Build a FreeBSD-10 server with Apache, MariaDB, and php using binary packages

It has been traditional for a FreeBSD sysadmin to compile applications from source in the ports tree, but binary packages can now be used for basic needs which saves significant time.

This server is being built for Maestro development. It will be running on my Windows 10 laptop using VirtualBox, although it could just as easily run on bare metal.

Features will include:

  • FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE Unix-like operating system.
  • Apache 2.4, MariaDB 5.5 and PHP 5.6 AMP stack (using mod_php).
  • Samba 3.6 and rsync (Samba to access Windows file shares as well as share the Maestro file vault to Windows clients, and rsync to synchronize the Maestro file vault to a Windows share).
  • A variety of handy utilities, including git and mdbtools (to import from a Parts&Vendors Jet4 mdb database file).

This post does not include a mail server or gateway, and also will be updated shortly to include infrastructure requirements for Maestro testing (using PHPUnit with Selenium). Maestro is being updated first to use Composer following current best practices, with Composer being used to install PHPUnit. 

Create Virtual Server

Create a new vm and specify BSD OS (FreeBSD) with 256 MB memory and a 20G system drive. Configure the network interface for NAT mode, and forward the IP ports being used from the vm (client) to Windows (host).

HTTPS (secure HTTP) will not be configured at this time. However, it will become the norm in the future.

ssh               host port 2222        client port 22
http              host port 8880        client port 80
mysql-tcp         host port 3336        client port 3306
mysql-udp         host port 3336        client port 3306

Download FreeBSD-10.2-RELEASE-i386.dvd1.iso from, boot the vm from the ISO, and perform a standard install (use 64-bit if you prefer, I still tend to create 32-bit virtual machines because I know it works and don’t need the extra address space). I will simply use root to admin the server, and will not create additional users during the install.

After installing the OS and rebooting into the new system, update the system to the latest release if you used an older install ISO, and also update the packages system (pkg, or pkgng in older references).

# freebsd-update upgrade -r 10.2-RELEASE
# freebsd-update install

# pkg update

Edit /etc/rc.conf to specify the hostname and DHCP network config.


# Set dumpdev to "AUTO" to enable crash dumps, "NO" to disable

Edit /etc/hosts so that necessary hostnames resolve ( is the default IP address for a VirtualBox vm, substitute if necessary).

I am requiring that the vm never be exposed to the internet by using hostname A different hostname must be used if the vm will be exposed to the internet.

::1         localhost localhost.local   localhost localhost.local   localhost whizzer

Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config to permit remote root login only, and only using an ssh key (a password can still be used at the console if necessary).

AllowUsers root
PermitRootLogin YES
PasswordAuthentication no
ChallengeResponseAuthentication no
UsePAM yes

Copy root‘s public ssh key to /root/.ssh/authorized_keys and restart sshd.

# service sshd restart

Install Apache and php

The venerated Apache with mod_php will be used, and installing mod_php will first install Apache 2.x as a dependency.

# pkg install mod_php5

Edit /usr/local/etc/apache24/httpd.conf to specify the server name and when to use php.

# ServerAdmin: Your address, where problems with the server should be

# ServerName gives the name and port that the server uses to identify itself.

# as per message from pkg install mod_php56
<FilesMatch "\.php$">
    SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
<FilesMatch "\.phps$">
    SetHandler application/x-httpd-php-source

Edit /etc/rc.conf to start Apache at boot:


Use the provided production PHP configuration file (or use the production file to suppress warnings and errors).

# cp /usr/local/etc/php.ini-development /usr/local/etc/php.ini

Edit php.ini to specify the server timezone.

# add default date timezone
date.timezone = "America/Edmonton"

# uncomment session.save_path
session.save_path = "/tmp"

Confirm that the PHP comnmand line tools were installed correctly (no errors means things are good).

# php -r "phpinfo ( );"

Test the Apache configuration and start Apache.

# service apache24 configtest
# service apache24 start

Test that Apache will serve HTML by browsing http://localhost:8880 to see the default Apache install page.

Test that Apache will execute PHP by displaying the output from phpinfo() in a web page. I like to explicitly configure Apache for each site or page served to avoid the possibility of accidentally creating a security risk. First create /usr/local/www/phpinfo/index.php, the PHP code for the “phpinfo website”.


Next, create an Apache configuration file /usr/local/etc/apache24/Includes/phpinfo.conf.

Alias /phpinfo "/usr/local/www/phpinfo"

<Directory "/usr/local/www/phpinfo">
 Require all granted

Finally restart Apache,

# service apache24 restart

and browse to http://localhost:8880/phpinfo to confirm all is ok.

This post will be updated shortly to include the infrastructure for Maestro testing using PHPUnit and Selenium.

Install MariaDB

Install the MariaDB database server (and the mysql command line client). I haven’t tested Maestro with MariaDB v10.x yet, so will use MariaDB v5.5, which retains full compatibility with MySQL 5.5.

# pkg install mariadb55-server

Use the my-medium.cnf config file:

# cp /usr/local/share/mysql/my-medium.cnf /var/db/mysql/my.cnf

and edit it to default to InnoDB tables:

# Uncomment the following if you are using InnoDB tables
innodb_data_home_dir = /var/db/mysql
innodb_data_file_path = ibdata1:10M:autoextend
innodb_log_group_home_dir = /var/db/mysql
# You can set .._buffer_pool_size up to 50 - 80 %
# of RAM but beware of setting memory usage too high
innodb_buffer_pool_size = 16M
innodb_additional_mem_pool_size = 2M
# Set .._log_file_size to 25 % of buffer pool size
innodb_log_file_size = 5M
innodb_log_buffer_size = 8M
innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 1
innodb_lock_wait_timeout = 50

Install MariaDB’s management database and setup grant tables:

# cd /usr/local/
# mysql_install_db --user=mysql --basedir=/usr/local --basedir=/usr/local --datadir=/var/db/mysql

The –datadir option should not be necessary but must be specified if mysql_install_db cannot determine datadir (aka ldir) correctly.

Edit /etc/rc.conf to start MariaDB at boot.


Start MariaDB.

# service mysql-server start

Configure the MariaDB root password:

> mysqladmin -u root password 'appleton'
> mysqladmin -u root -p -h localhost password 'appleton'
> mysqladmin -u root -p -h password 'appleton'

If desired, grant root permission to connect remotely (e.g. to connect to MariaDB on the vm directly from the Windows host, or some other “remote” server).

> mysql -u root -p
mysql> grant all privileges on *.* to 'root'@'%' identified by 'appleton' with grant option;
mysql> exit;

Restart MariaDB to read the edited my.cnf file:

# service mysql-server restart

Run mysql_secure_installation as a double-check that all is ok.

# mysql_secure_installation

Install Samba and rsync

The venerable Samba v3 will be used for simple CIFS file sharing.

# pkg install samba3

Create the Maestro share directory.

# mkdir -p /usr/home/maestro
# chmod ugo+w /usr/home/maestro

Edit /usr/local/etc/smb.conf to configure Samba.

#======================= Global Settings =====================
workgroup = WORKGROUP
server string = Maestro Share
security = share
passdb backend = tdbsam
#======================= Share Definitions =====================
comment = Maestro Share
path = /usr/home/maestro
public = yes
read only = no

Edit /etc/rc.conf to start Samba at boot:

# samba3

Start Samba:

# service samba start

Install rsync.

# pkg install rsync

Install Utilities


Git is used to clone the Maestro project repository.

Install Git.

# pkg install git

Configure git with your username and email. I prefer plain text without color-coding.

# git config --global "Dale Scott"
# git config --global ""

# git config --global color.ui false
# git config --global color.diff false
# git config --global color.status false
# git config --global color.branch false
# git config --global color.interactive false


mdbtools is used by Maestro export data from Parts&Vendors, which uses a Microsoft Jet v4 database (colloquially called an Access database).

# pkg install mdbtools


flip is useful for converting the occasional pesky Windows-format text file.

# pkg install flip