How To Install Linux, NGINX, MySQL, PHP (LEMP Stack) on Ubuntu

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How To Install Linux, NGINX, MySQL, PHP (LEMP Stack) on Ubuntu

LEMP stack is a group of software and LEMP is an acronym and it describes a Linux operating system, with Nginx web server, MySQL as a database and the dynamic processing is handled by PHP to serve dynamic websites and web applications.

This guide is tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTE. This installation guide and configuration would be very much similar to other OS or OS versions, but the commands and configuration location may vary as per your installation.

Step-by-step LEMP Stack Installation Guide

1. Prerequisites

Sign on to Ubuntu and update your system before LEMP Stack installation. In order to do that run the commands below:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade && sudo apt-get autoremove

2. Install the Nginx Web Server

NGINX is a modern, efficient, lightweight, and high-performance web server. NGINX can work efficiently even under high load as it uses an asynchronous event-driven model. To install the NGINX webs server, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install nginx

Now, enter the domain name or IP address of your server in the browser to test if the server is working or not.

If the domain name is not pointed to your server or you do not know the public IP Address of your server, you can find it by typing the following commands:

ip addr show eth0 | grep inet | awk '{ print $2; }' | sed 's/\/.*$//'

Once you check your domain name or IP into the browser, you see a NGINX welcome page which ensures the correct installation of NGINX web server.

3. Install MySQL

Now we are going to install a database management system, MySQL, to store and manage the database for the website.

To install MySQL run the following command:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

While installing MySQL Server, you will be asked to set a root password. Set up a strong password and save it for future reference by keeping it in a safe place.

Harden MySQL Server

Harden you MySQL Server by running the mysql_secure_installation script. This will get rid of several security concerns by removing test database and anonymous users in a default MySQL installation:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Now, you will have a choice to change the root password of MySQL. Remove anonymous user accounts, and disable root logins outside of localhost. MySQL root password change is only required if you feel that it is weak and you can strengthen the password more. It is recommended that you answer yes to other options as it will harden your MySQL.The MySQL database software is now installed and well configuration. Now you are ready to go.

The MySQL database software is now installed and configuration. Now you are ready to go.

MySQL Root Login

To log in to MySQL as the root user:

mysql -u root -p

Now enter the root password that you assigned earlier while hardening your MySQL Server using mysql_secure_installation.

4. Install PHP for Processing

Now we need to connect all these things together to generate a dynamic website. For that processing purpose, we need to install the PHP.

We will need to install php5-fpm since Nginx web server does not contain native PHP processing. Here fpm stands for “FastCGI Process Manager”.

Now we need to install this module along with some helper packages that will help PHP to communicate with the MySQL database. To install the module and helper packages, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install php5-fpm php5-mysql

Configuring PHP Processor

We are done with the installation process and to make our setup more secure we need to configure the PHP Processor.
Open the main php5-fpm configuration file php.ini with root privileges:

sudo vim /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini

Now inside this configuration file look for the cgi.fix_pathinfo. It is commented by default with a semi-colon ; and set to 1 by default, which is an extremely insecure setting since it tells PHP to attempt to find and execute the closest file if a PHP file is not found. To make it a secure setting, we need to set cgi.fic_pathinfo value to 0 by uncommenting it.


Save and close the file and restart the PHP processor:

sudo service php5-fpm restart

This will implement the change that we made.

5. Configure Nginx

Now, we to configure our NGINX to run a basic test site. So we need to do some basic settings in the server block. Server blocks are similar to Apache’s Virtual Hosts. We can configure it by editing the default NGINX file by using the following command:

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Now enter the path for your test site and uncomment location block. This is how your code inside the default file should look like:

server {
listen 80 default_server;
listen [::]:80 default_server ipv6only=on;
root /var/www/;
index index.php;
# Make site accessible from http://localhost/
server_name *;
location / {
# First attempt to serve request as file, then
# as directory, then fall back to displaying a 404.
try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
# Uncomment to enable naxsi on this location
# include /etc/nginx/naxsi.rules

location ~ \.php$ {
fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
#          # NOTE: You should have "cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0;" in php.ini
#          # With php5-cgi alone:
#          fastcgi_pass;
#          # With php5-fpm:
fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
fastcgi_index index.php;
include fastcgi_params;

Now save the changes that you have made, and restart NGINX:

sudo service nginx restart

6. Create a PHP File to Test Configuration

Our LEMP stack setup completed perfectly but now we need to test our configuration. And to test the configuration, we can create a new test page inside the site directory which we specified earlier while configuring Nginx in server block. We can create the test page by typing the following command:

sudo vim /usr/share/nginx/html/info.php

Now, enter the following lines of code inside the info.php file

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Now save and close the file.

Now, you can visit this test page in your web browser by visiting your server’s domain name or public IP address followed by /info.php:

http:// domain_name_or_IP/info.php

You should see a web page that has been generated by PHP information about your server. Which looks somewhat like this:

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and tested LEMP Stack installation. Now you will be able to host blazing fast PHP based dynamic website.

Read: How To Install Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP Stack) on Ubuntu

I hope you will find this tutorial useful. If you face any difficulty during LEMP Stack configuration, feel free to contact me on my email address: [email protected] or put your query in the comment section below.

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