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      How to Deploy a Symfony 4 Application to Production with LEMP on Ubuntu 18.04

      The author selected Software in the Public Interest Inc to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.


      Symfony is an open-source PHP framework with an elegant structure and a reputation for being a suitable framework to kick-start any project irrespective of its size. As a set of reusable components, its flexibility, architecture, and high performance make it a top choice for building a highly complex enterprise application.

      In this tutorial, you will deploy an existing, standard Symfony 4 application to production with a LEMP stack (Nginx, MySQL, and PHP) on Ubuntu 18.04, which will help you get started configuring the server and the structure of the framework. Nginx is a popular open-source, high-performance HTTP server with additional features including reverse proxy support. It has a good reputation and hosts some of the largest and highest traffic sites on the internet. If you choose to deploy your own Symfony application instead, you might have to implement extra steps depending on the existing structure of your application.


      To complete this tutorial, you will need:

      Step 1 — Creating a User and Database for the Application

      By following the instructions in the Prerequisites, you now have all the basic server dependencies required for the application installation. As every dynamic web application requires a database, you will create a user and properly configure a database for the application in this section.

      To create a MySQL database for our application and a user associated with it, you need to access the MySQL client using the MySQL root account:

      Enter the appropriate password, which should be the same password used when running mysql_secure_installation.

      Next, create the application database with:

      You will see the following output in the console:


      Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

      You have successfully created your application database. You can now create a MySQL user and grant them access to the newly created database.

      Execute the following command to create a MySQL user and password. You can change the username and password to something more secure if you wish:

      • CREATE USER 'blog-admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

      You will see the following output:


      Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

      Currently, the user blog-admin does not have the right permission over the application database. In fact, even if blog-admin tries to log-in with their password, they will not be able to reach the MySQL shell.

      A user needs the right permission before accessing or carrying out a specific action on a database. Use the following command to allow complete access to the blog database for the blog-admin user:

      • GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON blog.* TO 'blog-admin'@'localhost';

      You will see the following output:


      Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

      The blog-admin now has all privileges on all the tables inside the blog database. To reload the grant tables and apply changes, you need to perform a flush-privilege operation using the flush statement:

      You will see the following output:


      Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

      You are done creating a new user and granting privileges. To test if you’re on track, exit the MySQL client:

      And log in again, using the credentials of the MySQL user you just created and enter the password when prompted:

      Check that the database can be accessed by the user with:

      You'll see the blog table in the output:


      +--------------------+ | Database | +--------------------+ | information_schema | | blog | +--------------------+ 2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

      Finally, exit the MySQL client:

      You have successfully created a database, a user for the demo application, and granted the newly created user the right privileges to access the database. You are now ready to set up the demo application.

      Step 2 — Setting Up the Demo Application

      To keep this tutorial simple, you will deploy a blog application built with Symfony. This application will allow an authenticated user to create a blog post and store it in the database. In addition, the application user can view all the posts and details associated with an author.

      The source code of the blog application you will deploy in this tutorial is on GitHub. You will use Git to pull the source code of the application from GitHub and save it in a new directory.

      First, create a directory that will serve as the root directory for your application. So, run the following command from the console to create a new directory named symfony-blog:

      • sudo mkdir -p /var/www/symfony-blog

      In order to work with the project files using a non-root user account, you’ll need to change the folder owner and group by running:

      • sudo chown sammy:sammy /var/www/symfony-blog

      Replace sammy with your sudo non-root username.

      Now, you can change into the parent directory and clone the application on GitHub:

      • cd /var/www
      • git clone symfony-blog

      You'll see the following output:


      Cloning into 'symfony-blog'... remote: Counting objects: 180, done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (122/122), done. remote: Total 180 (delta 57), reused 164 (delta 41), pack-reused 0 Receiving objects: 100% (180/180), 167.01 KiB | 11.13 MiB/s, done. Resolving deltas: 100% (57/57), done.

