playSMS version 1.4.3 was released recently and currently it is the recommended playSMS version available. The release fixed critical security vulnerability and contains other bugfixes and improvements. This article shows you step by step howto install playSMS version 1.4.3 on CentOS 7.
I’m using DigitalOcean (DO) service to test the configuration and commands. Create new Droplet in DO account. Click here to register on DO if you don’t have an account.
Choose CentOS 7 (currently 7.6) and select at least the cheapest service (USD 5). Create and wait for a minute or two for the SSH to be ready. You can then login via SSH and start playSMS installation.
Login to your CentOS droplet (later we will call droplet as server) using SSH and follow instructions below step by step. Read carefully why you need to do each step correctly. Please pay attention to details.
1. Prepare CentOS
There are some adjustment we need to do to our server created by DO. Some of them can be optional, but I recommend to just follow them all.
1.1. Fix Locale Issue
locale issue. After login via SSH to your server you will see error related to
locale setting. Fix that by adding 3 lines below to
/etc/environment and then logout and re-login SSH.
LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8" LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8" LANGUAGE="en_US.UTF-8"
1.2. Add EPEL Repository
Add EPEL repository. This must be added. PHP 7.3 is in this repository.
rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY* yum -y install epel-release
1.3. Setup firewalld
firewalld is your server’s firewall, you need this. And also you might use it later for
fail2ban, for added protection.
Install, start and enable
yum -y install firewalld systemctl start firewalld.service systemctl enable firewalld.service
Don’t worry your SSH won’t be blocked.
1.4. Install Text Editor
Install easier text editor. This can be nano or mc/mcedit, or don’t install it at all, just use vi. I like mc, so I install mc.
yum -y install mc
1.5. Install git and unzip
Install unzip and git now so you won’t need to switch to root to install them later. We will need them when installing playSMS.
yum -y install git unzip
1.6. Fix ipv6 for composer
Most likely you will get timed-out when getting packages from
composer repository, and
composer is part of playSMS installation. You will need this fixed before installing playSMS.
The choice would be to disable IPv6 entirely, or run this:
echo 'precedence ::ffff:0:0/96 100' >> /etc/gai.conf
1.7. Add Regular User
Add a new Linux normal user to maintain services, to maintain playSMS later. In this article the user’s username would be
No need to set password as we won’t need to login via SSH with that user. But if you need to you can add strong password by running
The home directory for user
komodo will be in
/home/komodo. Later on our playSMS will be setup there.
1.8. Permissive selinux
You need to set
selinux mode into permissive. Default mode, enforcing, will be quite hard to install new stuff manually. You can always use default mode if you know what you’re doing.
Check current mode:
Set mode to Permissive:
Make it permanent by editing selinux configuration file and change
Reboot the server:
shutdown -r now
2. Install MySQL Server
We will use MariaDB as our MySQL server.
2.1. Install MariaDB
Install MySQL server MariaDB:
yum -y install mariadb-server mariadb
Starts MariaDB and enable it:
systemctl start mariadb.service systemctl enable mariadb.service
2.2. MariaDB Secure Installation
Finalised MariaDB secure installation such as setting root password and disabling anonymous users. Pick strong password for root user, but we will not use root for playSMS, we will later create a new regular MySQL user to access MariaDB.
Enter current password for root (enter for none): <Enter> Set root password? [Y/n] Y New password: <strong password> Re-enter new password: <confirm strong 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
2.3. Test MariaDB
Test your MySQL root access:
mysql -u root -p
You should now logged in to your MySQL server. Type
quit and <Enter> to exit MySQL console.
3. Install Web Server and PHP 7.3
The web server is Apache and selected PHP version is 7.3.
3.1. Install Apache
Install web server Apache:
yum -y install httpd
Starts Apache and enable it:
systemctl start httpd.service systemctl enable httpd service
3.2. Allow HTTP and HTTPS
Enable access to http and https port:
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=https firewall-cmd --reload
3.3. Install Remi Repository
Install Remi CentOS repository for PHP 7.3:
rpm -Uvh http://rpms.remirepo.net/enterprise/remi-release-7.rpm yum -y install yum-utils yum update
3.4. Install PHP 7.3
Install PHP 7.3:
yum-config-manager --enable remi-php73 yum -y install php php-opcache
Restart Apache to enable PHP:
systemctl restart httpd.service
3.5. Install PHP Modules
Install commonly required PHP modules. These modules will be required by playSMS, I suggest to install them now so that you can do playSMS installation without leaving normal user later.
yum -y install php-cli php-mysqli php-gd php-mbstring php-xml php-curl php-zip
Restart Apache to enable PHP modules:
systemctl restart httpd.service
3.6. Test Apache and PHP
Test Apache and PHP by create a test PHP file in default web root. This file need to be removed as soon as the test done.
Save the file and browse this file at your web server address, for example browse:
http://110.128.xx.xx/info.php (real IP redacted).
Please note that you will get an IP public from DO if you’re doing this article in DO. If you are doing it locally using VirtualBox for example the IP might be a private IP.
You should see PHP Info on your browser. Remember to remove
info.php after testing.
4. Supports HTTPS
HTTPS supports will be added to our web server by requesting, installing and configuring SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt on Apache. Let’s Encrypt provides a free SSL certificate for everyone.
4.1. Setup VirtualHost
This step is required for getting free SSL certificate for our HTTPS service from Let’s Encrypt.
In this example I will be using
demo143.playsms.org domain as my entry in VirtualHost setup. I also have set the DNS to point
demo143.playsms.org to my CentOS server’s public IP. Of course you will need your own domain/subdomain and point to your own CentOS server’s public IP.
