How to Install Matomo Web Analytics on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Matomo (formerly Piwik) is a free and open source web analytics application developed by a team of international developers, that runs on a PHP/MySQL webserver. It tracks online visits to one or more websites and displays reports on these visits for analysis.You can think of it as an alternative to Google Analytics. Matomo is open source and its code is publicly available on Github. Some of the features it has are: A/B Testing, Heatmaps, Funnels, Tracking and Reporting API, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, Cost Per Click (CPC), etc. This tutorial will show you how to install Matomo on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system using Nginx as the web server and we will secure the website with a Let's Encrypt SSL certificate.

Requirements

To run Matomo (Piwik) on your Ubuntu system you will need a couple of things:

  • Web server such as Apache, Nginx, IIS.
  • PHP version 5.5.9 or higher with pdo and pdo_mysql or mysqli, gd, xml, curl, and mbsting extensions. PHP 7+ is recommended.
  • MySQL version 5.5 or higher, or the equivalent MariaDB version. MySQL 5.7+ is recommended.

Prerequisites

  • An operating system running Ubuntu 18.04.
  • A non-root user with sudo privileges.

Initial steps

Check your Ubuntu version:

lsb_release -ds
# Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

Set up the timezone:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

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:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

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

sudo apt install -y curl wget vim git unzip socat

Step 1 - Install MySQL and create a database for Matomo

Matomo supports MySQL and MariaDB databases. In this tutorial, we will use MySQL as database server.

Install MySQL database server:

sudo apt install -y mysql-server

Check MySQL version:

mysql --version
# mysql  Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.7.24, for Linux (x86_64) using  EditLine wrapper

Run mysql_secure installation script to improve MySQL security and set the password for MySQL root user:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Answer each of the questions:

Would you like to setup VALIDATE PASSWORD plugin? N
New password: your_secure_password
Re-enter new password: your_secure_password
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y

Connect to MySQL shell as the root user:

sudo mysql -u root -p
# Enter password

Create an empty MySQL database and user for Matomo and remember the credentials:

mysql> CREATE DATABASE dbname;
mysql> GRANT ALL ON dbname.* TO 'username' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Exit from MySQL:

mysql> exit

Replace dbname, username and password with your own names.

Step 2 - Install PHP and necessary PHP extensions

Install PHP, as well as the necessary PHP extensions:

sudo apt install -y php7.2 php7.2-cli php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-curl php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-mbstring php7.2-mysql

Check PHP version:

php --version

# PHP 7.2.10-0ubuntu0.18.04.1 (cli) (built: Sep 13 2018 13:45:02) ( NTS )
# Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
# Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
# with Zend OPcache v7.2.10-0ubuntu0.18.04.1, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

PHP-FPM service is automatically started and enabled on reboot on Ubuntu 18.04 system, so there is no need to start and enable it manually. We can move on to the next step, which is obtaining free SSL certs from Let's Encrypt CA.

Step 3 - Install acme.sh 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. In order to obtain TLS certificate from Let's Encrypt we will use Acme.sh client. Acme.sh is a pure unix shell software for obtaining TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt with zero dependencies. 

Download and install Acme.sh:

sudo mkdir /etc/letsencrypt
git clone https://github.com/Neilpang/acme.sh.git
cd acme.sh 
sudo ./acme.sh --install --home /etc/letsencrypt --accountemail [email protected]
cd ~

Check Acme.sh version:

/etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --version
# v2.8.0

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

# RSA 2048
sudo /etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --issue --standalone --home /etc/letsencrypt -d example.com --keylength 2048
# ECDSA
sudo /etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --issue --standalone --home /etc/letsencrypt -d example.com --keylength ec-256

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

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

Step 3 - Install NGINX and configure NGINX for Matomo

Matomo can work fine with many popular web server softwares. In this tutorial, we selected Nginx. 

Download and install latest mainline release of Nginx from the Ubuntu repository:

sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the Nginx version:

sudo nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.14.0

Configure Nginx for Matomo by running:

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/matomo.conf

And populate the file with the following configuration:

server {

listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
listen 443 ssl http2;
listen [::]:80;
listen 80;

server_name example.com;
root /var/www/matomo/;
index index.php;

ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/example.com/fullchain.cer;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/example.com/example.com.key;
ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/fullchain.cer;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/example.com.key;

location ~ ^/(index|matomo|piwik|js/index).php {
include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
fastcgi_param HTTP_PROXY "";
fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
}

location
= /plugins/HeatmapSessionRecording/configs.php {
include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
fastcgi_param HTTP_PROXY "";
fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
}

location ~* ^.+\.php$ {
deny all;
return 403;
}

location / {
try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
}

location ~ /(config|tmp|core|lang) {
deny all;
return 403;
}

location ~ \.(gif|ico|jpg|png|svg|js|css|htm|html|mp3|mp4|wav|ogg|avi|ttf|eot|woff|woff2|json)$ {
allow all;
}


location ~ /(libs|vendor|plugins|misc/user) {
deny all;
return 403;
}

}

NOTE: For complete and production ready Nginx config for Matomo visit https://github.com/matomo-org/matomo-nginx.

Activate the new matomo.conf configuration by linking the file to the sites-enabled directory.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/matomo.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled

Check Nginx configuration for syntax errors:

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx service:

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Step 4 - Install Matomo Analytics

Create /var/www directory:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/

Navigate to /var/www directory:

cd /var/www/

Download the latest release Matomo via wget and unzip it:

sudo wget https://builds.matomo.org/matomo.zip && sudo unzip matomo.zip

Remove downloaded matomo.zip file:

sudo rm matomo.zip

Change ownership of the /var/www/matomo directory to www-data user:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/matomo

Step 5 - Complete the Matomo Analytics setup

Open your site in a web browser and follow the Matomo web installation wizard.

First, Matomo welcome message should appear. Click on the "Next" button:

Matomo installation Wizard

After, you will see a "System Check" page. If something is missing, you will see a warning. If everything is marked with green checkmark click on the "Next" button to procceed to the next step:

System check

Next, fill in database details and click on the "Next" button:

Database setup

If everything went well with database setup you should see "Tables created with success!" message:

Creating database tables

Create Matomo super user account and click on the "Next" button:

Create super user account

Next, set up the first website you would like to track and analyze with Matomo. Later on, you can add more sites to track with Matomo:

Add website to Matomo

Next, you will be provided with the JavaScript tracking code for your site that you need to add to start tracking. 

Javascript tracking code

Next, you should see that Matomo installation is completed.

Matomo installation completed

Congratulations! Your Matomo installation is complete.

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