      The demo application is now set. In the next step, you will configure the environment variables and install the required dependencies for the project.

      Step 3 — Configuring your Environment Variables for the Application

      To completely set up the application, you need to install the project dependencies and properly configure the application parameters.

      By default, the Symfony application runs in a development mode, which gives it a very detailed log for the purposes of debugging. This is not applicable to what you are doing in this tutorial, and not good practice for a production environment, as it can slow things down and create very large log files.

      Symfony needs to be aware that you’re running the application in a production environment. You can set this up by either creating a .env file containing variable declarations, or creating environment variables directly. Since you can also use the .env file to configure your database credentials for this application, it makes more sense for you to do this. Change your working directory to the cloned project and create the .env file with:

      • cd symfony-blog
      • sudo nano .env

      Add the following lines to the file to configure the production application environment:



      APP_ENV is an environment variable that specifies that the application is in production, while APP_DEBUG is an environment variable that specifies if the application should run in debug mode or not. You have set it to false for now.

      Save the file and exit the editor.

      Next, install a PHP extension that Symfony apps use to handle XML:

      • sudo apt install php7.2-xml

      Next, you need to install the project dependencies, run composer install:

      • cd /var/www/symfony-blog
      • composer install

      You have successfully configured the environment variables and installed the required dependencies for the project. Next, you will set up the database credentials.

      Step 4 — Setting Up Database Credentials

      In order to retrieve data from the application’s database you created earlier, you will need to set up and configure the required database credentials from within the Symfony application.

      Open the .env file again:

      Add the following content to the file, which will allow you to easily connect and interact properly with the database. You can add it right after the APP_DEBUG=0 line within the .env file:



      The Symfony framework uses a third-party library called Doctrine to communicate with databases. Doctrine gives you useful tools to make interactions with databases easy and flexible.

      You can now use Doctrine to update your database with the tables from the cloned Github application. Run this command to do that:

      • php bin/console doctrine:schema:update --force

      You'll see the following output:


      Updating database schema... 4 queries were executed [OK] Database schema updated successfully!

      After setting up the required credentials and updating the database schema, you can now easily interact with the database. In order to start the application with some data, you will load a set of dummy data into the database in the next section.

      Step 5 — Populating your Database Using Doctrine-Fixtures

      At the moment, the newly created tables are empty. You will populate it using doctrine-fixtures. Using Doctrine-Fixtures is not a prerequisite for Symfony applications, it is only used to provide dummy data for your application.

      Run the following command to automatically load testing data that contains the details of an author and a sample post into the database table created for the blog:

      • php bin/console doctrine:fixtures:load

      You will get a warning about the database getting purged. You can go ahead and type Y:


      Careful, database will be purged. Do you want to continue y/N ? y > purging database > loading AppDataFixturesORMFixtures

      In the next section you will clear and warm up you cache.

      Step 6 — Clearing and Warming Up your Cache

      To ensure your application loads faster when users make requests, it is good practice to warm the cache during the deployment. Warming up the cache generates pages and stores them for faster responses later rather than building completely new pages. Fortunately, Symfony has a command to clear the cache that also triggers a warm up. Run the following command for that purpose:

      • php bin/console cache:clear

      You will see the following output:


      Clearing the cache for the prod environment with debug false [OK] Cache for the "prod" environment (debug=false) was successfully cleared.

      You will conclude the set up in a bit. All that remains is to configure the web server. You will do that in the next section.

      Step 7 — Configuring the Web Server and Running the Application

      By now, you have Nginx installed to serve your pages and MySQL to store and manage your data. You will now configure the web server by creating a new application server block, instead of editing the default one.

