Install playSMS 1.4.3 on Ubuntu 18.04

playSMS version 1.4.3 has been released, and it is the recommended version as it contains fixes to several bugs and critical security vulnerability. This article is howto install playSMS 1.4.3 on Ubuntu 18.04.

I’m using DigitalOcean (DO) service to test the configuration and commands. Create new Droplet in DO account. Click here to register on DO if you don’t have an account.

Choose Ubuntu 18.0.4 (currently 18.04.3 LTS) and select at least the cheapest service (USD 5). Create and wait for a minute or two for the SSH to be ready. You can then login via SSH and start playSMS installation.

Login to your CentOS droplet (later we will call droplet as server) using SSH and follow instructions below step by step. Read carefully why you need to do each step correctly. Please pay attention to details.

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1. Prepare Ubuntu

1.1. Add Normal User

In DO you need to login as root first. But it is recommended to not login as root all the time, so we create a new normal Linux user.

As root create a new normal Linux user and set a strong password for it:

adduser komodo

Add user komodo to sudo group:

usermod -a -G sudo komodo

Q: Can I use other username beside komodo ?

Yes, you can. Just remember to adjust every reference of komodo in this article into your own chosen username.

1.2. Copy authorized_keys

This is additional and optional steps you need to do if you\’re login SSH as root using private key instead of password.

You need to copy root\’s authorized_keys to komodo:

sudo mkdir -p /home/komodo/.ssh
sudo cp /root/.ssh/authorized_keys /home/komodo/.ssh/
sudo chown -R komodo.komodo /home/komodo

After this you can login SSH as user komodo using the same private key as root.

Q: Can I use different key for komodo ?

Yes, you can. Copy the public key (it\’s public key, not private key) to komodo`s authorized_keys and remove root\’s public key from it.

1.3. Enable Ubuntu Firewall

Allow SSH first:

sudo ufw allow ssh

Enable UFW, activate it and make it starts on boot:

sudo ufw enable

Reload UFW:

sudo ufw reload

As of now only SSH allowed by server, later we will allow http and https. Don\’t forget to ufw reload after changing UFW rules.

1.4. Install mc and unzip

Yes. Install mc and unzip 🙂 I\’m using mcedit as console text editor, and you might be checking files/folders frequently, for that I think mc helps. But you can always choose not to install it and stick with nano or vi.

You need to install unzip, composer will need it and playSMS will need composer.

Install mc and unzip:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install mc unzip

1.5. Upgrade Server

Update and upgrade:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Most likely after upgrade Ubuntu asks for server reboot, reboot it then:

sudo shutdown -r now

Re-login SSH using user komodo instead of root. Pass this point you need to login to the server as normal user komodo, and you will use sudo when you need to execute commands as root.

2. Install MySQL Server

We will use MariaDB as MySQL server.

If you have not logout out from root you need to logout now and re-login as normal user komodo.

Install MySQL server MariaDB:

sudo apt install mariadb-server

Starts MariaDB and enable it:

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

Test your MySQL root access:

sudo mysql

You should now logged in to your MySQL server as MySQL user root. Type quit and <Enter> to exit MySQL console.

Note that you cannot login to MariaDB as MySQL user root if you are not Linux user root. Use sudo to access MySQL server as MySQL user root, you won\’t be asked for password.

We will not use MySQL user root in playSMS but we will create a new MySQL user just for playSMS database later.

3. Install Web Server and PHP 7.2

We will use Apache2 as the web server.

Install Apache2, PHP 7.2 and required PHP modules:

sudo apt install apache2 php php-cli php-mysql php-gd php-curl php-mbstring php-xml php-zip

Start Apache2 and enable it:

sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Allow HTTP and HTTPS:

sudo ufw allow http
sudo ufw allow https
sudo ufw reload

Let\’s test the PHP:

cd /var/www/html
sudo mcedit test.php
echo \"Hello World\";

Save test.php and browse the file, you should Hello World displayed.

Remove `test.php` after testing:

sudo rm -f /var/www/html/test.php

4. Supports HTTPS

HTTPS supports will be added to our web server by requesting, installing and configuring SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt on Apache2. Let’s Encrypt provides a free SSL certificate for everyone.

4.1. Setup VirtualHost

This step is required for getting free SSL certificate for our HTTPS service from Let’s Encrypt.

In this example I will be using domain as my entry in VirtualHost setup. I also have set the DNS to point to my CentOS server’s public IP. Of course you will need your own domain/subdomain and point to your own CentOS server’s public IP.

The example VirtualHost configuration will make Apache serve PHP file for domain from our regular user (user komodo) Home Directory (/home/komodo/public_html to be exact).

Prepare user’s Home Directory:

cd /home/komodo
mkdir -p public_html log
sudo chmod 775 /home/komodo public_html log
sudo chown komodo.komodo -R /home/komodo
sudo chown www-data.komodo -R /home/komodo/log
ls -l /home/komodo

Create VirtualHost configuration file for domain

sudo mcedit /etc/apache2/sites-available/
<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /home/komodo/public_html
    ErrorLog /home/komodo/log/httpd-error.log
    CustomLog /home/komodo/log/httpd-accesss.log combined
    <Directory /home/komodo/public_html>
        AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit Indexes
        Options MultiViews Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch IncludesNoExec
        Require method GET POST OPTIONS
        php_admin_value engine On

Enable it:

sudo a2ensite
sudo systemctl reload apache2.service

Switch user as user komodo and test VirtualHost by create a PHP file in /home/komodo/public_html.

mcedit /home/komodo/public_html/test.php
echo \"<b>Welcome !!</b>\";

Save the file and browse this file at your domain, in this example browse

You know your VirtualHost is working when you see Welcome !! on your browser.

