Install LAMP on Ubuntu 16.04

Updated by Edward Angert

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A LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack is a common web stack used for hosting web content. This guide shows how to install and test a LAMP stack on Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS).

This guide is written for a non-root user. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you’re not familiar with the sudo command, see the Linux Users and Groups guide.

Replace each instance of example.com in this guide with your site’s domain name.

Before You Begin

  1. Ensure that you have followed the Getting Started and Securing Your Server guides and that the Linode’s hostname is set.

  2. Update your system:

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    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
    

Apache

Install and Configure

  1. Install Apache 2.4 from the Ubuntu repository:

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    sudo apt-get install apache2
    
  2. Edit the main Apache configuration file, apache2.conf, to adjust the KeepAlive setting:

    /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
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    KeepAlive Off
    
  3. The default multi-processing module (MPM) for Apache is the event module but by default PHP uses the prefork module. Open the mpm_prefork.conf file located in /etc/apache2/mods-available and edit the configuration. Below are the suggested values for a 2GB Linode:

    /etc/apache2/mods-available/mpm_prefork.conf
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    <IfModule mpm_prefork_module>
            StartServers            4
            MinSpareServers         20
            MaxSpareServers         40
            MaxRequestWorkers       200
            MaxConnectionsPerChild  4500
    </IfModule>
    
  4. Disable the event module and enable prefork:

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    sudo a2dismod mpm_event
    sudo a2enmod mpm_prefork
    
  5. Restart Apache:

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    sudo systemctl restart apache2
    

Configure Virtual Hosts

You can set up virtual hosts several ways; however, below is the recommended method. By default, Apache listens on all IP addresses available to it. For all steps below, replace example.com with your domain name.

  1. Create a copy of the default Apache configuration file for your site:

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    sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf
    
  2. Edit the new example.com.conf configuration file by uncommenting ServerName and replacing example.com with your site’s IP or Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). Enter the document root path and log directories as shown below, and add a Directory block before </VirtualHost>:

    /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf
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    <Directory /var/www/html/example.com/public_html>
        Require all granted
    </Directory>
    <VirtualHost *:80>
            ServerName example.com
            ServerAlias www.example.com
            ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
            DocumentRoot /var/www/html/example.com/public_html
    
            ErrorLog /var/www/html/example.com/logs/error.log
            CustomLog /var/www/html/example.com/logs/access.log combined
    
    </VirtualHost>
    

    The file example above has all comment sections removed for brevity; you may keep or remove the commented areas as you see fit.

    The ServerAlias directive allows you to include multiple domain names or subdomains for a single host. The example above allows visitors to use example.com or www.example.com to navigate to this virtual host.

  3. Create the directories referenced above:

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    sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/example.com/{public_html,logs}
    
  4. Link your virtual host file from the sites-available directory to the sites-enabled directory:

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    sudo a2ensite example.com.conf
    

    If you need to disable your website, run:

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    a2dissite example.com.conf
    
  5. Disable the default virtual host to minimize security risks:

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    sudo a2dissite 000-default.conf
    
  6. Reload Apache:

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    sudo systemctl reload apache2
    

    Virtual hosting should now be enabled. To allow the virtual host to use your domain name, be sure that you have configured DNS services for your domain to point to your Linode’s IP address.

    If there are additional websites you wish to host on your Linode, repeat the above steps to add a folder and configuration file for each.

MySQL

Install MySQL

Install the mysql-server package and choose a secure password when prompted:

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sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Create a MySQL Database

  1. Log into MySQL:

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    mysql -u root -p
    

    Enter MySQL’s root password, and you’ll be presented with a MySQL prompt.

  2. If no password was entered in the previous section, or if you want to change the root password, enter the following command. Replace password with a new root password:

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    ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH 'mysql_native_password' BY 'password';
    
  3. Create a database and a user with permissions for it. In this example, the database is called webdata, the user webuser, and password password:

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    CREATE DATABASE webdata;
    GRANT ALL ON webdata.* TO 'webuser' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
    
  4. Exit MySQL:

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    quit
    

PHP 7.0

  1. Install PHP, the PHP Extension and Application Repository, Apache support, and MySQL support:

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    sudo apt-get install php7.0 php-pear libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-mysql
    

    Optionally, install additional cURL, JSON, and CGI support:

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    sudo apt-get install php7.0-curl php7.0-json php7.0-cgi
    
  2. Once PHP7.0 is installed, edit the configuration file located in /etc/php/7.0/apache2/php.ini to enable more descriptive errors, logging, and better performance. The following modifications provide a good starting point:

    /etc/php/7.0/apache2/php.ini
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    max_input_time = 30
    error_reporting = E_COMPILE_ERROR | E_RECOVERABLE_ERROR | E_ERROR | E_CORE_ERROR
    error_log = /var/log/php/error.log
    

    The beginning of the php.ini file contains examples commented out with a semicolon (;), which disables these directives. Ensure that the lines you modify in this step are after the examples section and are uncommented.

  3. Create the log directory for PHP and give ownership to the Apache system user:

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    sudo mkdir /var/log/php
    sudo chown www-data /var/log/php
    
  4. Restart Apache:

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    sudo systemctl restart apache2
    

Optional: Test and Troubleshoot the LAMP Stack

In this section, we’ll create a test page that shows whether Apache can render PHP and connect to the MySQL database. This can be helpful in locating the source of an error if one of the elements of your LAMP stack is not communicating with the others.

  1. Paste the following code into a new file, phptest.php, in the public_html directory. Modify webuser and password to match the information entered in the Create a MySQL Database section above:

    /var/www/html/example.com/public_html/phptest.php
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    <html>
    <head>
        <title>PHP Test</title>
    </head>
        <body>
        <?php echo '<p>Hello World</p>';
    
        // In the variables section below, replace user and password with your own MySQL credentials as created on your server
        $servername = "localhost";
        $username = "webuser";
        $password = "password";
    
        // Create MySQL connection 
        $conn = mysqli_connect($servername, $username, $password);
    
        // Check connection - if it fails, output will include the error message
        if (!$conn) {
            die('<p>Connection failed: <p>' . mysqli_connect_error());
        }
        echo '<p>Connected successfully</p>';
        ?>
    </body>
    </html>
    
  2. Navigate to example.com/phptest.php from your local machine. If the components of your LAMP stack are working correctly, the browser will display a “Connected successfully” message. If not, the output will be an error message.

Troubleshooting

  • If the site does not load at all, check if Apache is running, and restart it if required:

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    systemctl status apache2
    sudo systemctl restart apache2
    
  • If the site loads, but the page returned is the default “Congratulations” page, return to the Configure Virtual Hosts section above, and check that the DocumentRoot matches your example.com/public_html folder.

  • If the page returned says “Index of /” or has a similar folder tree structure, create a test index.html file or a test file as shown above.

Congratulations! You have now set up and configured a LAMP stack on Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS).

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.