Install LEMP Server (Nginx, MySQL or MariaDB, PHP And phpMyAdmin) On Debian

  • Install Ngnix

Nginx (pronounced engine-x) is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server written by Igor Sysoev.

To install Nginx enter the following command in your terminal:

Note: If you have already installed apache2 in your system, remove it first to avoid conflicts. To uninstall apache, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get purge apache2*
sudo apt-get autoremove

Now, install nginx using command:

sudo apt-get install nginx

Start Nginx service using the command:

sudo service nginx start
  • Test nginx

Open up your web browser and navigate to http://ip-address/ or http://localhost/. You will see a screen something like below.



  • Configure Nginx

Open the file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf in any editor:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Set the worker_processes (i.e No. of CPU’s in your system). To see the no. of CPU’s, use the command “lscpu”. In my case it’s “1″. So I set this as ’1′.

worker_processes 1;

Restart Nginx service:

sudo service nginx restart

The default vhost(server block) is defined in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/default file.

Open the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/default in any editor.

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Under the Server section, set the server FQDN or IP address as shown below.

server {
      listen 80 default_server;
      listen [::]:80 default_server ipv6only=on;
      root /usr/share/nginx/html;
      index index.php index.html index.htm;
      # Make site accessible from http://localhost/
      server_name server.unixmen.local;

 Make sure you’ve added index.php line.


  • listen 80; –> listen for ipv4
  • listen [::]:80 default_server ipv6only=on; –> listen for ipv6
  • root /usr/share/nginx/html; –> document root directory.
  • server_name server.unixmen.local; –> Server FQDN.

Now scroll down further and find the section #location ~ .php$. Uncomment and modify the following lines as shown below.

 location ~ .php$ {
         try_files $uri =404;   ---------> Add this line
         fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+.php)(/.+)$;
         #       # NOTE: You should have "cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0;" in php.ini
         #       # With php5-cgi alone:
         #       fastcgi_pass;
         #       # With php5-fpm:
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_index index.php;
         include fastcgi_params;

Here, I added an extra line ‘try_files $uri =404;’ to prevent zero day exploits.

Save and exit the file.

  • Test nginx configuration

Test the nginx configuration for any syntax errors using command:

sudo nginx -t

Sample output:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Finally restart nginx service

sudo service nginx restart
  • Install MySQL

MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases, though SQLite probably has more total embedded deployments

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

During installation, you’ll be asked to setup the MySQL root user password. Enter the password and click Ok.



Re-enter the password.

Now MySQL server has been installed.

You can verify the MySQL server status using command:

sudo service mysql status

Sample output:

mysql start/running, process 5671

Note: If you want to use MariaDB instead of MySQL, then follow the below steps.

  • Install MariaDB

MariaDB is a drop in replacement for MySQL. It is a robust, scalable and reliable SQL server that comes rich set of enhancements.

First you have to remove existing MySQL packages if any. To completely uninstall MySQL with configuration files, enter the following command:

sudo apt-get purge mysql*

Run the following command to remove unwanted packages.

sudo apt-get autoremove

Now add MariaDB PPA to install it. Run the following commands to add PPA.

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xcbcb082a1bb943db
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb trusty main'

Update the software sources list and install MariaDB using following commands:

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

During installation you will be asked to set database ‘root’ user password.

Re-enter password:

Click Yes to migrate to MariaDB. Note that you’ll not be asked this question if you install MariaDB before MySQL.

You can check the MariaDB version using command:

sudo mysql -v -u root -p

Sample output:

Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 37
Server version: 5.5.37-MariaDB-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2014, Oracle, Monty Program Ab and others.

Reading history-file /home/sk/.mysql_history
Type 'help;' or 'h' for help. Type 'c' to clear the current input statement.

MariaDB [(none)]>

Check if mariadb is running or not, using the following command:

sudo service mysql status

Sample output:

 * /usr/bin/mysqladmin  Ver 9.0 Distrib 5.5.37-MariaDB, for debian-linux-gnu on i686
Copyright (c) 2000, 2014, Oracle, Monty Program Ab and others.

Server version        5.5.37-MariaDB-0ubuntu0.14.04.1
Protocol version    10
Connection        Localhost via UNIX socket
UNIX socket        /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
Uptime:            3 min 34 sec

Threads: 1  Questions: 568  Slow queries: 0  Opens: 338  Flush tables: 4  Open tables: 22  Queries per second avg: 2.654
  • Install PHP

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely used open-source general purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

Install PHP with following command:

sudo apt-get install php5 php5-fpm php5-mysql
  • Configure PHP

Open php.ini file in any editor:

sudo nano /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini

Find the line ‘cgi.fix_pathinfo=1′, uncomment it and change the value 1 to 0.


Now restart php-fpm service.

sudo service php5-fpm restart
  • Test PHP

Create a sample “testphp.php” file in nginx document root folder.

sudo nano /usr/share/nginx/html/testphp.php

Add the following lines in it.


Save and exit the file.

Navigate to  http://server-ip-address/testphp.php. It will display all the details about php such as version, build date and commands etc.

PHP-FPM listens on the socket /var/run/php5-fpm.sock by default. If you want to make PHP-FPM use a TCP connection, open the file /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf,

sudo nano /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

Find the line listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock,

;listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock

and modify it to listen =

listen =

Save and exit the file. Restart php5-fpm service.

sudo service php5-fpm restart

Now open the nginx configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Find the line fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock; and change it to fastcgi_pass; as shown below.

location ~ .php$ {
        try_files $uri =404;
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+.php)(/.+)$;
        #       # NOTE: You should have "cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0;" in php.ini
        #       # With php5-cgi alone:
        #       # With php5-fpm:
        #        fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        include fastcgi_params;

Save and exit the file. Finally restart nginx service.

sudo service nginx restart
  • Manage MySQL Databases Using phpMyAdmin (Optional)

phpMyAdmin is a free open-source web interface tool used to manage your MySQL databases.

  • Install phpMyAdmin

It is available in the Official Debian repositories. So install it with command:

sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Select any webserver. By default, nginx will not be displayed here. So, select apache or lighttpd and let us link phpmyadmin to work with nginx webserver later.

Select Yes to configure database for phpmyadmin with dbconfig-common.

Enter password of the database’s administrative user.

Enter MySQL application password phpmyadmin.

Re-enter the password.

The phpMyAdmin installation has been completed.

Create a symbolic link between phpMyAdmin and the website root directory. Here our website root document directory is /usr/share/nginx/html/.

sudo ln -s /usr/share/phpmyadmin/ /usr/share/nginx/html

Restart nginx server.

sudo service nginx restart
  • Access phpMyAdmin Web Console

Now you can access the phpmyadmin console by navigating to http://server-ip-address/phpmyadmin/ from your browser.

Enter your MySQL username and password which you have given in previous steps. In my case its “root” and “debian”.

You will be redirected to PhpMyAdmin main web interface.

Now you can manage your MySQL databases from phpMyAdmin web interface.

That’s it. Your LEMP server is up and running now.