Using PHP-FPM with Apache on Ubuntu 16.04

This tutorial shows how to install an Apache webserver on an Ubuntu 16.04 server with PHP 7 (through PHP-FPM) and MySQL support. PHP-FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) is an alternative PHP FastCGI implementation with some additional features useful for sites of any size, especially busier sites.


1 Preliminary Note

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

I'm running all the steps in this tutorial with root privileges, so make sure you're logged in as root:

sudo su


2 Installing MySQL or MariaDB

Ubuntu provides MySQL as well as MariaDB packages. MariaDB is a MySQL fork provided by the original MySQL developer Monty Widenius. Follow either chapter 2.1 or 2.2 to install the database server.

2.1 Install MySQL 5.7

First, we install MySQL 5.7 like this:

apt-get -y 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

Run mysql_secure_installation to secure the MySQL database and disable access to the test database.


You will be asked these questions:

Enter current password for root (enter for none): <-- press enter
Set root password? [Y/n] <-- y
New password: <-- Enter the new MariaDB root password here
Re-enter new password: <-- Repeat the password
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] <-- y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] <-- y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] <-- y

2.2 Install MariaDB

Run the following command to install MariaDB-server and client:

apt-get -y install mariadb-server mariadb-client

Now we set a root password for MariaDB.


You will be asked these questions:

Enter current password for root (enter for none): <-- press enter
Set root password? [Y/n] <-- y
New password: <-- Enter the new MariaDB root password here
Re-enter new password: <-- Repeat the password
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] <-- y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] <-- y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] <-- y

3 Installing Apache

Apache 2.4 is available as an Ubuntu package. We need the apache2 package which we can install it like this:

apt-get -y install apache2

Now direct your browser to, and you should see the Apache placeholder page (It works!):

The apache default page on Ubuntu

Apache's default document root is /var/www/html on Ubuntu, and the configuration file is /etc/apache2/apache2.conf. Additional configurations are stored in subdirectories of the /etc/apache2 directory such as /etc/apache2/mods-enabled (for Apache modules), /etc/apache2/sites-enabled (for virtual hosts), and /etc/apache2/conf.d.


4 Installing PHP 7

We can make PHP 7 work in Apache2 through PHP-FPM and Apache's mod_fastcgi module which we install as follows:

apt-get -y install libapache2-mod-fastcgi php7.0-fpm php7.0

PHP-FPM is a daemon process (with the systemd unit php7.0-fpm.service) that runs a FastCGI server on the socket /var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock.

Next, enable the following Apache modules...

a2enmod actions fastcgi alias

... and restart Apache:

systemctl restart apache2.service


5 Configuring Apache

To make Apache work with PHP-FPM, we need the following configuration:

        <IfModule mod_fastcgi.c>
                AddHandler php7-fcgi .php
                Action php7-fcgi /php7-fcgi
                Alias /php7-fcgi /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi
                FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi -socket /var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock -pass-header Authorization

You can put it in the global Apache configuration (so it's enabled for all vhosts), for example in /etc/apache2/conf.d/php7.0-fpm.conf (this file does not exist, so you must create it), or you can place it in each vhost that should use PHP-FPM. I want to use PHP-FPM with the default vhost so I open its vhost configuration file /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf.

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

... and put the following section somewhere between <VirtualHost></VirtualHost>:

        <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
Require all granted
<IfModule mod_fastcgi.c> SetHandler php7-fcgi .php Action php7-fcgi /php7-fcgi virtual Alias /php7-fcgi /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi -socket /var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock -pass-header Authorization </IfModule>

Restart Apache afterwards:

systemctl restart apache2.service

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

nano /var/www/html/info.php

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

PHP 7 is working fine on Ubuntu 16.04

As you see, PHP 7 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 PHP. MySQL is not listed there which means we don't have MySQL support in PHP yet.

