How to Install Nginx with PHP and MySQL (LEMP Stack) on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Nginx (pronounced "engine x") is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server. Nginx is known for its high speed, stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption. This tutorial shows how you can install Nginx on an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server with PHP 7.4 support (through PHP-FPM) and MySQL support (LEMP = Linux + Nginx (pronounced "engine x") + MySQL + PHP).

Prerequisites

  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server
  • Root privileges

What we will do?

  • Install Nginx
  • Install MySQL
  • Install PHP-FPM
  • Configure Nginx and PHP-FPM
  • Install PhpMyAdmin
  • Configure PhpMyAdmin
  • Testing

Step 1 - Install Nginx

Nginx or engine x is a high-performance HTTP and proxy server with low memory consumption. Most large-scale websites like Netflix, Pinterest, CloudFlare, GitHub are using Nginx.

In this step, we will install the Nginx web server from the Ubuntu repository.

Update all repositories on the Ubuntu system and install Nginx packages using the apt command below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

After the installation is completed, start the Nginx service and enable it to launch every time at system boot.

systemctl start nginx
systemctl enable nginx

Now the installation of the Nginx Webserver is completed, check the Nginx service using the following command.

systemctl status nginx

Below is the result you will get.

Install Nginx

Also, check the HTTP port on the Ubuntu system and make sure it's used by Nginx service.

ss -plt4

Below is the result you will get.

Check Port

As a result, the HTTP protocol is used by the Nginx service.

Next, we will secure our Nginx installation using the UFW firewall.

Add the HTTP and HTTPS protocol to the UFW firewall configuration using the following command.

for fw in ssh http https
do
ufw allow $fw
done

Now enable the UFW firewall and check it's status.

ufw enable
ufw status numbered

And the HTTP and HTTPS protocol has been added to the UFW firewall configuration.

Open HTTP and HTTPS port UFW Firewall

Step 2 - Install MySQL

MySQL is the most popular open-source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) created by Oracle Corporation. It's a central component of the LEMP Stack, and we will install the latest MySQL version from the Ubuntu repository.

Install MySQL using the apt command below.

sudo apt install mysql-server mysql-client

After the MySQL installation is complete, start the MySQL service and enable it to launch every time at system boot.

systemctl start mysql
systemctl enable mysql

Now check the MySQL service using the command below.

systemctl status mysql

The MySQL service is up and running.

Install MySQL Server

Next, we will set up the root password for the MySQL server.

Run the 'mysql_secure_installation' command below.

mysql_secure_installation

Now you will be asked as the following configuration, and make sure to type your strong password for the MySQL root user.

Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No: Press Enter

New password:
Re-enter new password:

Remove anonymous users? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : Y
Disallow root login remotely? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : Y
Remove test database and access to it? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : Y
Reload privilege tables now? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) : Y

And the MySQL root password has been configured.

As a result, the installation and configuration of the MySQL Database on Ubuntu 20.04 has been completed.

Step 3 - Install and Configure PHP-FPM

PHP-FPM or FastCGI Process Manager is an alternative for the older PHP FastCGI which provides additional features and speed improvements. It suits well for small to large sites based on the PHP programming language.

In this step, we will install the default PHP7.4-FPM with some additional extensions required by PHPMyAdmin.

Install PHP-FPM using the command below.

sudo apt install php-fpm php-cli php-curl php-mysql php-curl php-gd php-mbstring php-pear -y

After the PHP-FPM installation is complete, go to the '/etc/php/7.4/fpm' directory and edit the php.ini configuration using vim editor.

cd /etc/php/7.4/fpm/
vim php.ini

Uncomment the following configuration and change the value to '0'.

cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0

Save and close.

Now start the PHP7.4-FPM service and enable it to launch every time at system boot

systemctl start php7.4-fpm
systemctl enable php7.4-fpm

The PHP-FPM service is up and running, check it using the following command.

systemctl status php7.4-fpm

Below is the result you will get.

Install php-fpm

By default, the PHP-FPM is running under the sock file, check using the ss command below.

ss -pl | grep php

Below is the response you will get.

u_str   LISTEN   0     511   /run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock 67702   * 0                            

And the installation of PHP-FPM 7.4 on Ubuntu 20.04 has been completed.

Step 4 - Configure Nginx and PHP-FPM

In this step, we will configure the Nginx web server and PHP-FPM.

Go to the '/etc/nginx' configuration directory, and edit the 'nginx.conf' file using vim or nano.

cd /etc/nginx/
vim nginx.conf

Uncomment the following line to hide the Nginx version.

server_tokens off;

Save and close.

