How to Install Bludit CMS with NGINX on FreeBSD 12

Bludit is a simple, fast, secure, flat-file CMS that allows you to create your website or blog in seconds. It's completely free and open source. You can browse its source code on Github. Bludit uses files in JSON format to store the content, you don't need to install or configure a database. You only need a web server with PHP support. Bludit incorporates all the SEO tools to improve your ranking in all the search engines and social networks. It has a rich themes and plugins system that you can use to change the look and feel of your site. In this tutorial, we will go through the Bludit CMS installation and setup on FreeBSD 12 system by using Nginx as a web server.


Make sure your system meets the following requirements:

  • PHP version 5.3 or greater with the following extensions: mbstring, gd, dom and JSON.
  • A web server with PHP support like Nginx, Apache, Lighttpd, H2O. This tutorial will use Nginx.


  • A system running FreeBSD 12.
  • A non-root user with sudo privileges.

Initial steps

Check your FreeBSD version:

uname -ro
# FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE

Set up the timezone:


Update your operating system packages (software). This is an important first step because it ensures you have the latest updates and security fixes for your operating system's default software packages:

freebsd-update fetch install
pkg update && pkg upgrade -y

Install some essential packages that are necessary for basic administration of FreeBSD 12.0 operating system:

pkg install -y sudo vim unzip wget bash socat git

Step 1 - Install PHP

Install PHP, as well as the necessary PHP extensions:

sudo pkg install -y php72 php72-ctype php72-curl php72-dom php72-hash php72-iconv php72-gd php72-json php72-mbstring php72-openssl php72-session php72-simplexml php72-xml php72-zip php72-zlib php72-filter php72-ftp php72-tokenizer php72-calendar php72-fileinfo

To show PHP compiled in modules, you can run:

php -m

. . .
. . .

Check the PHP version:

php --version
# PHP 7.2.14 (cli) (built: Jan 15 2019 01:14:39) ( NTS )
# Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
# Zend Engine v3.0.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Zend Technologies
# with Zend OPcache v7.2.14, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

Start and enable PHP-FPM service:

sudo sysrc php_fpm_enable=yes
sudo service php-fpm start

We can move on to the next step, which is the installation and setup.

Step 2 - Install client and obtain Let's Encrypt certificate (optional)

Securing your website with HTTPS is not necessary, but it is a good practice to secure your site traffic. To obtain a TLS certificate from Let's Encrypt we will use client. is a pure Unix shell software for obtaining TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt with zero dependencies. 

Download and install

sudo mkdir /etc/letsencrypt
git clone
sudo ./ --install --home /etc/letsencrypt --accountemail [email protected]
cd ~

Check version:

/etc/letsencrypt/ --version
# v2.8.2

Obtain RSA and ECC/ECDSA certificates for your domain/hostname:

# RSA 2048
sudo /etc/letsencrypt/ --issue --standalone --home /etc/letsencrypt -d --keylength 2048
sudo /etc/letsencrypt/ --issue --standalone --home /etc/letsencrypt -d --keylength ec-256

After running the above commands, your certificates and keys will be in:

  • For RSA: /etc/letsencrypt/ directory.
  • For ECC/ECDSA: /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc directory.

Step 3 - Install and configure NGINX

Download and install NGINX from the FreeBSD repository:

sudo pkg install -y nginx

Check the NGINX version:

nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.16.2

Start and enable NGINX service:

sudo sysrc nginx_enable=yes
sudo service nginx start

Configure NGINX for Bludit by running:

sudo vim /usr/local/etc/nginx/bludit.conf

And populate the file with the following configuration:

server {
  listen 80;
  listen 443 ssl;

ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/;
ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/fullchain.pem;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/private.key;
server_name; root /usr/local/www/bludit; index index.php; location ~ \.php$ { fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
try_files $fastcgi_script_name =404;
set $path_info $fastcgi_path_info;
fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $path_info;
fastcgi_index index.php;
include fastcgi_params;
fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
fastcgi_pass; } location / { try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args; } location ^~ /bl-content/tmp/ { deny all; } location ^~ /bl-content/pages/ { deny all; } location ^~ /bl-content/databases/ { deny all; } }

Run sudo vim /usr/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf and add the below line to http {} block to include Bludit config.

include bludit.conf;

Check Nginx configuration for syntax errors:

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx service:

sudo service nginx reload

Step 4 - Install Bludit

Create a document root directory where Bludit should reside in:

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/www/bludit

Navigate to document root:

cd /usr/local/www/bludit

Download the latest version from the official page and extract the zip file:

sudo wget
sudo unzip
sudo rm
sudo mv bludit-3-9-2/* . && sudo mv bludit-3-9-2/.* .
sudo rmdir bludit-3-9-2

NOTE: Update download URL if there is a newer release.

Provide the appropriate ownership:

sudo chown -R www:www /usr/local/www/bludit

Restart PHP-FPM service:

sudo service php-fpm restart

Step 5 - Complete the Bludit installation wizard

Open your site in a web browser. After opening your site in a web browser, you should be redirected to the following page, to choose your language:

Next, create a password for the user admin, and click "Install":

After creating an admin password, you will be redirected to the Bludit frontend:

To access the Bludit admin area, append /admin to your site IP or URL. This is how Bludit admin looks like:

Installation is complete. Happy blogging with Bludit CMS.

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