The example VirtualHost configuration will make Apache serve PHP file for domain
demo143.playsms.org from our regular user (user
komodo) Home Directory (
/home/komodo/public_html to be exact).
Prepare user’s Home Directory:
cd /home/komodo mkdir -p public_html log chmod og+rx /home/komodo public_html log chown komodo.komodo -R /home/komodo chown apache.apache -R /home/komodo/log
Create VirtualHost configuration file for domain
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerName demo143.playsms.org DocumentRoot /home/komodo/public_html ErrorLog /home/komodo/log/httpd-error.log CustomLog /home/komodo/log/httpd-accesss.log combined </VirtualHost>
systemctl restart httpd.service
Switch user as user
komodo and test VirtualHost by create a PHP file in
su - komodo mcedit public_html/test.php
<?php echo "<b>Welcome !!</b>";
Save the file and browse this file at your domain, in this example browse
You know your VirtualHost is working when you see Welcome !! on your browser.
test.php and then go back to root shell by typing
exit and <Enter>.
4.2. Install certbot
We will get the SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt and use
certbot to install it on the server.
yum install certbot python2-certbot-apache
4.3. Setup SSL Certificate
Run certbot for Apache:
Answer questions correctly. You will need to input your email address, choose A to Agree with the ToS and last choose Redirect (selection no. 2) to completely remove HTTP and just serve HTTPS by redirecting all HTTP requests to HTTPS.
Example of successful SSL certificate request and installation:
Visit ssllabs.com/ssltest and submit your domain to test your HTTPS configuration.
5. Install playSMS
Now that we have a working web server with PHP and HTTPS supports, and MySQL server, we can then install playSMS 1.4.3.
From now on you have to switch user to normal Linux user. In this article playSMS will be installed under user
komodo as mentioned before.
Switch user to user
komodo and do commands in this chapter as user
su - komodo
5.1. Prepare Directories
Here are some important directories that need to be ready before playSMS installation:
log is already exists and prepared, they are created previously on section 4.1 as part as VirtualHost configuration. So now we need to create the rest and set proper permission.
Remember to switch user as user
komodo first if you haven’t:
su - komodo
Then create directories:
cd /home/komodo mkdir -p bin etc lib src chmod og+rw bin etc lib src
5.2. Check PHP Modules
Required PHP modules should already be installed if you follow this article from the start, it is on section 3.5. But before proceeding with playSMS installation you need to make sure that required PHP modules are installed:
Make sure you see at least
xml on the list. If they are not on the list then please install them, see section 3.5.
5.3. Prepare Database
Create MySQL database that will be used by playSMS:
mysqladmin -u root -p create playsms
Login as MySQL user root and create a new MySQL user for above database:
mysql -u root -p
CREATE USER 'playsms'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'strongpasswordhere'; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON playsms.* TO 'playsms'@'localhost'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; exit
As of this section you will have a MySQL database named
playsms and MySQL normal user
playsms with your own strong password which only have access to database
5.4. Get playSMS Source Code
playSMS source code available on Github, you will need
git to get them. See section 1.5 if you haven’t install
Go to src folder:
Get playSMS version 1.4.3:
git clone -b 1.4.3 --depth=1 https://github.com/antonraharja/playSMS
As of now your playSMS 1.4.3 source code is available at
5.5. Prepare install.conf
Go to playSMS source code directory, copy
install.conf and then edit it.
Go to playSMS source code directory:
cp install.conf.dist install.conf mcedit install.conf
These are values I set on
DBUSER="playsms" DBPASS="strongpasswordhere" DBNAME="playsms" DBHOST="localhost" DBPORT="3306" WEBSERVERUSER="apache" WEBSERVERGROUP="apache" PATHSRC="/home/komodo/src/playSMS" PATHWEB="/home/komodo/public_html" PATHLIB="/home/komodo/lib" PATHBIN="/home/komodo/bin" PATHLOG="/home/komodo/log" PATHCONF="/home/komodo/etc"
Values need to reflect your server configuration. If you follow this article from the start then above values should be correct, with exception your true database password (DBPASS) of course.
install.conf and ready to run install script.
5.6. Run playSMS Install Script
playSMS install script will download
composer and download packages from
repo.packagist.org. After that the script will copy necessary files from playSMS source code to
Since theres requirement to be able to download from external site (repo.packagist.org), you have to make sure that external site is working and reachable.
But you can just start the install script, because you’ll know if something not right, for example the script fail to download packages. When that happens you can fix the problem first, like fix your networking setup and perhaps firewall, or simply wait (theres a chance the external site down too), and then go back to re-run the install script.
Just to make sure that networking stuff is right, please see section 1.6.
OK, let’s start the installation:
cd ~/src/playSMS/ ./install-playsms.sh
~/bin/playsmsd ~/etc/playsmsd.conf check
All playSMS daemon should be running. And of course, browse your server too, you should see playSMS web login (don’t worry if the page seems broken for now).
5.7. Adjust config.php
config.php and adjust some value, or just one part, the HTTPS support.
- Search for
logstateand set it to
- Search for
ishttpsand set it to
5.8. Change Default Password
Go to your browser, browse the server and login as playSMS administrator.
Default admin access:
After login as
admin, go to
My account -> Preferences and change
5.9. Installation Done
Installation is done, you got a working playSMS now.
I would suggest you to visit these articles and do that too:
Don’t forget to join the Forum and ask/answer playSMS questions there:
Please visit these websites: