /tmp/webtrees.zip -d /var/www/alltheforest.com

Using Curl to download webtrees I had to include the -L parameter to tell Curl to follow redirects.

Themes and Plugins

First I downloaded and installed my chosen theme, Rural by Jaubart:

curl -o /tmp/rural.zip http://www.jaubart.com/storage/rural-webtrees-1_6_2.zip
unzip /tmp/rural.zip -d  /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees/themes

File and Directory Permissions

Set permissions on files, and change the context on the data directory so nginx can write to it:

find /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees/ -type f -exec chmod 664 {} +
find /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees/ -type d -exec chmod 775 {} +
chown -R apache.nobody /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees
chcon -hR system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees/data/

Note that if the chcon line results in an error about a missing context, remove the selinux-policy package and re-run the command:

yum erase selinux-policy
chcon -hR system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees/data/

Next Steps

At this point the Webtrees installation was complete. I pointed DNS for alltheforest.com to the new server and browsed to it in Chrome. WebTrees presented a final installation wizard, which created the initial database entries.

I could also have restored my database from backup at this point, however would need to ensure the restored /var/www/alltheforest.com/webtrees/data/config.ini.php file had the correct database details.

Featured Image: “An outdoor zither lesson” by pellethepoet on flickr.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *