Running ownCloud 5.0 On Nginx (LEMP) On Debian Wheezy

This tutorial shows how you can install and run ownCloud 5.0 on a Debian Wheezy system that has nginx installed instead of Apache (LEMP = Linux + nginx (pronounced "engine x") + MySQL + PHP). nginx is a HTTP server that uses much less resources than Apache and delivers pages a lot of faster, especially static files.

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


1 Preliminary Note

I want to install ownCloud in a vhost called here with the document root /var/www/

You should have a working LEMP installation, as shown in this tutorial:


2 Installing APC And A Few Other Requirements

APC is a free and open PHP opcode cacher for caching and optimizing PHP intermediate code. It's similar to other PHP opcode cachers, such as eAccelerator and XCache. It is strongly recommended to have one of these installed to speed up your PHP page.

APC can be installed as follows:

apt-get install php-apc

Install a few other requirements:

apt-get install php-xml-parser php5-intl php5-sqlite php5-mysql smbclient curl libcurl3 php5-curl

Reload PHP-FPM as follows:

/etc/init.d/php5-fpm reload


3 Installing ownCloud

The document root of my web site is /var/www/ - if it doesn't exist, create it as follows:

mkdir -p /var/www/

Next download ownCloud from the ownCloud web site to your server, uncompress it and place it in your document root:

cd /tmp
tar xvfj owncloud-5.0.13.tar.bz2
rm -f owncloud-5.0.13.tar.bz2
cd owncloud
mv * .htaccess /var/www/

It is recommended to make the document root and the ownCloud files in it writable by the nginx daemon which is running as user www-data and group www-data:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/

If you haven't already created a MySQL database for ownCloud (including a MySQL ownCloud user), you can do that as follows (I name the database owncloud in this example, and the user is called owncloud_admin, and his password is owncloud_admin_password):

mysqladmin -u root -p create owncloud
mysql -u root -p

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON owncloud.* TO 'owncloud_admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'owncloud_admin_password';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON owncloud.* TO 'owncloud_admin'@'localhost.localdomain' IDENTIFIED BY 'owncloud_admin_password';


Next we create an nginx vhost configuration for our vhost in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/ directory as follows:

vi /etc/nginx/sites-available/
server {
       listen 80;
       root /var/www/;

       if ($http_host != "") {
                 rewrite ^$request_uri permanent;

       index index.php index.html;

       location = /favicon.ico {
                log_not_found off;
                access_log off;

       location = /robots.txt {
                allow all;
                log_not_found off;
                access_log off;

       # Deny all attempts to access hidden files such as .htaccess, .htpasswd, .DS_Store (Mac).
       location ~ /\. {
                deny all;
                access_log off;
                log_not_found off;

        client_max_body_size 10G; # set max upload size

        rewrite ^/caldav(.*)$ /remote.php/caldav$1 redirect;
        rewrite ^/carddav(.*)$ /remote.php/carddav$1 redirect;
        rewrite ^/webdav(.*)$ /remote.php/webdav$1 redirect;
        rewrite ^/apps/calendar/caldav.php /remote.php/caldav/ last;
        rewrite ^/apps/contacts/carddav.php /remote.php/carddav/ last;
        rewrite ^/apps/([^/]*)/(.*\.(css|php))$ /index.php?app=$1&getfile=$2 last;
        rewrite ^/remote/(.*) /remote.php last;

        error_page 403 = /core/templates/403.php;
        error_page 404 = /core/templates/404.php;

        location ~ ^/(data|config|\.ht|db_structure\.xml|README) {
                        deny all;

        location / {
                        rewrite ^/.well-known/host-meta /public.php?service=host-meta last;
                        rewrite ^/.well-known/host-meta.json /public.php?service=host-meta-json last;

                        rewrite ^/.well-known/carddav /remote.php/carddav/ redirect;
                        rewrite ^/.well-known/caldav /remote.php/caldav/ redirect;

                        rewrite ^(/core/doc/[^\/]+/)$ $1/index.html;

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

        location ~ ^(.+?\.php)(/.*)?$ {
                        try_files $1 =404;
                        include fastcgi_params;
                        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$1;
                        fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $2;
                        fastcgi_param HTTPS $https;
                        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
                        fastcgi_intercept_errors on;
                        fastcgi_index index.php;
                        fastcgi_buffers 64 4K;

        location ~* ^.+\.(jpg|jpeg|gif|bmp|ico|png|css|js|swf)$ {
                        expires 30d;
                        access_log off;

To enable the vhost, we create a symlink to it from the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ directory:

cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/

Reload nginx for the changes to take effect:

/etc/init.d/nginx reload

Now we can launch the web-based ownCloud installer by going to - fill in a user name and password for the administrator account and click on Advanced. Then scroll down...

... and click on MySQL. This will make the input fields for the database details appear. Fill in your database details and click on Finish setup:

If everything goes well, you should see the Welcome to ownCloud message:

The installation is now finished, and you can start using ownCloud:


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5 Comment(s)

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By: Dietbrand

Hi Falko Thanks for the clear tutorial. I would like to point out that you set up PHP-FPM to run using TCP instead of a socket. This makes the vhost configuration inoperable. Specifically, "fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;" should be replaced by "fastcgi_pass;" or whatever the TCP connection was set up to. Also, php-fpm by default allows for only 2MB upload_max_filesize and 8M for post_max_size. This will limit the upload possibility to 2MB. Maybe make a note to adjust that in the tutorial? As a last remark, I'd advise against using any "if" structures in Nginx vhosts. I commented the rewrite as I was using it for a subdomain but Nginx community generaly advises against using "if" (see but to be fair I'm still a newbie user when it comes to Nginx so your use of If is probably completely justified :) regards Dietbrand

By: ryates

The docs actually say (

"Directive if has problems when used in location context...." meaning in relation to a location"directive" within a vhost configuration.

And that is not where it is used in this howto.

 Good catch on the unix socket.

By: bookie56

I followed your How To the letter and even the installation of nginx Before this one...

I tried to login with and just got directed to a website and not owncloud.




By: Richard Stanley

Thank you so much for writing this.  I have been looking for this EXACT example for vhosting owncloud on my existing webpage.  I haven't tried it yet, but I plan on trying it today.  I'll be bookmarking this page and attempting this on Linux mint along side nginx, in a WordPress based site.  Be back tonight to report my success or issues.

By: Sonny

I installed LEMP on my debian and now i want to install owncloud but i don't have the folder /var/www