Webserver configuration

How to install Kimai on your server with git, composer and SSH or FTP

If you can’t manage to get Kimai up and running, it is very likely not an issue with Kimai.

  • Check your server logs first and the Kimai logs (at var/logs/ inside the Kimai directory).
  • Try to find an answer at Stackoverflow, ServerFault or other online communities

The following configurations are meant to give you a first idea how your config could look like, they either might be incompatible with your exact setup or might need further tweaking to work.

I don’t offer free support for such situations, but you can contact me about paid installation support.


This is only an example, that needs to be adapted to your needs (eg. path and PHP-FPM version).

server {
    listen 80 default_server;
    listen [::]:80 default_server;
    server_name kimai.local www.kimai.local;
    root /var/www/kimai/public;
    index index.php;

    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;

    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny all;

    location / {
        try_files $uri /index.php$is_args$args;

    location ~ ^/index\.php(/|$) {
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php8.1-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.*)$;
        include fastcgi_params;
        # You can use the document root directly:
        # fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

        # But this is not working in every situation. When you are using symlinks to link the document 
        # root to the current version of your application, you should pass the real
        # application path instead of the path to the symlink to PHP FPM.
        # Otherwise, PHP's OPcache may not properly detect changes to your PHP files 
        # (see https://github.com/zendtech/ZendOptimizerPlus/issues/126 for more information).
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $realpath_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_param DOCUMENT_ROOT $realpath_root;
        # Activate this if you run Kimai alone or inside a VirtualHost, otherwise this example might break other PHP apps
        # fastcgi_param PHP_ADMIN_VALUE "open_basedir=$document_root/..:/tmp/";

    location ~ \.php$ {
        return 404;

Read the Ubuntu setup guide to find out more.


How you have to setup Apache is different across different server distributions, make sure to adapt the techniques, paths and commands according to your OS.

Kimai .htaccess

Kimai ships a default .htaccess, which needs to be allowed by Apache via AllowOverride All.

Create VirtualHost

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName kimai.local
    ServerAlias www.kimai.local

    DocumentRoot /var/www/kimai/public
    <Directory /var/www/kimai/public>
        AllowOverride All

        # If you see an error like the following in your logs:
        # AH01630: client denied by server configuration: /var/www/kimai/public/
        # then you might have to exchange the "Order/Allow" rules with "Require" (see below)
        # More infos at https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/de/upgrading.html

        # Apache 2.2
        Order Allow,Deny
        Allow from All
        # Apache 2.4
        # Require all granted

        FallbackResource /index.php

    <Directory /var/www/kimai>
        Options FollowSymlinks

    # optionally disable the fallback resource for the asset directories
    # which will allow Apache to return a 404 error when files are
    # not found instead of passing the request to Symfony
    <Directory /var/www/kimai/public/bundles>
        FallbackResource disabled
    ErrorLog /var/log/kimai_error.log
    CustomLog /var/log/kimai_access.log combined

    # optionally set the value of the environment variables used in the application
    #SetEnv APP_ENV prod
    #SetEnv APP_SECRET <app-secret-id>
    #SetEnv DATABASE_URL "mysql://db_user:db_pass@host:3306/db_name?charset=utf8mb4&serverVersion=8.3.0"

Activate required modules PHP & Rewrite

This step should not be necessary. If you don’t have a running PHP module yet, find out how to install and activate it for your server distribution. If you have the module installed but its not yet working, it might be necessary to activate it first in Apache.

This is often done with either linking a config using a tool like a2enmod or by manually linking the php8.conf to the proper directory. If that doesn’t help, you can try it with something like this:

LoadModule php8_module libexec/apache2/libphp8.so

<IfModule php8_module>
    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
    AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps
    <IfModule dir_module>
        DirectoryIndex index.php

Change the .so module directory to environment.

The same goes for the mod_rewrite module, which is required for Kimai to work:

LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache2/mod_rewrite.so

IIS on Windows or Azure

This is not officially supported, basically because I have no way to test it. But if you want to join the discussion, please visit the issue tracker here and here and also check the Symfony documentation page which might help.

