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Install Emoncms on Ubuntu / Debian Linux

This guide should work on most debian systems including Ubuntu. For installation guide on installing emoncms on a raspberrypi see the RaspberryPi installation guides.

Install dependencies

You may need to start by updating the system repositories

sudo apt-get update

For Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo apt-get install apache2 mysql-server mysql-client php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql php5-curl php-pear php5-dev php5-mcrypt php5-json git-core redis-server build-essential -y

For Ubuntu 16.04:

sudo apt-get install apache2 mysql-server mysql-client php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql php-curl php-pear php-dev php-mcrypt php-json git-core redis-server build-essential -y

Install PHP pecl dependencies

Not essential, required for mail sending e.g. password recovery

sudo pear channel-discover
sudo pecl install swift/swift redis

If running PHP5: Add pecl modules to php5 config

printf "" | sudo tee /etc/php5/mods-available/redis.ini 1>&2
sudo php5enmod redis

If running PHP7: Add pecl modules to php7 config

printf "" | sudo tee /etc/php/7.0/mods-available/redis.ini 1>&2
sudo phpenmod redis

Configure Apache

Emoncms uses a front controller to route requests, modrewrite needs to be configured:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo cat <<EOF >> /etc/apache2/sites-available/emoncms.conf
<Directory /var/www/html/emoncms>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride All
    DirectoryIndex index.php
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
sudo echo 'ServerName localhost' >> /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
sudo a2ensite emoncms
sudo service apache2 reload

Install Emoncms

Git is a source code management and revision control system but at this stage we use it to just download and update the emoncms application.

First cd into the /var/www directory:

cd /var/www/

Set the permissions of the html directory to be owned by your username:

sudo chown $USER html

Cd into html directory

cd html

Download emoncms using git:

You may want to install one of the other branches of emoncms here, perhaps to try out a new feature set not yet available in the master branch. See the branch list and descriptions on the start page

git clone -b stable

Once installed you can pull in updates with:

cd /var/www/html/emoncms
git pull

Create a MYSQL database

mysql -u root -p

Enter the mysql password that you set above. Then enter the sql to create a database:


Then add a user for emoncms and give it permissions on the new database (think of a nice long password):

mysql> GRANT ALL ON emoncms.* TO 'emoncms'@'localhost';
mysql> flush privileges;

Exit mysql by:

mysql> exit

Create data repositories for emoncms feed engines

sudo mkdir /var/lib/phpfiwa
sudo mkdir /var/lib/phpfina
sudo mkdir /var/lib/phptimeseries

sudo chown www-data:root /var/lib/phpfiwa
sudo chown www-data:root /var/lib/phpfina
sudo chown www-data:root /var/lib/phptimeseries

Setup Emoncms settings

cd into the emoncms directory where the settings file is located

cd /var/www/html/emoncms/

Make a copy of default.settings.php and call it settings.php

cp default.settings.php settings.php

Open settings.php in an editor:

nano settings.php

Update your database settings to use your new secure password:

$username = "USERNAME";
$server   = "localhost";
$database = "emoncms";

You will also want to modify SMTP settings and the password reset flag further down in the settings file.

Save (Ctrl-X), type Y and exit

Install add-on emoncms modules (optional)

cd /var/www/html/emoncms/Modules
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone

The 'modules' need to save their configurations in the emoncms database, so in your browser - update your emoncms database: Setup > Administration > Update database (you may need to log out, and log back into emoncms to see the Administration menu).

See individual module readme's for further information on individual module installation.

Running Emoncms


The first time you run emoncms it will automatically setup the database and you will be taken straight to the register/login screen.

Create an account by entering your email and password and clicking register to complete.

Note: Browser Compatibility

Chrome Ubuntu 48.0.2564.81 - developed with, works great.

Chrome Windows 25.0.1364.172 - quick check revealed no browser specific bugs.

Firefox Ubuntu 15.0.1 - no critical browser specific bugs, but movement in the dashboard editor is much less smooth than chrome.

Internet explorer 9 - works well with compatibility mode turned off. F12 Development tools -> browser mode: IE9. Some widgets such as the hot water cylinder do load later than the dial.

IE 8, 7 - not recommended, widgets and dashboard editor do not work due to no html5 canvas fix implemented but visualisations do work as these have a fix applied.

PHP Suhosin module configuration (Debian 6, not required in ubuntu)

Dashboard editing needs to pass parameters through HTTP-GET mechanism and on Debian 6 the max allowable length of a single parameter is very small (512 byte). This is a problem for designing of dashboard and when you exceed this threshold all created dashboard are lost...

To overcome this problem modify "suhosin.get.max_value_length" in /etc/php5/conf.d/suhosin.ini" to large value (8000, 16000 should be fine).

Enable Multi lingual support using gettext

Follow the guide here step 4 onwards:

Configure PHP Timezone

PHP 5.4.0 has removed the timezone guessing algorithm and now defaults the timezone to "UTC" on some distros (i.e. Ubuntu 13.10). To resolve this:

Open php.ini

sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

and search for "date.timezone"

; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions.
;date.timezone =

edit date.timezone to your appropriate timezone:

date.timezone = "Europe/Amsterdam"

PHP supported timezones are listed here:

Now save and close and restart your apache.

sudo service apache2 restart

Install Logger



Check log file

sudo tail /var/log/apache2/error.log

/user/register.json cannot be found

If the login page loads but a user cannot be created and error invalid is displayed and console log shows error /user/register.json cannot be found this indicates an problem with apache mod_rewrite.