Contao is a free, web-based Open Source Content Management System (CMS) written in PHP and distributed under the LGPL 3.0 or later licence.

Contao is used to build and manage professional websites of different types and size ranges that are easy to maintain.

As of Contao 4, it is based on Symfony, a popular high performance PHP framework for web development. Contao 4 has been designed as a Symfony bundle, which can be used to add CMS functionality to any Symfony application.

Contao (formerly TYPOlight) was released for the first time in 2006 by Leo Feyer. Since then it has been continuously developed and it is actively maintained by the Contao Core Development Workgroup and other contributors.


For this guide you should be familiar with the basic concepts of


We are using PHP in version 8.1:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace tools version use php 8.1
Selected PHP version 8.1
The new configuration is adapted immediately. Patch updates will be applied automatically.
[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace tools version show php
Using 'PHP' version: '8.1'
[isabell@stardust ~]$

You’ll need your MySQL credentials. Get them with my_print_defaults:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ my_print_defaults client
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Your website domain needs to be set up:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web domain list
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Create Database

Contao saves your data in a MySQL database. It is recommended to use an additional database (e.g. isabell_contao) instead of the default database.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ mysql -e "CREATE DATABASE ${USER}_contao"
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Document Root Preparation

Since Contao uses the subdirectory public/ as web root of your website you should not install Contao in your default Uberspace DocumentRoot. Instead, we install it next to that and then use a symlink to make it accessible to the web.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ rm -f html/nocontent.html; rmdir html
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ mkdir -p contao/public
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ ln -s contao/public html
[isabell@stardust isabell]$


Download the Contao Manager to your web root:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ wget
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ mv contao-manager.phar html/contao-manager.phar.php
[isabell@stardust isabell]$


To complete the installation, you need to run the Contao Manager, which will guide you through the installation process.

Contao Manager

Point your web browser to your website URL and append contao-manager.phar.php (e.g. to start the Contao configuration.

  1. Manager Account When you run the Contao install tool the first time, the web based installer will prompt you for a new username & password combination for access to the manager tool. For all future accesses, the Contao Manager will ask for this again.

  2. Contao Version Choose the version you want to install.

  3. Database Configuration To configure your database connection, you need to enter the MySQL database credentials:

  • MySQL hostname (use localhost)

  • MySQL username (equals your Uberspace username, e.g. isabell)

  • MySQL password

  • Contao database name (e.g. isabell_contao)

  1. Database Migration Update the database (this will create the database table structure).

  2. Backend Account Create a Contao backend administrator account.

You have successfully installed the Contao CMS on Uberspace 7!

Contao Backend

Point your web browser to your website URL and append /contao (or /contao/login) to open the Contao Backend login mask (e.g.

Log into the Contao Backend by entering the credentials of the Backend account.



Check the GitHub repository releases and the update feed regularly to stay informed about new updates and releases. Also read the news and announcements posted on

To update an existing Contao installation (or switch to another PHP version), start the Contao Manager again (e.g. visit


The Contao Managed Edition and especially additional bundles and modules are not updated automatically, so make sure to regularly check for security and maintenance updates.

Tested with Contao 5.0.6 (API-Version 2) / Uberspace 7.13.0

Written by: xchs <>, luto <>, brutus <>