The following information was provided by a Kimai user:

When executing the commands from the official installation docs you might have to prefix them with the absolute path to your PHP executable, e.g. C:\Program Files\PHP\v7.4\php.exe bin/console kimai:install -n.

The webserver needs file permissions as documented.

Remember to prefix the console command when creating your first user with C:\Program Files\PHP\v7.4\php.exe bin/console kimai:user:create username admin@example.com ROLE_SUPER_ADMIN.

Webserver configuration

Create a standard website in IIS with document root set to your Kimai directory, e.g. C:\htdocs\kimai\public. Make sure memory_limit is set to a minimum of 256M. Set appropriate handler mappings as below:

Handler Mappings

Under Request restrictions you have to select the Verbs tab. Here you can select All verbs or the following using the option “One of the following verbs:” HEAD,POST,GET,PUT,PATCH,DELETE

Request restrictions

This is important, as the API requires those methods: you would not be able to use Kimai properly, e.g. stop timesheets.

Reverse proxy

When you want to run Kimai behind a proxy, you have to provide all necessary X-Forwarded-* headers. Here is an example of a nginx proxy configuration, which terminates SSL on kimai2.local and forwards the request to Kimai running at

server {
    listen 443 ssl;
    server_name                 kimai2.local;
    ssl_certificate             /etc/ssl/certs/kimai2.local.crt;
    ssl_certificate_key         /etc/ssl/certs/kimai2.local.key;
    ssl_session_timeout         5m;
    ssl_protocols               SSLv2 SSLv3 TLSv1;
    ssl_ciphers                 HIGH:!aNULL:!MD5;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers   on;

    location / {

          proxy_set_header  Host $http_host;
          proxy_set_header  X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
          proxy_set_header  X-Forwarded-Host $host:$server_port;
          proxy_set_header  X-Forwarded-Server $host;
          proxy_set_header  X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
          proxy_set_header  X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
          proxy_set_header  X-Forwarded-Port $server_port;
    # Redirect HTTP to HTTPS, in case an invalid (plain HTTP) request was sent to port 443
    error_page 497 https://$host:$server_port$request_uri;

Now, when you open https://kimai2.local/ you wil be redirected to the login URL without http, here: http://kimai2.local/en/login/. Why is that? Well, because you have to tell Kimai (or the Symfony framework) that it should trust your proxy and take the headers into account when generating URLs for links and redirects.

To achieve that, set the environment variable TRUSTED_PROXIES to the name of your proxy, either via .env file:


or set it in your Kimai server definition (here nginx syntax):

fastcgi_param TRUSTED_PROXIES ",kimai2.local,localhost";

With subdirectory usage

Kimai was made to be hosted on the domain level, so running it inside a subdirectory is not perfectly supported. Nevertheless, there are some workarounds that enable the usage behind a Reverse Proxy and inside a subdirectory.

The easy part is fixing asset URLs. Edit your local.yaml and paste this code inside:

        base_path: "/kimai"

This will prepend /kimai to all assets URLs (CSS, Javascript, Images).

Now, let’s move on to configure the webserver (here nginx is used as reverse proxy).

Lets assume Kimai is running on on port 8080, your host is example.com and it should run in the subdirectory directory kimai/:

server {
    listen       80;
    server_name  example.com;

    location /kimai {

The important part here is the “missing” trailing slash!

You are almost there, the only real “workaround” you have to apply is that you have to create a symlink within the public/ directory of kimai, pointing to itself with the name being the same as the above location (here: kimai):

cd /var/www/kimai/public/
ln -s . kimai

In a docker context, it could look like this:

docker exec -it kimai2 bash ln -s /opt/kimai/public /opt/kimai/public/kimai

And you are good to go: Kimai is now running behind a Reverse Proxy.

Read this GitHub issue for more information (start at the bottom).