      Open a new server block with:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/blog

      Add the following content to the new server block configuration file. Ensure you replace the your_server_ip within the server block with your server IP address:


      server {
          listen 80;
          listen [::]:80;
          server_name blog your_server_ip;
          root /var/www/symfony-blog/public;
          index index.php;
          client_max_body_size 100m;
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
          location ~ .php {
              try_files $uri /index.php =404;
              fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
              fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
              fastcgi_param SCRIPT_NAME $fastcgi_script_name;
              fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+.php)(/.+)$;
              fastcgi_index index.php;
              include fastcgi_params;
          location ~ /.(?:ht|git|svn) {
              deny all;

      First, we specified the listen directives for Nginx, which is by default on port 80, and then set the server name to match requests for the server’s IP address. Next, we used the root directives to specify the document root for the project. The symfony-blog application is stored in /var/www/symfony-blog, but to comply with best practices, we set the web root to /var/www/symfony-blog/public as only the /public subdirectory should be exposed to the internet. Finally, we configured the location directive to handle PHP processing.

      After adding the content, save the file and exit the editor.

      Note: If you created the file in the prerequisite article How To Install Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP (LEMP stack) on Ubuntu 18.04, remove it from the sites-enabled directory with sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ so it doesn't conflict with this new file.

      To enable the newly created server block, we need to create a symbolic link from the new server block configuration file located in /etc/nginx/sites-available directory to the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled by using the following command:

      • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/blog /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

      Check the new configuration file for any syntax errors by running:

      This command will print errors to the console if there are any. Once there are no errors run this command to reload Nginx:

      • sudo systemctl reload nginx

      You just concluded the last step required to successfully deploy the Symfony 4 application. You configured the web server by creating a server block and properly set the web root in order to make the web application accessible.

      Finally, you can now run and test out the application. Visit http://your_server_ip in your favorite browser:

      The following image is the screenshot of the Symfony blog application that you should see at your server's IP address:

      Alt screenshot of the Symfony blog application


      Symfony is a feature-rich PHP framework with an architecture that makes web development fun for the developer who builds software using it. Symfony is a feature-rich web development framework that provides developers powerful tools to build web applications. It's often considered a good choice for enterprise applications due to its flexibility. The steps to deploy a typical Symfony application vary—depending on the setup, complexity, and the requirements of the application.

      In this tutorial, you manually deployed a Symfony 4 application to production on an Ubuntu 18.04 server running LEMP. You can now apply this knowledge to deploying your own Symfony applications.

      Source link

      How To Install WordPress with LEMP on Debian 9


      WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) on the internet. It allows you to easily set up flexible blogs and websites on top of a MySQL backend with PHP processing. WordPress has seen incredible adoption and is a great choice for getting a website up and running quickly. After setup, almost all administration can be done through the web frontend.

      In this guide, we’ll focus on getting a WordPress instance set up on a LEMP stack (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, and PHP) on a Debian 9 server.


      In order to complete this tutorial, you will need access to a Debian 9 server.

      You will need to perform the following tasks before you can start this guide:

      • Create a sudo user on your server: We will be completing the steps in this guide using a non-root user with sudo privileges. You can create a user with sudo privileges by following our Debian 9 initial server setup guide.
      • Install a LEMP stack: WordPress will need a web server, a database, and PHP in order to correctly function. Setting up a LEMP stack (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, and PHP) fulfills all of these requirements. Follow this guide to install and configure this software.
      • Secure your site with SSL: WordPress serves dynamic content and handles user authentication and authorization. TLS/SSL is the technology that allows you to encrypt the traffic from your site so that your connection is secure. This tutorial will assume that you have a domain name for your blog. You can use Let’s Encrypt to get a free SSL certificate for your domain. Follow our Let’s Encrypt guide for Nginx to set this up.

      When you are finished the setup steps, log into your server as your sudo user and continue below.

      Step 1 — Creating a MySQL Database and User for WordPress

      The first step that we will take is a preparatory one. WordPress uses MySQL to manage and store site and user information. We have MySQL installed already, but we need to make a database and a user for WordPress to use.

      To get started, log into the MySQL root (administrative) account. If MySQL is configured to use the auth_socket authentication plugin (the default), you can log into the MySQL administrative account using sudo:

      If you changed the authentication method to use a password for the MySQL root account, use the following format instead:

      You will be prompted for the password you set for the MySQL root account.

