There is a new version of this tutorial available for Debian 8 (Jessie).

Installing Lighttpd With PHP5 And MySQL Support On Debian Lenny

Lighttpd is a secure, fast, standards-compliant web server designed for speed-critical environments. This tutorial shows how you can install Lighttpd on a Debian Lenny server with PHP5 support (through FastCGI) and MySQL support.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address 192.168.0.100. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

 

2 Installing MySQL 5.0

First we install MySQL 5.0 like this:

aptitude install mysql-server mysql-client

You will be asked to provide a password for the MySQL root user - this password is valid for the user [email protected] as well as [email protected], so we don't have to specify a MySQL root password manually later on:

New password for the MySQL "root" user: <-- yourrootsqlpassword
Repeat password for the MySQL "root" user: <-- yourrootsqlpassword

 

3 Installing Lighttpd

Lighttpd is available as a Debian package, therefore we can install it like this:

aptitude install lighttpd

Now direct your browser to http://192.168.0.100, and you should see the Lighttpd placeholder page:

Lighttpd's default document root is /var/www on Debian, and the configuration file is /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. Additional configurations are stored in files in the /etc/lighttpd/conf-available directory - these configurations can be enabled with the lighttpd-enable-mod command which creates a symlink from the /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled directory to the appropriate configuration file in /etc/lighttpd/conf-available. You can disable configurations with the lighttpd-disable-mod command.

 

4 Installing PHP5

We can make PHP5 work in Lighttpd through FastCGI. Fortunately, Debian provides a FastCGI-enabled PHP5 package which we install like this:

aptitude install php5-cgi

 

5 Configuring Lighttpd And PHP5

To enable PHP5 in Lighttpd, we must modify /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini and add the line cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1 right at the end of the file:

vi /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini

[...]
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1

To enable the fastcgi configuration (which is stored in /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/10-fastcgi.conf), run the following command:

lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi

This creates a symlink /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled/10-fastcgi.conf which points to /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/10-fastcgi.conf:

ls -l /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled

server1:/usr/bin# ls -l /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 44 2009-03-19 15:16 10-fastcgi.conf -> /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/10-fastcgi.conf
server1:/usr/bin#

Then we reload Lighttpd:

/etc/init.d/lighttpd force-reload

Falko Timme

About Falko Timme

Falko Timme is an experienced Linux administrator and founder of Timme Hosting, a leading nginx business hosting company in Germany. He is one of the most active authors on HowtoForge since 2005 and one of the core developers of ISPConfig since 2000. He has also contributed to the O'Reilly book "Linux System Administration".

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By: Anonymous

If use

Debian Squeeze

 this command = lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi

in Squeeze =  lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi fastcgi-php

By: Anonymous

Confirmed for Debian Squeeze. It only works with 'fastcgi-php'.