Please note: If you have the PHP 7 apache module installed (mod_php), this can happen e.g. when you start with a LAMP server setup of your ISP and not with an empty server like I did it in this tutorial, then you might have to disable mod_php as shown below.

a2dismod php7.0

and restart apache:

systemctl restart apache2.service


6 Getting MySQL / MariaDB Support in PHP 7

To get MySQL support in PHP, we can install the php7.0-mysql package. It's a good idea to install some other PHP modules as well as you might need them for your applications. You can search for available PHP modules like this:

apt-cache search php7.0

Pick the ones you need and install them like this:

apt-get install php7.0-mysql php7.0-curl php7.0-gd php7.0-intl php-pear php7.0-imap php7.0-mcrypt php7.0-ps php7.0-pspell php7.0-recode php7.0-snmp php7.0-sqlite php7.0-tidy php7.0-xmlrpc php7.0-xsl

Now reload PHP-FPM:

systemctl reload php7.0-fpm.service

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

PHP 7 with MySQL support


7 phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a web interface through which you can manage your MySQL databases. It's a good idea to install it:

apt-get -y install phpmyadmin

You will see the following questions:

Web server to reconfigure automatically:<-- apache2 
Configure database for phpmyadmin with dbconfig-common? <-- Yes
MySQL application password for phpmyadmin: <-- Press enter

Afterwards, you can access phpMyAdmin under

PHPMyAdmin on Ubuntu


8 Making PHP-FPM use a TCP Connection (optional)

NOTE: This chapter shows the configuration of PHP-FPM over TCP. I will show this as a configuration example and there might be setups where you need this e.g. when the fastcgi process runs on a secnd server, but in general it is faster to use sockets. So you might want to skip this chapter.

By default PHP-FPM is listening on the socket /var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock. It is also possible to make PHP-FPM use a TCP connection. To do this, open /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf...

nano /etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

... and make the listen line look as follows:

;listen = /var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock
listen =

This will make PHP-FPM listen on port 9000 on the IP (localhost). Make sure you use a port that is not in use on your system.

Then reload PHP-FPM:

systemctl reload php7.0-fpm.service

Next go through your Apache configuration and all your vhosts and change the line FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi -socket /var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock -pass-header Authorization to FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi -host -pass-header Authorization, e.g. like this:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf
 <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
Require all granted

<IfModule mod_fastcgi.c>
AddHandler php7-fcgi .php
Action php7-fcgi /php7-fcgi virtual
Alias /php7-fcgi /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi
FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php7-fcgi -host -pass-header Authorization
</IfModule> [...]

Finally reload Apache:

systemctl reload apache2.service


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By: Andre

This part seems pretty empty to me :-)


Next we have to adjust a setting in the php.ini file. Open /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini with the nano editor:

nano /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini

By: Allen

apache wont start with the conf file you typed "... and put the following section somewhere between <VirtualHost></VirtualHost>:"


SetHandler need to change to AddHandler?


And after all processed, my server api is sill Apache 2.0 Handler. totally not work.

By: till

The config from the tutorial works fine here, just checked that again. There must be a typo in your config, the apache log shows you which line is wrong in your config. And yes, it has to be SetHandler and not AddHandler.

By: Arni Johanensson

Yes you need to change to AddHandler, and then also (as seen here - I didnt need to do all the user stuff, just followed this guide and snagged the snippet below to my 000-default.conf)

You need to instruct apache to use it for PHP files:


<IfModule mod_fastcgi.c>

    <FilesMatch ".+\.ph(p[345]?|t|tml)$">

        SetHandler php7-fcgi




This worked for me on a fresh Xenial install as of March 2017

By: robert

Thank you for making this tutorial. There seems to be very little on the web about making FPM work with PHP 7. Having said that, I am having trouble getting my PHP7 install to work with FPM on Apache 2.4 (on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS). I have followed your instructions. I have placed the AddHandler part of the config in /etc/apache2/conf-available/php7.0-fpm.conf file, which is being symlinked via the conf-enabled directory. As far as I can tell, it is being properly scanned. I placed the SetHandler part of the config (the second block in your example) in the /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf file as you instructed. However, having done this I cannot restart the apache server without an error. Running systemctl status apache2.service gives the following results:

liverpool apache2[3182]: AH00526: Syntax error on line 34 of /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf:liverpool apache2[3182]: SetHandler takes one argument, a handler name that overrides any other configured handlerliverpool apache2[3182]: Action 'configtest' failed.liverpool apache2[3182]: The Apache error log may have more information.liverpool systemd[1]: apache2.service: Control process exited, code=exited status=1liverpool systemd[1]: Failed to start LSB: Apache2 web server.liverpool systemd[1]: apache2.service: Unit entered failed state.liverpool systemd[1]: apache2.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.

Can you help me?