      First, we can create a separate database that WordPress can control. You can call this whatever you would like, but we will be using wordpress in this guide to keep it simple. You can create the database for WordPress by typing:

      • CREATE DATABASE your_domain DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;

      Note: Every MySQL statement must end in a semi-colon (;). Check to make sure this is present if you are running into any issues.

      Next, we are going to create a separate MySQL user account that we will use exclusively to operate on our new database. Creating one-function databases and accounts is a good idea from a management and security standpoint. We will use the name wordpressuser in this guide. Feel free to change this if you'd like.

      We are going to create this account, set a password, and grant access to the database we created. We can do this by typing the following command. Remember to choose a strong password here for your database user:

      • GRANT ALL ON your_domain.* TO 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

      You now have a database and user account, each made specifically for WordPress. We need to flush the privileges so that the current instance of MySQL knows about the recent changes we've made:

      Exit out of MySQL by typing:

      The MySQL session will exit, returning you to the regular Linux shell.

      Step 2 — Installing Additional PHP Extensions

      When setting up our LEMP stack, we only required a very minimal set of extensions in order to get PHP to communicate with MySQL. WordPress and many of its plugins leverage additional PHP extensions.

      We can download and install some of the most popular PHP extensions for use with WordPress by typing:

      • sudo apt update
      • sudo apt install php-curl php-gd php-intl php-mbstring php-soap php-xml php-xmlrpc php-zip

      Note: Each WordPress plugin has its own set of requirements. Some may require additional PHP packages to be installed. Check your plugin documentation to discover its PHP requirements. If they are available, they can be installed with apt as demonstrated above.

      When you are finished installing the extensions, restart the PHP-FPM process so that the running PHP processor can leverage the newly installed features:

      • sudo systemctl restart php7.0-fpm

      We now have all of the necessary PHP extensions installed on the server.

      Step 3 — Configuring Nginx

      Next, we will be making a few minor adjustments to our Nginx server block files. Based on the prerequisite tutorials, you should have a configuration file for your site in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/ directory configured to respond to your server's domain name and protected by a TLS/SSL certificate. We'll use /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain as an example here, but you should substitute the path to your configuration file where appropriate.

      Additionally, we will use /var/www/your_domain as the root directory of our WordPress install. You should use the web root specified in your own configuration.

      Note: It's possible you are using the /etc/nginx/sites-available/default default configuration (with /var/www/html as your web root). This is fine to use if you're only going to host one website on this server. If not, it's best to split the necessary configuration into logical chunks, one file per site.

      Open your site's Nginx configuration file with sudo privileges to begin:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain

      We need to add a few location directives within our main server block. After adding SSL certificates your config may have two server blocks. If so, find the one that contains root /var/www/your_domain and your other location directives and implement your changes there.

      Start by creating exact-matching location blocks for requests to /favicon.ico and /robots.txt, both of which we do not want to log requests for.

      We will use a regular expression location to match any requests for static files. We will again turn off the logging for these requests and will mark them as highly cacheable since these are typically expensive resources to serve. You can adjust this static files list to contain any other file extensions your site may use:


      server {
          . . .
          location = /favicon.ico { log_not_found off; access_log off; }
          location = /robots.txt { log_not_found off; access_log off; allow all; }
          location ~* .(css|gif|ico|jpeg|jpg|js|png)$ {
              expires max;
              log_not_found off;
          . . .

      Inside of the existing location / block, we need to adjust the try_files list so that instead of returning a 404 error as the default option, control is passed to the index.php file with the request arguments.

      This should look something like this:


      server {
          . . .
          location / {
              #try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
          . . .

      When you are finished, save and close the file.

      Now, we can check our configuration for syntax errors by typing:

      If no errors were reported, reload Nginx by typing:

      • sudo systemctl reload nginx

      Next, we will download and set up WordPress itself.

