LAMP Server on Ubuntu 12.04

Updated by Elle Krout

Setting up a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP) stack on your server will allow for the creation and hosting of websites and web applications. This guide provides step by step instructions for installing a LAMP stack on an Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) Linode.

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, you can check our Users and Groups guide.

Before You Begin

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

    To check your hostname run:

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    hostname
    hostname -f
    

    The first command should show your short hostname, and the second should show your fully qualified domain name (FQDN).

  2. Update your system:

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

Install and Configure Apache

  1. Install Apache 2:

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    sudo apt-get install apache2
    
  2. Edit the main Apache configuration file to adjust the resource use settings. The settings shown below are a good starting point for a Linode 1GB:

    /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
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    KeepAlive Off
    
    <IfModule mpm_prefork_module>
    StartServers 2
    MinSpareServers 6
    MaxSpareServers 12
    MaxClients 30
    MaxRequestsPerChild 3000
    </IfModule>
    

Configure Name-based Virtual Hosts

There are different ways to set up virtual hosts; however, the method below is recommended.

  1. Within the /etc/apache2/sites-available/ directory, create a configuration file for your website, example.com.conf, replacing example.com with your own domain information:

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

    The ErrorLog and CustomLog entries are suggested for more fine-grained logging, but are not required. If they are defined (as shown above), the logs directories must be created before you restart Apache.

  2. Create the directories referenced above:

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    sudo mkdir -p /var/www/example.com/public_html
    sudo mkdir /var/www/example.com/logs
    
  3. Enable the website’s virtual host:

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    sudo a2ensite example.com.conf
    

    If you need to disable your website later, run:

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    sudo a2dissite example.com.conf
    
  4. Reload Apache:

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    sudo service apache2 reload
    

    Assuming that you have configured the DNS for your domain to point to your Linode’s IP address, virtual hosting for your domain should now work.

Install and Configure MySQL

  1. Install MySQL:

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    sudo apt-get install mysql-server 
    

    Choose a secure password when prompted.

  2. Run mysql_secure_installation, a program that helps secure MySQL. You will be presented with the opportunity to change the MySQL root password, remove anonymous user accounts, disable root logins outside of localhost, and remove test databases:

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    mysql_secure_installation
    

Create a MySQL Database

  1. Log into MySQL:

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    mysql -u root -p 
    

    Enter the root password. The MySQL prompt will appear.

  2. 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';
    
  3. Exit MySQL:

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    quit
    

With Apache and MySQL installed you are now ready to install PHP.

Install and Configure PHP

  1. Install PHP, and the PHP Extension and Application Repository:

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    sudo apt-get install php5 php-pear
    

    If you need MySQL support, also install php5-mysql

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    sudo apt-get install php5-mysql
    
  2. Once PHP5 is installed, tune the configuration file located in /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini to enable more descriptive errors, logging, and better performance. The following modifications provide a good starting point:

    /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
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    error_reporting = E_COMPILE_ERROR|E_RECOVERABLE_ERROR|E_ERROR|E_CORE_ERROR
    error_log = /var/log/php/error.log  
    max_input_time = 30
    

    Ensure the lines above are uncommented. Commented lines begin with a semicolon (;).

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

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

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    sudo service apache2 restart
    

Congratulations! You have now set up and configured a LAMP stack.

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 3.0 license.