Install Cells on CentOS/RHEL

Created on 2021/11/12, cells, installation
Category: 

This guide explains how to configure Cells on an Enterprise-Linux-like system. It contains strongly opinionated choices and best practices. It guides you through the steps required for a production-ready and reasonnably secured server. For a simple test on a RHEL-like server, you can skim through our quick start page instead.

Usecase

Deploy a self-contained Pydio Cells instance on a web-facing CentOS 7 server,
exposed at https://<your-fqdn> using a Let's Encrypt certificate.

Requirements

  • CPU/Memory: 4GB RAM, 2 CPU
  • Storage: 100GB SSD hard drive
  • Operating System:
    • CentOS, RHEL, Scientific Linux (6, 7, 8).
    • An admin user with sudo rights that can connect to the server via SSH
    • Note: The present guide uses a CentOS 7 server. You might have to adapt some commands if you use a different version or flavour.
  • Networking:
    • One Network Interface Controller connected to the internet
    • A registered domain that points toward the public IP of your server: if you already know your IP address, it is a good idea to already add a A Record in your provider DNS so that the record has been already propagated when we need it.

Installation

Dedicated user and file system layout

We recommend to run Pydio Cells with a dedicated pydio user with no sudo permission.

As admin user on your server:

# Create pydio user with a home directory
sudo useradd -m -s /bin/bash pydio

# Create necessary folders
sudo mkdir -p /opt/pydio/bin /var/cells/certs
sudo chown -R pydio: /opt/pydio /var/cells

# Add system-wide ENV var
sudo tee -a /etc/profile.d/cells-env.sh << EOF
export CELLS_WORKING_DIR=/var/cells
export CADDYPATH=/var/cells/certs
EOF
sudo chmod 0755 /etc/profile.d/cells-env.sh

Verification

Login as user pydio and make sure that the environment variables are correctly set:

sysadmin@server:~$ sudo su - pydio 
pydio@server:~$ echo $CELLS_WORKING_DIR
/var/cells
pydio@server:~$ exit

Database

The default MariaDB package shipped with CentOS 7 is too old, so we install MariaDB repo to get version 10.4:

# Add MariaDB 10.4 CentOS repository list
# See http://downloads.mariadb.org/mariadb/repositories/
sudo mkdir -p /etc/yum.repos.d
sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/MariaDB.repo << EOF
[mariadb]
name = MariaDB
baseurl = http://yum.mariadb.org/10.4/centos7-amd64
gpgkey=https://yum.mariadb.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-MariaDB
gpgcheck=1
EOF

# Install and start the server
sudo yum install MariaDB-server
sudo systemctl enable mariadb
sudo systemctl start mariadb
# Run the script to secure your install
sudo mysql_secure_installation

# Open MySQL CLI to create your database and a dedicated user
sudo mysql -u root -p

Start a MySQL prompt and create the database and the dedicated pydio user.

CREATE DATABASE cells;
CREATE USER 'pydio'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'cells';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON cells.* to 'pydio'@'localhost';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
exit

Verification

Check the service is running and that the user pydio is correctly created:

sudo systemctl status mariadb
mysql -u pydio -p

Retrieve binary

# As pydio user
sudo su - pydio 

# Download correct binary
distribId=cells 
# or for Cells Enterprise
# distribId=cells-enterprise 
wget -O /opt/pydio/bin/cells https://download.pydio.com/latest/${distribId}/release/{latest}/linux-amd64/${distribId}

# Make it executable
chmod a+x /opt/pydio/bin/cells
exit

# As sysadmin user 
# Add permissions to bind to default HTTP ports
sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /opt/pydio/bin/cells

# Declare the cells commands system wide
sudo ln -s /opt/pydio/bin/cells /usr/local/bin/cells

Verification

Call the command version as user pydio:

sudo su - pydio 
cells version

Configuration

Configure the server

Call the command configure as user pydio:

sudo su - pydio 
cells configure

If you choose Browser install at the first prompt, you can access the configuration wizard at https://<YOUR PUBLIC IP>:8080 after accepting the self-signed certificate. (Ensure the port 8080 is free and not blocked by a firewall).

You can alternatively finalise the configuration from the command line by answering a few questions.

Verification

If you used the browser install, you can login in the web browser as user admin

First insure your firewall does not block the port 8080:

sudo firewall-cmd --add-port=8080/tcp

If you have done the CLI install, you first need to start the server:

sudo su - pydio 
cells start

Connect and login at https://<YOUR PUBLIC IP>:8080

Note:
At this stage, we start the server in foreground mode. It is important that you always stop the server using the CTRL + C shortcut before calling the start command again.

Declare site and generate Let's Encrypt Certificate

At this point, we assume that:

  • your A record has been propagated: verify with ping <YOUR_FQDN> from your local workstation
  • both port 80 and 443 are free and not blocked by any firewall sudo netstat -tulpn

Create a site:

sudo su - pydio 
cells configure sites
  • Choose "Create a new site"
  • Choose 443 as the port to bind to
  • Enter your FQDN as the address to bind to
  • Choose "Automagically generate certificate with Let's Encrypt"
  • Enter your Email, Accept Let's Encrypt EULA
  • Redirect default HTTP port towards HTTPS
  • Double check and save.

Verification

# Open permanently standard HTTP ports on Firewall
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=https

# Restart your server
sudo su - pydio 
cells start

Connect to your web site at https://<YOUR_FQDN>. A valid certificate is now used.

Stop your server once again before performing the finalisation steps.

Finalisation

Run your server as a service with systemd

Create a configuration file sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/cells.service with the following:

[Unit]
Description=Pydio Cells
Documentation=https://pydio.com
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
AssertFileIsExecutable=/opt/pydio/bin/cells

[Service]
User=pydio
Group=pydio
PermissionsStartOnly=true
AmbientCapabilities=CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE
ExecStart=/opt/pydio/bin/cells start
Restart=on-failure
StandardOutput=journal
StandardError=inherit
LimitNOFILE=65536
TimeoutStopSec=5
KillSignal=INT
SendSIGKILL=yes
SuccessExitStatus=0
WorkingDirectory=/home/pydio

# Add environment variables
Environment=CELLS_WORKING_DIR=/var/cells

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Reload systemd daemon, enable and start cells:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable cells
sudo systemctl restart cells

Verification

# you can check the system logs to insure everything seems OK
sudo journalctl -fu cells -S -1h

Connect to your certified web site at https://<YOUR_FQDN>.

You are now good to go. Happy file sharing!

Troubleshooting

Main tips

With Cells running as a service, you can access the logs in different ways:

# Pydio file logs
tail -200f /var/cells/logs/pydio.log
# Some of the microservices have their own log files, check:
ls -lsah /var/cells/logs/

# Check systemd files
journalctl -fu cells -S -1h

SELinux is enforced

If, after a successful installation and when you try to navigate to the main application page with your browser, you land on a blank page with following message:

Access denied.

ensure you have modified SELinux to be in permissive mode.