How to install CodeIgniter on Ubuntu?


The following has been tested on a Cloud9 server with the following versions:

Server configuration

Upgrade PHP

The first step is to upgrade PHP. It's not mandatory, but I strongly recommand to use the same PHP version on your local development machine and on your production server. In my case, my server is based on PHP 7.2. The following link explains how to upgrade PHP to 7.2:

How to upgrade PHP to 7.2 on Ubuntu?

After upgrade:

username:~/workspace $ php -v
PHP (cli) (built: Oct  1 2018 12:19:38) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

Install phpMyAdmin

If phpMyAdmin is not already installed, install it according to the instructions of the following page:

Keep the password and username for later. We'll need them to configure CodeIgniter.

Install and configure Xdebug

Check if Xdebug is installed and properly configured. If not, I strongly recommand to install this powerfull debug tool according to the instructions on the following page:

How to install and configure Xdebug on Ubuntu?

After installation and configuration, the var_dump function should provide a formatted display as on the following illustration:

var_dump function is displayed properly

Install CodeIgniter

The first think to do is to open the application/config/config.php file and set your base URL:

$config['base_url'] = '';


$config['base_url'] = 'https://localhost/';

Database configuration

Open the application/config/database.php file and set your database settings:


// Hostname of your SQL server
'hostname' => 'localhost',

// Set the username of your SQL server
'username' => 'myUserName',

// Set the password associated the the previous user
'password' => '********',

// Set the database name (create a DB with phpMyAdmin if necessary)
'database' => 'myDatabaseName',


I strongly recommand to use a PDO driver instead of mysqli for increased security:


// Set PDO driver
'dsn'   => 'mysql:host=localhost; dbname=CodeIgniter; charset=utf8;',
'dbdriver' => 'pdo',

I also recommand to rename the folders system and application. Once renamed, open your main index.php file and set the $system_path and $application_folder variables at the top of the file with the new name you’ve chosen.

Emails configuration

If your application sends email, and messages are always send via the same server, I recommand to configure email at the application level. Create a file named email.php in /application/config. Set your email settings in the file as in the following example:


$config['protocol']     = 'smtp';
$config['smtp_host']    = '';
$config['smtp_port']    = '465'; // 8025, 587 and 25 can also be used. Use Port 465 for SSL.
$config['smtp_crypto']  = 'ssl';
$config['smtp_user']    = 'username';
$config['smtp_pass']    = 'password';
$config['charset']      = 'utf-8';
$config['mailtype']     = 'html';
$config['newline']      = "\r\n";

Detailled list of parameters can be found in CodeIgniter documentation.

Run CodeIgniter

Start your server and go to the home page. If everything is fine, you should have the following welcome page:

CodeIgniter welcome page

See also

Last update : 10/19/2018