Remove test.php after testing:

rm -f /home/komodo/public_html/test.php

4.2. Install certbot

We will get the SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt and use certbot to install it on the server.

Install certbot:

sudo apt install python3-certbot-apache

4.3. Setup SSL Certificate

Run certbot for Apache:

sudo certbot --apache

Answer questions correctly. You will need to input your email address, choose A to Agree with the ToS and last choose Redirect (selection no. 2) to completely remove HTTP and just serve HTTPS by redirecting all HTTP requests to HTTPS.

Example of successful SSL certificate request and installation:


Visit and submit your domain to test your HTTPS configuration.

5. Install playSMS

Now that we have a working web server with PHP and HTTPS supports, and MySQL server, we can then install playSMS 1.4.3.

From now on you must execute commands as normal Linux user. In this article playSMS will be installed under user komodo as mentioned before.

5.1. Prepare Directories

Here are some important directories that need to be ready before playSMS installation:

  • /home/komodo/public_html
  • /home/komodo/log
  • /home/komodo/bin
  • /home/komodo/etc
  • /home/komodo/lib
  • /home/komodo/src

public_html and log is already exists and prepared, they are created previously on section 4.1 as part as VirtualHost configuration. So now we need to create the rest and set proper permission.

Then create directories:

cd /home/komodo
mkdir -p bin etc lib src
sudo chmod 775 bin etc lib src

Prepare log files too, this need to be done so that both web server Apache2 and playSMS daemon have write access to playSMS log files:

cd /home/komodo
sudo touch log/audit.log log/playsms.log
sudo chmod 664 log/audit.log log/playsms.log
sudo chown www-data.komodo -R log
ls -l log

5.2. Check PHP Modules

Required PHP modules should already be installed if you follow this article from the start, it is on section 3. But before proceeding with playSMS installation you need to make sure that required PHP modules are installed:

php -m

Make sure you see at least curlgdmbstringmysqli and xml on the list. If they are not on the list then please install them, see section 3.

5.3. Prepare Database

Create MySQL database that will be used by playSMS:

sudo mysqladmin create playsms

Login as MySQL user root and create a new MySQL user for above database:

sudo mysql
CREATE USER \'playsms\'@\'localhost\' IDENTIFIED BY \'strongpasswordhere\';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON playsms.* TO \'playsms\'@\'localhost\';

Do not copy-paste above SQL commands directly to MySQL console, you must use your own strong password, change the strongpasswordhere with your own strong password.

As of this section you will have a MySQL database named playsms and MySQL normal user playsms with your own strong password which only have access to database playsms.

5.4. Get playSMS Source Code

playSMS source code available on Github, you will need git to get them.

Go to src folder:

cd /home/komodo/src

Get playSMS version 1.4.3:

git clone -b 1.4.3 --depth=1

As of now your playSMS 1.4.3 source code is available at /home/komodo/src/playSMS.

5.5. Prepare install.conf

Go to playSMS source code directory, copy install.conf.dist to install.conf and then edit it.

Go to playSMS source code directory:

cd /home/komodo/src/playSMS

Edit install.conf:

cp install.conf.dist install.conf
mcedit install.conf

These are values I set on install.conf:


Values need to reflect your server configuration. If you follow this article from the start then above values should be correct, with exception your true database password (DBPASS) of course.

Save install.conf and ready to run install script.

5.6. Run playSMS Install Script

playSMS install script will download composer and download packages from After that the script will copy necessary files from playSMS source code to public_html and bin.

Since theres requirement to be able to download from external site (, you have to make sure that external site is working and reachable.

But you can just start the install script, because you’ll know if something not right, for example the script fail to download packages. When that happens you can fix the problem first, like fix your networking setup and perhaps firewall, or simply wait (theres a chance the external site down too), and then go back to re-run the install script.

Just to make sure that networking stuff is right, please see section 1.6.

OK, let’s start the installation:

cd /home/komodo/src/playSMS

Verify installation:


Press Y (you will be asked twice, answer Y both) and proceed the installation.

Successful installation will show that all playSMS daemon is running:


Browse your playSMS, don\’t worry if the login page looks broken, it\’s because we haven\’t configure playSMS to enable HTTPS, we will do that after this. For now, check if you can see playSMS login page.

5.7. Adjust config.php

Edit playSMS config.php and adjust some value, or just one part, the HTTPS support.

mcedit /home/komodo/public_html/config.php

Inside config.php:

  • Search for logstate and set it to 3
  • Search for ishttps and set it to true.

5.8. Change Default Password

Go to your browser, browse the server and login as playSMS administrator, and change the default admin password immediately.

Default admin access:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin

After login as admin, go to My account -> Preferences and change admin password.

5.9. Installation Done

Installation is done, you got a working playSMS now.

I would suggest you to visit these articles and do that too:

Don’t forget to join the Forum and ask/answer playSMS questions there:

6. References


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