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

Installing Lighttpd With PHP5 And MySQL Support On Debian Etch

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 Etch 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:

apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

Create a password for the MySQL user root (replace yourrootsqlpassword with the password you want to use):

mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword

Then check with

netstat -tap | grep mysql

on which addresses MySQL is listening. If the output looks like this:

tcp        0      0 localhost.localdo:mysql *:*                     LISTEN     2713/mysqld

which means MySQL is listening on localhost.localdomain only, then you're safe with the password you set before. But if the output looks like this:

tcp        0      0 *:mysql *:*                     LISTEN     2713/mysqld

you should set a MySQL password for your hostname, too, because otherwise anybody can access your database and modify data:

mysqladmin -h server1.example.com -u root password yourrootsqlpassword

 

3 Installing Lighttpd

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

apt-get 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.

 

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:

apt-get install php5-cgi

 

5 Configuring Lighttpd And PHP5

To enable PHP5 in Lighttpd, we must modify two files, /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini and /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. First we open /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

Then we open /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf and add "mod_fastcgi", to the server.modules stanza:

vi /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

[...]
server.modules              = (
            "mod_access",
            "mod_alias",
            "mod_accesslog",
            "mod_fastcgi",
#           "mod_rewrite",
#           "mod_redirect",
#           "mod_status",
#           "mod_evhost",
#           "mod_compress",
#           "mod_usertrack",
#           "mod_rrdtool",
#           "mod_webdav",
#           "mod_expire",
#           "mod_flv_streaming",
#           "mod_evasive"
 )
[...]

and then right at the end of the file, we add the following stanza:

[...]
fastcgi.server = ( ".php" => ((
                     "bin-path" => "/usr/bin/php5-cgi",
                     "socket" => "/tmp/php.socket"
                 )))

Then we restart Lighttpd:

/etc/init.d/lighttpd restart

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

Easy. Thanks for the info.

By: Anonymous

Thank you pal! I really apreciate it, it was very helpful.

By: Anonymous

Very big thanks  . gretings from Poland this tutorial is very easy and userfull

By: Jay

Superb write-up! worked like a charm. Saved me time.

By: Anonymous

This works awesome. Now i can finaly create a super light web server

By: Anonymous

Thanks for this howto. work all well.