Deploy this powerful open source invoicing system in your data center

If you are looking for an open source invoicing system to deploy, Jack Wallen thinks Invoice Plane could be the perfect solution to meet your needs.

Image: iStock / Andrey Popov

Recently I realized I have to work too hard to invoice all of my different clients. I had been using the same old spreadsheets for years, but it was getting a little too much to handle. I could have turned to a commercial platform for this, but since open source was my problem, I thought it would be even better to find a solid solution for my on-premises virtual data center. . Turns out there is a rock solid tool called the Invoice Plane, it’s just the ticket.

SEE: Kubernetes: A Cheat Sheet (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Airplane Invoice includes the features necessary for you to manage invoices, such as easy invoicing, customer management, payment tracking and quotes. It might not have all of the features associated with bigger business tools, but among the open source options I’ve found, this is (by far) the best.

Let’s walk through the process of deploying Invoice Plane.

What you will need

I will demonstrate the installation on Ubuntu Server 20.04, so you will need a running and updating instance of this platform, as well as a user with sudo privileges. That’s it, let’s get settled.

How to install the necessary dependencies

The first thing we’ll do is install the necessary dependencies. Connect to your Ubuntu server and first install Apache with the command:

sudo apt-get install apache2 -y

Once the installation is complete, start and activate Apache with the commands:

sudo systemctl start apache2
sudo systemctl enable apache2

Next, we will install MariaDB as a database. This is done with the command:

sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client -y

Once MariaDB is installed, secure it with the command:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Be sure to give the database administrator a password and answer Y to the remaining questions.

Now we can install PHP. First, install a useful package with:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common -y

Add the PHP repository with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Update apt:

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install the required PHP components with the command:

sudo apt-get install php7.1 libapache2-mod-php7.1 php7.1-common php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xmlrpc php7.1-soap php7.1-gd php7.1-xml php7.1-intl php7.1-mysql wget unzip php7.1-cli php7.1-zip php7.1-curl php7.1-mcrypt -y

How to create the database

It’s time to create a database. Log in to the MariaDB console with:

sudo mysql

Create the database and user Invoice Plane with the commands:

CREATE DATABASE invoice_plane_db;
CREATE USER 'invoiceplane'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD';

Grant the necessary privileges with:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON invoice_plane_db.* TO 'invoiceplane'@'localhost';

Clear privileges and exit with:


How to download and install Invoice Plane

We are ready to download and install Invoice Plane. The latest version is Make sure to check the official download page, you are therefore downloading the correct version. To download Invoice Plane, run the command:


Once the download is complete, create a new directory with the command:

mkdir invoiceplane

Extract the downloaded file with the command:

unzip v1.5.11.1 -d invoiceplane

Move the new directory to the root of the Apache document with:

sudo mv /invoiceplane /var/www/html/invoiceplane

Access the new directory:

cd /var/www/html/invoiceplane

Copy the config and htaccess files with the commands:

sudo cp ipconfig.php.example ipconfig.php
sudo cp htaccess .htaccess

Give the directory the correct permissions and ownership:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/invoiceplane/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/invoiceplane/

Create the required Apache host file with:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/invoiceplane.conf

In this file, paste the following content:

     ServerAdmin [email protected]
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/invoiceplane

          Options +FollowSymlinks
          AllowOverride All
          Require all granted
     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Save and close the file.

Activate the site with the following command:

sudo a2ensite invoiceplane.conf

Activate the rewrite module with:

sudo a2enmod rewrite

Restart Apache:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

How to run the billing plan setup wizard

Open a web browser and point it to http: //SERVER/invoiceplane/index.php/welcome (where SERVER is the IP address of the hosting server). At this point, you will go through a very simple graphical interface to complete the installation. The wizard steps are:

  • Choose a language
  • Checking the prerequisites
  • Database Details (Figure A)
  • Create a user account

Figure A


Configure database details for Invoice Plane.

When setting up the database details you will use:

  • Hostname — localhost
  • Port — 3306
  • Username: billing plan
  • Password: the password you defined in the MariaDB console for PASSWORD
  • Database — invoice_plane_db

After creating the user account, the login screen will be displayed. After successful authentication, you will find yourself in the main window of Invoice Plane (Number B), where you can start setting up customers and creating invoices.

Number B


The main window of Invoice Plane is ready to use.

Congratulations, you now have an easy-to-use billing system in your on-premises data center. Hope this will be a big improvement over your old spreadsheet method.

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