      Step 4 — Downloading WordPress

      Now that our server software is configured, we can download and set up WordPress. For security reasons in particular, it is always recommended to get the latest version of WordPress from their site.

      Change into a writable directory and then download the compressed release by typing:

      • cd /tmp
      • curl -LO

      Extract the compressed file to create the WordPress directory structure:

      We will be moving these files into our document root momentarily. Before we do that, we can copy over the sample configuration file to the filename that WordPress actually reads:

      • cp /tmp/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php /tmp/wordpress/wp-config.php

      Now, we can copy the entire contents of the directory into our document root. We are using the -a flag to make sure our permissions are maintained. We are using a dot at the end of our source directory to indicate that everything within the directory should be copied, including any hidden files:

      • sudo cp -a /tmp/wordpress/. /var/www/your_domain

      Now that our files are in place, we'll assign ownership them to the www-data user and group. This is the user and group that Nginx runs as, and Nginx will need to be able to read and write WordPress files in order to serve the website and perform automatic updates.

      • sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/your_domain

      Our files are now in our server's document root and have the correct ownership, but we still need to complete some more configuration.

      Step 5 — Setting up the WordPress Configuration File

      Next, we need to make some changes to the main WordPress configuration file.

      When we open the file, our first order of business will be to adjust some secret keys to provide some security for our installation. WordPress provides a secure generator for these values so that you do not have to try to come up with good values on your own. These are only used internally, so it won't hurt usability to have complex, secure values here.

      To grab secure values from the WordPress secret key generator, type:

      • curl -s

      You will get back unique values that look something like this:

      Warning: It is important that you request unique values each time. Do NOT copy the values shown below!


      define('AUTH_KEY', '1jl/vqfs<XhdXoAPz9 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES c_j{iwqD^<+c9.k<J@4H'); define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY', 'E2N-h2]Dcvp+aS/p7X DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES {Ka(f;rv?Pxf})CgLi-3'); define('LOGGED_IN_KEY', 'W(50,{W^,OPB%PB<JF DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 2;y&,2m%3]R6DUth[;88'); define('NONCE_KEY', 'll,4UC)7ua+8<!4VM+ DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES #`DXF+[$atzM7 o^-C7g'); define('AUTH_SALT', 'koMrurzOA+|L_lG}kf DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 07VC*Lj*lD&?3w!BT#-'); define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'p32*p,]z%LZ+pAu:VY DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES C-?y+K0DK_+F|0h{!_xY'); define('LOGGED_IN_SALT', 'i^/G2W7!-1H2OQ+t$3 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES t6**bRVFSD[Hi])-qS`|'); define('NONCE_SALT', 'Q6]U:K?j4L%Z]}h^q7 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 1% ^qUswWgn+6&xqHN&%');

      These are configuration lines that we can paste directly in our configuration file to set secure keys. Copy the output you received now.

      Now, open the WordPress configuration file:

      • sudo nano /var/www/your_domain/wp-config.php

      Find the section that contains the dummy values for those settings. It will look something like this:


      . . .
      define('AUTH_KEY',         'put your unique phrase here');
      define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'put your unique phrase here');
      define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'put your unique phrase here');
      define('NONCE_KEY',        'put your unique phrase here');
      define('AUTH_SALT',        'put your unique phrase here');
      define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
      define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'put your unique phrase here');
      define('NONCE_SALT',       'put your unique phrase here');
      . . .

      Delete those lines and paste in the values you copied from the command line:


      . . .
      . . .

      Next, we need to modify some of the database connection settings at the beginning of the file. You need to adjust the database name, the database user, and the associated password that we configured within MySQL.

      The other change we need to make is to set the method that WordPress should use to write to the filesystem. Since we've given the web server permission to write where it needs to, we can explicitly set the filesystem method to "direct". Failure to set this with our current settings would result in WordPress prompting for FTP credentials when we perform some actions. This setting can be added below the database connection settings, or anywhere else in the file:


      . . .
      define('DB_NAME', 'your_domain');
      /** MySQL database username */
      define('DB_USER', 'wordpressuser');
      /** MySQL database password */
      define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password');
      . . .
      define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

      Save and close the file when you are finished.

