How to host BookStack on Linode VM Instance - ServerAvatar

Published : Mar 28, 2023

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Linode is a cloud hosting company that offers Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting solutions. Users can easily deploy and manage cloud-based virtual servers to run applications, host websites, and store data. The platform gives full control to customize and configure infrastructure as needed.

Get started with Linode


BookStack is a web-based software application for creating and managing documentation and knowledge bases. It provides a platform for teams and individuals to collaboratively create and organize content such as articles, notes, and documentation into a hierarchical structure.

More info

Create a server in Linode

First of all, Let's create a VM instance in Linode. It provides a lots of different types of VM instances. You can create shared VM instances, Dedicated Instances, Memory Optimised instances and GPU instances. To host a simple website, You will need a shared VM instance. If you want to learn more about Linode and How to manage servers in linode, Follow our [Linode guide](.

If you think your application uses high CPU or RAM, You can get Dedicated CPU VM or Memory Optimised VM respectively. Let's get started with the process.

Step 1: Go to Linode VM Instance Creation Form

When you log in to your Linode account, You will see "Create Linode" button on the top-right corner of the page. Click on it to go to the Linode creation form.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 1

Step 2: Select the Distribution

We will use ServerAvatar as a server management panel. It supports Ubuntu 20.04 as well as Ubuntu 22.04. So, select any one of the supported OS.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 2

Step 3: Select the Region

Linode has multiple data centers located in different regions worldwide. It is recommended to choose the region that is closest to your major traffic source to reduce latency and improve the performance of your applications.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 3

Step 4: Select Linode Plan

Linode offers various plans with different configurations of CPU, RAM, and storage. Choose a plan that fits your budget and meets your application's requirements. With ServerAvatar, You can also host multiple applications on a single Linode VM Instance.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 4

Step 5: Set Label and Select Tags

The label is a human-readable name that you can use to identify your instance. Tags are keywords that you can use to categorize and search for your instances. You can also group Linodes by Tags on the dashboard.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 5

Step 6: Set Strong Root Password and Select SSH Key

The root password is the administrator password that you will use to access and manage your VM instance. Make sure to use a strong password that is hard to guess and includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Next select an SSH key if you want to authenticate with SSH keys. SSH keys are a more secure way to log in to your VM instance than using passwords. If you have an SSH key, you can upload it to your Linode account and use it to log in to your VM instance.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 6

Step 7: Select VLAN (If Required)

A VLAN is a logical network that separates traffic from different virtual machines or physical servers. It can be used to isolate network traffic and improve security.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 7

Step 8: Select Add-ons - Backups and Private IP

Linode provides an easy way to create and store backups for your VM instances. Backups are highly recommended as they can help you with disaster recovery quickly. And in the last step, You can enable the Private IP address for your VM instance if required.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 8

Step 9: Click on "Create Linode"

Finally, Click on "Create Linode" button at the end of the form to create a Linode VM instance. It usually takes around 2 minutes to create a new Linode instance. Once done, You can connect it with ServerAvatar for easy site and server configuration management.

Create a Linode VM Instance - Step 9

Initial Server Configuration

The Initial server configuration includes installation and configuration of various packages required to host your website. Usually, You have to write commands and modify configuration files. Luckily, With ServerAvatar, Your full server configuration and optimisation can be automated.

Here are the three ways to automatically configure your server with ServerAvatar.

Install and setup BookStack wiki software with ServerAvatar

Step 1. Create a PHP application

On the ServerAvatar server panel, navigate to the Applications tab and click the Create button like the following image.


1. Fill up basic details

In the first step of the application creation, fill in the basic details, including,** Application Name**, select the application type, and type Primary Domain/Test Domain Name.


note that:

If you want to host BookStack on your domain, then make sure to point your domain to the current IP address of your server, and for that:

  1. Log in to your domain provider site, where you buy your domain. Click here for more info about your domain name.
  2. Access DNS Manager to edit your DNS records(contact the support team if you don’t find them)
  3. Change the IP address of A Record of your website to the current server’s IP address. To host BookStack on your subdomain, for example,, create a new application with the subdomain as your primary domain and follow the same procedure. For accessing BookStack on the subdomain, you need to add your subdomain on A Record that points to the current IP address of your server. To point to an IPV6 address, you would need to use an AAAA record.

Click the Next Step to continue.

2. Select an application creation method

BookStack is an open-source project. It can be available on GitHub, so you can directly clone the repository with Serveravatar. In this step-

  1. Select the Git method and GitHub as a service provider.
  2. Mark on Public repository.
  3. Type BookStack project URL from the GitHub BookStack project. you‘ll find it like in the following image.


  1. Enter the release branch name in the branch field.
  2. And. type the below commands in the deployment script.

cp .env.example .env composer install - -no-dev php artisan key:generate - -force image

3. Allocate system user

Allocate a system user for your BookStack application. You can create a new system user or select an existing system user.


Click the Next Step button to continue.

4. Other options

Select a PHP version for your application, and set Custom Webroot as Public in the respective field.


Click the Next Step button.

5. Review your application details

Review your application details and click the Create Application button.


Upon creating an application, the repository can be successfully cloned to your application* Public_html* folder.

Step 2. Create BookStack Database

To create a database for the BookStack application, go to the server panel, navigate to the Database tab, and click the Create button like the following image.


On the next screen, fill up the database details, including -

  • Database Name
  • Database Username
  • Database Password


Click the Create Database to continue.

Step 3. Delete the .env.example file and Update the Database Information and App URL

To delete the .env.example file, go to Application Panel>>File Manager And access the public_html folder. Now click the Show Hidden Files box. The .env.example file can be shown at the top of the files, like the following image.


Now open the .env file and update the details with the database we created in the above step. It includes- DB_DATABASE: Database Name DB_USERNAME: Database Username DB_PASSWORD: Database Password

After that, update the app URL just above the file's database information. Note that if you install SSL on your application, type https:// before your domain name; otherwise, type http:// in the code.


Step 4. Update the Database Schema

It is necessary to keep your database up to date. And for that, log in to your application using an SSH connection. You can see the credentials in the application dashboard like the following image.

Note: make sure the SSH connection toggle is enabled on your application.


Execute the following command in your terminal to log in to your application-

ssh Username@Host Now go to your application path using “cd Application_Name/public_html” and execute the following command.

php artisan migrate - -force After the successful migration of the database, access the URL of your application in the web browser.

Step 5. Login to BookStack

Upon accessing the URL, the login page will appear. You can now log in using the default admin details and password of password. You can change these details immediately after logging in for the first time.


You’ll see the admin screen like the following image upon logging in.


You can now perform administrative tasks to manage your documentation and knowledge base website.