Next, edit the 'default' virtualhost configuration on the 'sites-available' directory.

vim sites-available/default

Uncomment the PHP line shown below and change the sock file line.

        location ~ \.php$ {
                include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
        #
        # # With php-fpm (or other unix sockets):
                fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
        # # With php-cgi (or other tcp sockets):
        # fastcgi_pass 127.2.0.1:9000;
        }

Save and close.

Test Nginx configuration and make sure there is no error, then restart the service.

nginx -t
systemctl restart nginx

As a result, the Nginx and PHP-FPM configuration has been completed.

Configure Nginx and PHP-FPM

Step 5 - Install phpMyAdmin

PhpMyAdmin is a PHP based application to manage MySQL or MariaDB databases from a web browser. In this step, we will install and configure PHPMyAdmin under the LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, and PHP-FPM) stack.

Install PHPMyAdmin using the apt command below.

sudo apt install phpmyadmin

During the installation, it will ask you about the web server configuration for phpmyadmin.

Choose none option and move the cursor to 'OK'.

Setup Webserver for phpMyAdmin

For the phpmyadmin database and user configuration, choose 'Yes'.

Configure phpMyAdmin Database and User

And type new 'STRONG' PHPMyAdmin admin such as '[email protected]#'.

Setup Password for phpMyAdmin Database and user

Repeat the '[email protected]#' password.

Setup Webserver for phpMyAdmin

And the phpMyAdmin installation on Ubuntu 20.04 is completed.

Step 6 - Configure phpMyAdmin with Nginx and MySQL

After the phpmyadmin installation, we need to configure phpmyadmin to run under the Nginx web server and configure the MySQL user phpmyadmin access. To run PHPMyAdmin under the Nginx web server, we need to add the configuration to the virtual host configuration file.

Configure phpMyAdmin with Nginx Webserver

Now go to the '/etc/nginx' configuration directory, and edit the default virtual host file.

cd /etc/nginx/sites-available/
vim default

Paste the following Nginx configuration for PHPMyAdmin inside the 'server {...}' bracket.

location /phpmyadmin {
    root /usr/share/;
    index index.php;
    try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

location ~ ^/phpmyadmin/(doc|sql|setup)/ {
    deny all;
    }

location ~ /phpmyadmin/(.+\.php)$ {
    fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    include fastcgi_params;
    include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
    }
}

Save and exit.

Test the nginx configuration and make sure there is no error, then restart the nginx service.

nginx -t
systemctl reload nginx

And we've added the Nginx configuration for our phpMyAdmin installation, it's accessible through the path URL as 'http://server-ip/phpmyadmin'.

Configure Nginx for phpMyAdmin

Allow phpMyAdmin user to Access Databases

For this tutorial, we will be using non-root MySQL users for PHPMyAdmin. We will create a new user and grant all privileges of all databases inside the server to the user.

Login to the MySQL shell using the following command.

mysql -u root -p

Now create a new MySQL user 'hakase' and grant all database privileges.

create user [email protected]'localhost' identified by '[email protected]#';
grant all privileges on *.* to [email protected]'localhost';
flush privileges;

Now type 'exit' to logout from the MySQL shell.

exit

As a result, we've created a new MySQL user for the phpMyAdmin.

Step 7 - Testing

In this step, we will test our configuration of the LEMP Stack and phpMyAdmin.

Test PHP File

Go to the '/var/www/html' directory and create a new script file 'info.php' using vim editor.

cd /var/www/html
vim info.php

Paste the following script into it.

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

Save and close.

Next, open your web browser and type your server IP address following by the path of your 'info.php' script.

http://server-ip/info.php

Below is the result you will get.

phpinfo with LEMP Stack

As a result, we've detailed configuration of our PHP-FPM 7.4 on the Ubuntu 20.04 server, and the PHP script is running on our LEMP Stack server.

Test phpMyAdmin

To test our phpMyAdmin installation, type your server IP address following by the 'phpmyadmin' path on the URL.

http://server-ip/phpmyadmin/

And you will get the phpMyAdmin login page.

phpMyAdmin Login Page

To login to the phpMyAdmin, type the user that we've created on top. The user is 'hakase' with the password '[email protected]#', then click the 'Go' button.

And you will get the phpMyAdmin dashboard as below.

phpMyAdmin Dashboard

The phpMyAdmin is working under the LEMP Stack environment.

As a result, the installation and configuration of the LEMP Stack on Ubuntu 20.04 has been completed successfully.

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