      Step 6 — Completing the Installation Through the Web Interface

      Now that the server configuration is complete, we can finish up the installation through the web interface.

      In your web browser, navigate to your server's domain name or public IP address:


      Select the language you would like to use:

      WordPress language selection

      Next, you will come to the main setup page.

      Select a name for your WordPress site and choose a username (it is recommended not to choose something like "admin" for security purposes). A strong password is generated automatically. Save this password or select an alternative strong password.

      Enter your email address and select whether you want to discourage search engines from indexing your site:

      WordPress setup installation

      When you click ahead, you will be taken to a page that prompts you to log in:

      WordPress login prompt

      Once you log in, you will be taken to the WordPress administration dashboard:

      WordPress login prompt


      WordPress should be installed and ready to use! Some common next steps are to choose the permalinks setting for your posts (can be found in Settings > Permalinks) or to select a new theme (in Appearance > Themes). If this is your first time using WordPress, explore the interface a bit to get acquainted with your new CMS.

      Source link

      How To Install Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP (LEMP stack) on Debian 9


      The LEMP software stack is a group of software that can be used to serve dynamic web pages and web applications. This is an acronym that describes a Linux operating system, with an Nginx web server. The backend data is stored in the MySQL database and the dynamic processing is handled by PHP.

      In this guide, you’ll install a LEMP stack on a Debian server using the packages provided by the operating system.


      To complete this guide, you will need a Debian 9 server with a non-root user with sudo privileges. You can set up a user with these privileges in our Initial Server Setup with Debian 9 guide.

      Step 1 — Installing the Nginx Web Server

      In order to display web pages to our site visitors, we are going to employ Nginx, a modern, efficient web server.

      All of the software we will be using for this procedure will come directly from Debian’s default package repositories. This means we can use the apt package management suite to complete the installation.

      Since this is our first time using apt for this session, we should start off by updating our local package index. We can then install the server:

      • sudo apt update
      • sudo apt install nginx

      On Debian 9, Nginx is configured to start running upon installation.

      If you have the ufw firewall running, you will need to allow connections to Nginx. You should enable the most restrictive profile that will still allow the traffic you want. Since we haven’t configured SSL for our server yet, in this guide, we will only need to allow traffic on port 80.

      You can enable this by typing:

      • sudo ufw allow 'Nginx HTTP'

      You can verify the change by typing:

      You should see HTTP traffic allowed in the displayed output:


      Status: active To Action From -- ------ ---- OpenSSH ALLOW Anywhere Nginx HTTP ALLOW Anywhere OpenSSH (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6) Nginx HTTP (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)

      Now, test if the server is up and running by accessing your server's domain name or public IP address in your web browser. If you do not have a domain name pointed at your server and you do not know your server's public IP address, you can find it by typing one of the following into your terminal:

      • ip addr show eth0 | grep inet | awk '{ print $2; }' | sed 's//.*$//'

      This will print out a few IP addresses. You can try each of them in turn in your web browser.

      Type one of the addresses that you receive in your web browser. It should take you to Nginx's default landing page:


      Nginx default page

      If you see the above page, you have successfully installed Nginx.

      Step 2 — Installing MySQL to Manage Site Data

      Now that we have a web server, we need to install MySQL, a database management system, to store and manage the data for our site.

      You can install this easily by typing:

      • sudo apt install mysql-server

      Note: In Debian 9 a community fork of the MySQL project – MariaDB – is packaged as the default MySQL variant. While, MariaDB works well in most cases, if you need features found only in Oracle's MySQL, you can install and use packages from a repository maintained by the MySQL developers. To install the official MySQL server, use our tutorial How To Install the Latest MySQL on Debian 9.

