There is a new version of this tutorial available for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).

Installing Nginx With PHP5 (And PHP-FPM) And MySQL Support On Ubuntu 10.10 - Page 2

5 Configuring nginx

The nginx configuration is in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf which we open now:

vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

The configuration is easy to understand (you can learn more about it here: and here:

First (this is optional) increase the number of worker processes and set the keepalive_timeout to a reasonable value:

worker_processes  5;
    keepalive_timeout   2;

The virtual hosts are defined in server {} containers. The default vhost is defined in the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/default - let's modify it as follows:

vi /etc/nginx/sites-available/default
server {
        listen   80; ## listen for ipv4
        listen   [::]:80 default ipv6only=on; ## listen for ipv6
        server_name  _;
        access_log  /var/log/nginx/localhost.access.log;
        location / {
                root   /var/www;
                index  index.php index.html index.htm;
        location /doc {
                root   /usr/share;
                autoindex on;
                deny all;
        location /images {
                root   /usr/share;
                autoindex on;
        #error_page  404  /404.html;
        # redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
        error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
        location = /50x.html {
                root   /var/www/nginx-default;
        # proxy the PHP scripts to Apache listening on
        #location ~ \.php$ {
        # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
        location ~ \.php$ {
                try_files $uri =404;
                fastcgi_index  index.php;
                fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  /var/www$fastcgi_script_name;
                include fastcgi_params;
        # deny access to .htaccess files, if Apache's document root
        # concurs with nginx's one
        location ~ /\.ht {
                deny  all;

server_name _; makes this a default catchall vhost (of course, you can as well specify a hostname here like

In the location / part, I've added index.php to the index line. root /var/www; means that the document root is the directory /var/www.

The important part for PHP is the location ~ \.php$ {} stanza. Uncomment it to enable it. Please make sure that you change the fastcgi_param line to fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME /var/www$fastcgi_script_name; (replace /var/www with your vhost's document root) because otherwise the PHP interpreter won't find the PHP script that you call in your browser.

Make sure that there are some spaces between include and fastcgi_params; - in the default file this is written as one word which is a bug.

Now save the file and restart nginx:

/etc/init.d/nginx restart

Now create the following PHP file in the document root /var/www:

vi /var/www/info.php

Now we call that file in a browser (e.g.

As you see, PHP5 is working, and it's working through FPM/FastCGI, as shown in the Server API line. If you scroll further down, you will see all modules that are already enabled in PHP5. MySQL is not listed there which means we don't have MySQL support in PHP5 yet.


6 Getting MySQL Support In PHP5

To get MySQL support in PHP, we can install the php5-mysql package. It's a good idea to install some other PHP5 modules as well as you might need them for your applications. You can search for available PHP5 modules like this:

aptitude search php5

Pick the ones you need and install them like this:

aptitude install php5-mysql php5-curl php5-gd php5-idn php-pear php5-imagick php5-imap php5-mcrypt php5-memcache php5-mhash php5-ming php5-ps php5-pspell php5-recode php5-snmp php5-sqlite php5-tidy php5-xmlrpc php5-xsl php5-json

Now restart PHP-FPM:

/etc/init.d/php5-fpm restart

Now reload in your browser and scroll down to the modules section again. You should now find lots of new modules there, including the MySQL module:



About The Author

Falko Timme is the owner of Boost Your Site mit Timme Hosting - ultra-schnelles nginx-WebhostingTimme Hosting (ultra-fast nginx web hosting). He is the lead maintainer of 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: Patrick

Thanks a lot Falko, this got me up and going in no time on my Maverick VM... this was my 4th attempt at getting a LNMP stack set up and I was getting really frustrated until I stumbled across your post.