By: Superuser

Allen above is correct about the wrong command in the example in step 5. After the comment...

and put the following section somewhere between <VirtualHost></VirtualHost> should read:


AddHandler php7-fcgi .php

And not 


SetHandler php7-fcgi .php

By: Luiz Petri

Using SetHandler instead of AddHandler in the 000-default.conf worked form me. Thanks Superuser!

By: Bu Huy


a2enmod actions fastcgi alias proxy proxy_http proxy_fcgi

to run in Ubuntu 16.04.1

By: JM

Thank you Bu Huy!!!

By: osahner

You only need:

a2enmod alias proxy proxy_http


By: OlivierC

I followed this tutorial step by step but I still have Apache2.0 Handler as server api. Is there something more I must do ?

By: Ted

I also had problems in step 5, but got it fixed by putting the line below in 000-default.conf  (instead of the <ifModule>)ProxyPassMatch ^/(.*\.php(/.*)?)$ unix:/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/var/www/html/


By: Alex

This worked thank you !

By: Darren

This worked for me too.

By: hansen

Had almost the same issues described above. This worked for me.

By: jayc

Firstly, thank you for putting this tutorial, Till! Its awesome!

Just FYI, there is  a typo in Step 5: Configure Apache 

In one section you use AddHandler and in next section you use SetHandler instead of AddHandler.



By: zx1986

1. config in 000-default.conf

<FilesMatch \.php$>    SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/"</FilesMatch>

2. sudo a2enmod proxy_fcgi



I agree with the others AddHandler, not SetHandler. SetHandler gave an error when I tried to reload apache (specificlly that line).

By: django

This writeup leaves me with apache prefork mpm. Command #apachectl -V gives:


Server version: Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu)

Server built:   2016-07-14T12:32:26

Server's Module Magic Number: 20120211:52

Server loaded:  APR 1.5.2, APR-UTIL 1.5.4

Compiled using: APR 1.5.2, APR-UTIL 1.5.4

Architecture:   64-bit

Server MPM:     prefork

I have a 1GB ram VPS and would like to use apache event mpm with php7.0 and php-fpm.


What should I do to accomplish that?

By: marco

hello, thanks for your tutorials, i'm reading a lot fo articles on your website.

may i ask you what about the apache configuration for php custom installation directory?

just like this

what's the best way to set up apache with php installed as shown in the link?


By: till

The custom php tutorial is made for the ISPConfig perfect server guides like this one:

ISPConfig is able to create a vhost configuration in php-fpm or php-fcgi mode that uses the additional PHP version.

By: kiai


By: kiai

There's an extra space under AddHandler and SetHandler.

By: Saulius

MariaDB error: ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhostSolution here:

$ sudo mysql -u root [mysql] use mysql; [mysql] update user set plugin='' where User='root'; [mysql] flush privileges; [mysql] \q


By: maenujem

Very good tutorial!I've set up Apache2.4 with PHP-FPM 7.0 using virtual hosts on Ubuntu 16.04. These are my recommendations/changes to the tutorial:

Step 4 change: a2enmod actions fastcgi alias proxy proxy_fcgi
Step 5 only: a2enconf php7.0-fpm (use default of apache2.4) 
For virtual hosts do:a) create virtual-host directory/s including user/group ownership and 751 permissionb) optionally set umask to 026 for shell (~/.profile), sftp (/etc/ssh/sshd_config) and php (/lib/systemd/system/php7.0-fpm.service)c) create Apache-config for virtualhost based on /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf:
set ServerName, DocumentRoot, ErrorLog, CustomLog and<FilesMatch ".+\.ph(p[3457]?|t|tml)$">
    SetHandler "proxy:unix:/run/php/php7.0-fpm-web1.sock|fcgi://localhost"</FilesMatch><Directory /var/www_vhosts/web1/>
    Options Indexes FollowSymlinks
    AllowOverride None
    Require all granted</Directory>d)
activate with a2ensite web1e)
create PHP-config for virtualhost based on /etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/web1.conf:set pool name, user/group, listen-socket (listen = /run/php/php7.0-fpm-web1.sock), listen user/group, listen mode (listen.mode = 0666), virtual-host specific php-settings (eg. php_admin_value[open_basedir] = /var/www_vhosts/web1)f) restart and check with: ps -efH | grep php-fpm OR systemctl status php7.0-fpm.service

By: KazkzrdLig

Cool + for the post