      The MySQL database software is now installed, but its configuration is not complete.

      To secure the installation, we can run a security script that will ask whether we want to modify some insecure defaults. Begin the script by typing:

      • sudo mysql_secure_installation

      You will be asked to enter the password for the MySQL root account. We haven't set this yet, so just hit ENTER. Then you'll be asked you if you want to set that password. You should type y then set a root password.

      For the rest of the questions the script asks, you should press y, followed by the ENTER key at each prompt. This will remove some anonymous users and the test database, disable remote root logins, and load these new rules so that MySQL immediately respects the changes you have made.

      At this point, your database system is now set up and secured. Let's set up PHP.

      Step 3 — Installing PHP for Processing

      We now have Nginx installed to serve our pages and MySQL installed to store and manage our data. However, we still don't have anything that can generate dynamic content. That's where PHP comes in.

      Since Nginx does not contain native PHP processing like some other web servers, we will need to install fpm, which stands for "fastCGI process manager". We will tell Nginx to pass PHP requests to this software for processing. We'll also install an additional helper package that will allow PHP to communicate with our MySQL database backend. The installation will pull in the necessary PHP core files to make that work.

      Then install the php-fpm and php-mysql packages:

      • sudo apt install php-fpm php-mysql

      We now have our PHP components installed. Next we'll configure Nginx to use them.

      Step 4 — Configuring Nginx to Use the PHP Processor

      Now we have all of the required components installed. The only configuration change we still need is to tell Nginx to use our PHP processor for dynamic content.

      We do this on the server block level (server blocks are similar to Apache's virtual hosts). We're going to leave the default Nginx configuration alone and instead create a new configuration file and new web root directory to hold our PHP files. We'll name the configuration file and the directory after the domain name or hostname that the server should respond to.

      First, create a new directory in /var/www to hold the PHP site:

      • sudo mkdir /var/www/your_domain

      Then, open a new configuration file in Nginx's sites-available directory:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain

      This will create a new blank file. Paste in the following bare-bones configuration:


      server {
          listen 80;
          listen [::]:80;
          root /var/www/your_domain;
          index index.php index.html index.htm;
          server_name your_domain;
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
          location ~ .php$ {
              include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
              fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.0-fpm.sock;

      This is a very basic configuration that listens on port 80 and serves files from the web root we just created. It will only respond to requests to the name provided after server_name, and any files ending in .php will be processed by the php-fpm process before Nginx sends the results to the user.

      Save and close the file when you're done customizing it.

      Activate your configuration by linking to the config file from Nginx's sites-enabled directory:

      • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

      This will tell Nginx to use the configuration next time it is reloaded. First, test your configuration for syntax errors by typing:

      If any errors are reported, go back and recheck your file before continuing.

      When you are ready, reload Nginx to make the changes:

      • sudo systemctl reload nginx

      Next we'll create a file in our new web root directory to test out PHP processing.

      Step 5 — Create a PHP File to Test Configuration

      Your LEMP stack should now be completely set up. We can test it to validate that Nginx can correctly hand .php files off to our PHP processor.

      We can do this by creating a test PHP file in our document root. Open a new file called info.php within your document root in your text editor:

      • sudo nano /var/www/your_domain/info.php

      Type or paste the following lines into the new file. This is valid PHP code that will return information about our server:



      When you are finished, save and close the file.

      Now, you can visit this page in your web browser by visiting your server's domain name or public IP address followed by /info.php:


      You should see a web page that has been generated by PHP with information about your server:

      PHP page info

      If you see a page that looks like this, you've set up PHP processing with Nginx successfully.

      After verifying that Nginx renders the page correctly, it's best to remove the file you created as it can actually give unauthorized users some hints about your configuration that may help them try to break in.

      For now, remove the file by typing:

      • sudo rm /var/www/html/info.php

      You can always regenerate this file if you need it later.


      You should now have a LEMP stack configured on your Debian server. This gives you a very flexible foundation for serving web content to your visitors.

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