How To Install OpenX On CentOS 6

Published on March 29, 2013

Bulat Khamitov

How To Install OpenX On CentOS 6

Status: Deprecated

This article covers a version of CentOS that is no longer supported. If you are currently operating a server running CentOS 6, we highly recommend upgrading or migrating to a supported version of CentOS.

Reason: CentOS 6 reached end of life (EOL) on November 30th, 2020 and no longer receives security patches or updates. For this reason, this guide is no longer maintained.

See Instead:
This guide might still be useful as a reference, but may not work on other CentOS releases. If available, we strongly recommend using a guide written for the version of CentOS you are using.


OpenX is a popular advertisement server written in PHP. It has a web interface that allows you to easily manage your ad campaigns and track statistics.

Step 1 - Create A Domain Name

Having a domain name is essential. If you would like to get a free domain, you can get one from dot.tk.

For our purposes, we will register a free domain, cloudads.tk and point it to DigitalOcean name servers:

ns1.digitalocean.com (
ns2.digitalocean.com (

Step 2 - Spin Up A New Droplet and Configure DNS

Spin up a CentOS 6.3 x64 droplet with at least 1GB of RAM and 1 CPU Core. As your OpenX server grows, it would be best to separate database from webserver, and scale them up separately.

If you are just starting out, a single server would be sufficient for both.

We should also add some SWAP memory, and for our droplet we'll add 2 GB:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/swap bs=1024 count=2097152
mkswap /swap && chown root. /swap && chmod 0600 /swap && swapon /swap
echo /swap swap swap defaults 0 0 >> /etc/fstab
echo vm.swappiness = 0 >> /etc/sysctl.conf && sysctl -p

Now head over to DigitalOcean's Control Panel and click DNS (under Labs):

Click "Add Domain" and select the droplet you just created:

Step 3 - Install OpenX On Your Droplet

First, we will add a repository for Nginx. Create /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx.repo and add the following:

name=nginx repo

Now we can install the necessary packages:

yum -y install nginx mysql-server php php-mysql php-fpm php-gd

Step 4 - Modify Nginx Config

Edit /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf - make sure to modify server_name for your own domain:

server {
    listen       80;
    server_name  cloudads.tk www.cloudads.tk;

    location / {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk;
        index  index.html index.htm index.php;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        root           html;
        fastcgi_index  index.php;
        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk$fastcgi_script_name;
        include        fastcgi_params;

Step 5 - Install OpenX

Now we can begin installing OpenX. First, enable Short Open Tags and set correct date.timezone for your droplet - whether it is in New York ("America/New_York") or Amsterdam ("Europe/Amsterdam").

echo "short_open_tag = On" >> /etc/php.ini
echo "date.timezone=America/New_York" >> /etc/php.ini
echo "session.save_path = /tmp" >> /etc/php.ini
sed -i 's/.*php_value\[session.save_path\].*/php_value\[session.save_path\] = \/tmp/g' /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

The short open tags are just a pain to troubleshoot, so you might as well have it enabled. Here we have also set save_path to /tmp - alternatively you can use Memcached

Navigate over to your domain's folder and download packages:

cd /usr/share/nginx/html
mkdir cloudads.tk
wget http://download.openx.org/openx-2.8.10.tar.bz2
tar jxvf openx-2.8.10.tar.bz2
mv openx-2.8.10/* cloudads.tk/
chown -R nginx. /usr/share/nginx
sed -i 's/apache/nginx/g' /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
service mysqld start && service php-fpm start && service nginx start 
chkconfig mysqld on && chkconfig php-fpm on

Make sure to set correct folder permissions:

cd /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/var
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/var/cache
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/var/plugins
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/var/templates_compiled
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/plugins
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/www/admin/plugins
chmod -R a+w /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/www/images

Step 6 - Create Database

We will need to create a database for OpenX to use and a user. Make sure to replace PassWord with your own value

mysqladmin create openx
mysql -Bse "create user 'openx'@'localhost' identified by 'PassWord'"
mysql -Bse "grant all privileges on \`openx\`.* to 'openx'@'localhost'"
mysqladmin flush-privileges

Step 7 - Proceed with Web Installation

Navigate over to your droplet's IP or if DNS has already been switched over, domain name:

Click "I Agree" and proceed to next step:

You could try registering an OpenX.org account, however it seems to have timed out when we tried to do it.

The workaround is to disable outbound SSL connections temporarily and try logging in with any username/password.

You can always register for OpenX Market later from Admin Panel -> My Account -> OpenX Market -> Get Started.

For now, we have disabled outgoing SSL connections and will try any username/password:

iptables -I OUTPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 443 -j REJECT

Now you can enter your database credentials with password from Step 6:

Afterwards, you will set your admin username and password, and you will be done:

After you have finished installing OpenX, you can drop the outgoing iptables rule:

iptables -D OUTPUT 1

Step 9 - Disable Dashboard

sed -i 's/dashboardEnabled.*$/dashboardEnabled=0/' /usr/share/nginx/html/cloudads.tk/var/cloudads.tk.conf.php

Proceed to login to OpenX Admin panel with credentials created in Step 4 of Web Installation

And you are all done!

By Bulat Khamitov

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Bulat Khamitov


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      Kamal Nasser
      DigitalOcean Employee
      DigitalOcean Employee badge
      July 14, 2013

      @chris: It’s okay to not add swap, you won’t break anything. You can add it later for stability (or upgrade your droplet’s RAM allocation) if things start crashing.

      will I break things if I forgot to add swap and do it later while the server is successfully running openx? I have little server experience…

      I’d like to reallocate some of that fast SSD!

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