Strapi Headless CMS Installation in CloudRaya – Part. 1

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Strapi Headless CMS Installation in CloudRaya – Part. 1

Expanding the CMS (Content Management System) in today’s highly developing web environment becomes a critical issue. The appearance of new approaches to CMS, such as headless CMS, offers better solutions for modern web development compared to the traditional CMS.

The Challange of Traditional CMS

Today, users of traditional CMS, such as WordPress, may face several challenges. While traditional CMS offers advantages in content management and how it looks, it has presence disadvantages such as complex maintenance and the need for regular updates.

For example, when traditional CMS requires an update, users also need to pay attention to plug-ins, themes, PHP compatibility, etc. On the other hand, if the CMS is not updated to the newest version, it has the potential to endanger the website.

In this context, high IT understanding and knowledge are required to ensure compatibility with plug-ins, themes, and other elements of the website. These high requirements to maintain the website may cost significant time and energy to accomplish.

The Rise of Headless CMS Concept as a Solution

The rise of headless CMS provides more flexible and efficient solution than the traditional CMS. Here are some points you might want to know about headless CMS:

  1. Separation of Backend and Frontend: Headless CMS separates the back end (content management) and the front end (user interface). Thus, the focus becomes content management without interfering with the user interface.
    The front-end part of the website can be developed separately. On the other hand, data can be accessed by the front end through the Application Programming Interface (API). That is why, CMS is often used by developers to quickly create an API.

  2. Freedom to Choose Frontend Technology: Headless CMS allows us to have the freedom to choose which technology we want to use, such as React, Angular, or Vue.js. The result is a unique user experience according to your business goal.

  3. Scalability and Expansion: Headless CMS allows us to easily integrate content to multiple platforms and devices, such as mobile, website, etc. It provides flexibility in developing and expanding our business digital reach.

  4. Performance and Security Optimization: WordPress with many plug-ins installed can experience performance issues that can harm user experience. Strapi, as a headless CMS, provides higher security and performance by reducing the backend load and improving the page load.

In this tutorial, we will build a headless CMS using Strapi in CloudRaya’s VM to fill the need for more modern, flexible, and safe content management.

About Strapi

Strapi is a CMS open-source with headless architecture.

  • 100% built with JavaScript and fully customizable.
  • Fully supports RESTful and GraphQL, offering users high flexibility on how to interact with the CMS and data access.
  • Compatible with PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, and SQLite databases.
  • Strapi can be run as self-hosted or as cloud-based provided by Strapi.


The following is the requirement you need to install Strapi in our VM based on the Strapi documentation:

  • VM Specification (CPU, RAM, Storage)
    • CPU: 2+ cores (recommended), minimum 1 core
    • RAM: 4GB+ (recommended), minimum 2GB
    • Storage: 32GB+ (recommended), minimum 8GB
  • Node.js
    • Node.js v18.x is recommended for Strapi v4.3.9 and up.  The tutorial will use this version
    • Node.js v16.x is recommended for Strapi v4.0.x to v4.3.8.
    • LTS Node.js version has also included the NPM.
  • Supported Database
    • MySQL: 8.0 (recommended), minimum 5.7.8
    • MariaDB: 10.6 (recommended), minimum 10.3 The tutorial will use this version
    • PostgreSQL: 14.0 (recommended), minimum 11.0
    • SQLite: versi 3 (recommended and minimum)
  • Supported OS
    • Ubuntu (LTS): 22.04 (recommended), minimum 20.04 The tutorial will use this version
    • Debian: 11.x (recommended), minimum 10.x
    • CentOS/RHEL: 9.x (recommended), minimum 8.x
    • Windows Server: version 2022 (recommended), minimum 2019
  • Open port TCP 1337 in ACL firewall in the VPC profile.

    You can find about how to add port in CloudRaya's VPC to the following KB.

CloudRaya's Virtual Machine

We will use the following VM specification for this tutorial:

Node.js Installation

As Strapi code is written in JavaScript, you need to install Node.js with the npm package manager.

Node.js is a runtime environment used to run server-side JavaScript, while npm is the standard package manager for Node.js. npm provides a public repository filled with thousands of software packages developed by the Node.js community.

Add Node.js repository to our VM with the following command:

					curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

Run the following command to install Node.js and npm after the download process is finished:

					sudo apt-get install nodejs -y

Truth be told, Strapi has provided installation script you can use with the following command:

					npx create-strapi-app@latest my-project --quickstart

If you decide to use the script, Strapi will use SQLite as the database as default. Meanwhile, we will use MariaDB as the database in this tutorial.

That is why, the next step to do is to install MariaDB in the VM.

MariaDB Installation

Install MariaDB in Ubuntu

					sudo apt install mariadb-server -y


Run the following command to make sure that MariaDB is running every time the system is activated:

					sudo systemctl enable mariadb

Create Database and User for Strapi

Login to MariaDB:

					sudo mariadb -u root

Create the database for Strapi. This tutorial will named it “strapi_db” for ease of explanation. You can change it to whatever name based on what you need:

					CREATE DATABASE strapi_db;


Next, create ‘admin‘ user and the passwords for the database. You can change it to suit your need:

					CREATE USER 'admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password-anda';


Give full access right in all of the “strapi_db” database table to ‘admin‘:

					GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON strapi_db.* TO 'admin'@'localhost';


Apply the recent changes and exit MariaDB:


Strapi Installation

Now we can begin with Strapi Installation. We will refer to the previous installation command, but without the  --quickstart.

					npx create-strapi-app@latest backend-strapi
# npx running the npm package command.
# create-strapi-app is the Strapi package.
# @latest is to show that we used the latest version of Strapi.
# backend-strapi is the name of our Strapi project.
  • In the installation type, choose Custom (manual settings).
  • In the preferred language, choose JavaScript.
  • In the default database clientconfiguration, choose MySQL database and insert the database name, user, and passwords:
  • In Enable SSL connection, if it will not be accessible for the public, you can choose No

Wait for the installation process to finish. The following table will appear if it is finished.

Now, we create the Strapi admin panel by getting into the Strapi installation directory:

					cd /root/backend-strapi/
npm run build

Wait for a moment until the process is finished. The following message will appear when it is done:

Running the Strapi Service

Run the following command to start Strapi. Make sure you always run this command after you boot up your VM from the shutdown condition.

					cd /root/backend-strapi/
npm run develop

The following message will appear:

Let’s start with creating user admin for the Strapi. Open your browser and visit http://localhost:1337/admin. However, since we install Strapi in CloudRaya’s VM, you can access it through CloudRaya public IP at

You will then be redirected to the Strapi admin panel. Here, you can start managing our content and configure the application according to your needs.

Strapi Extensions

Strapi provides additional plug-in from their ‘Marketplace’ to help you increase your productivity and ease of content management.


We have learned together about the challenges of traditional CMS and the solutions offered by headless CMS, particularly with Strapi.

We have also learned about how to install Strapi in CloudRaya VM and that is the end of this tutorial.

Do not worry, this is the first tutorial about Strapi, and there is more to come. We will discuss many things that Strapi and CloudRaya can do, such as managing backend, creating frontend with React, etc. See you in the next tutorial!

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