Install TaskBoard with Apache and let's Encrypt SSL on Debian 11

TaskBoard is a free and open-source Kanban application used to keep track of things that need to get done. It is a PHP-based and self-hosted application that helps you to keep track of all tasks. It provides a simple and user-friendly web interface for managing all your tasks. It is used by teams or organizations to represent work and its path towards completion.

Features

  • Free and open-source
  • Unlimited boards
  • Simple and easy to install
  • Easy customization
  • RESTful API
  • Basic User management

In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Taskboard on Debian 11.

Prerequisites

  • A server running Debian 11.
  • A valid domain name pointed with your server IP.
  • A root password is configured on the server.

Getting Started

Before starting, it is a good idea to update your system packages to the updated version. You can update all of them by running the following command:

apt-get update -y

Once all the packages are updated, you can proceed to the next step.

Install Apache, PHP, and Sqlite

First, you will need to install the Apache web server, PHP, SQLite, and other required dependencies to your server. You can install all of them by running the following command:

apt-get install apache2 sqlite3 php libapache2-mod-php php-cli php-common php-json php-readline php-sqlite3 libaio1 libapr1 libhtml-template-perl libaprutil1-dbd-sqlite3 libaprutil1-ldap libaprutil1 libdbi-perl libterm-readkey-perl curl libwrap0 unzip wget -y

Once all the packages are installed, start the Apache service and enable it to start at system reboot:

systemctl start apache2
systemctl enable apache2

Once you are finished, you can proceed to the next step.

Download Taskboard

First, download the latest version of Taskboard using the following command:

curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/kiswa/TaskBoard/releases/latest |grep browser_download_url | cut -d '"' -f 4 | wget -i -

Once the download is completed, extract the downloaded file to the Apache web root directory with the following command:

unzip TaskBoard_v*.zip -d /var/www/html/taskboard

Next, set proper ownership and permission on the Taskboard directory:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/taskboard
chmod -R 775 /var/www/html/taskboard

Once you are finished, you can proceed to the next step.

Configure Apache for Taskboard

Next, you will need to create an Apache virtual host configuration file for Taskboard. You can create it by running the following command:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/taskboard.conf

Add the following lines:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/taskboard"
    ServerName taskboard.example.com
    <Directory "/var/www/html/taskboard">
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    ErrorLog "/var/log/apache2/taskboard-error_log"
    CustomLog "/var/log/apache2/taskboard-access_log" combined
</VirtualHost>

Save and close the file when you are finished then enable the Apache virtual host with the following command:

a2ensite taskboard.conf

Next, enable the Apache rewrite module and restart the Apache web service with the following command:

a2enmod rewrite
systemctl restart apache2

You can now check the status of the Apache service using the following command:

systemctl status apache2

You will get the following output:

? apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Sat 2021-11-06 14:46:54 UTC; 5s ago
       Docs: https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/
    Process: 23704 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/apachectl start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 23709 (apache2)
      Tasks: 6 (limit: 4679)
     Memory: 15.3M
        CPU: 110ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/apache2.service
             ??23709 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ??23710 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ??23711 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ??23712 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ??23713 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ??23714 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

Nov 06 14:46:54 debian11 systemd[1]: Starting The Apache HTTP Server...

Once you are finished, you can proceed to the next step.

Access Taskboard

At this point, Taskboard is installed and configured. Now, open your web browser and access the Taskboard using the URL http://taskboard.example.com. You will be redirected to the Taskboard login page:

TaskBoard login

Provide default admin username and password admin/admin and click on the Sign In button. You should see the Taskboard dashboard on the following page:

Dashboard

Now, click on the Settings button to change the Taskboard default admin password. You should see the following page:

TaskBoard settings

Provide your new admin password and click on the Change Password button to apply the changes.

Secure Taskboard with Let's Encrypt SSL

If you want to secure your Taskboard with Let's Encrypt SSL, you will need to install the Certbot client package and manage the Let's Encrypt SSL for your Taskboard.

You can install it by running the following command:

apt-get install python3-certbot-apache -y

Once the Certbot package is installed, run the following command to download and install the Let's Encrypt SSL for your Taskboard website.

certbot --apache -d taskboard.example.com

You will be asked to provide your email and accept the term of service as shown below:

Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log
Plugins selected: Authenticator standalone, Installer None
Enter email address (used for urgent renewal and security notices) (Enter 'c' to
cancel): [email protected]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server at
https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/directory
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(A)gree/(C)ancel: A

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Would you be willing to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a founding partner of the Let's Encrypt project and the non-profit
organization that develops Certbot? We'd like to send you email about our work
encrypting the web, EFF news, campaigns, and ways to support digital freedom.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(Y)es/(N)o: Y
Plugins selected: Authenticator apache, Installer apache
Obtaining a new certificate
Performing the following challenges:
http-01 challenge for taskboard.example.com
Enabled Apache rewrite module
Waiting for verification...
Cleaning up challenges
Created an SSL vhost at /etc/apache2/sites-available/taskboard-le-ssl.conf
Enabled Apache socache_shmcb module
Enabled Apache ssl module
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/apache2/sites-available/taskboard-le-ssl.conf
Enabling available site: /etc/apache2/sites-available/taskboard-le-ssl.conf

Next, select whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS as shown below:

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1: No redirect - Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2

Type 2 and hit Enter to install the Let's Encrypt SSL for your website:

Enabled Apache rewrite module
Redirecting vhost in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/taskboard.conf to ssl vhost in /etc/apache2/sites-available/taskboard-le-ssl.conf

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://taskboard.example.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=taskboard.example.com
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/taskboard.example.com/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/taskboard.example.com/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2022-02-7. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

Now, you can access your website securely using the URL https://taskboard.example.com.

Conclusion

Congratulations! you have successfully installed Taskboard with Apache and Let's Encrypt SSL. You can now create your board, add users, assign tasks and manage all from the central dashboard. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

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