Webmaster Seminar Apache Server
How To Set Up an Ubuntu/Debian LAMP Server

May 1st, 2009:

How To Set Up an Ubuntu/Debian LAMP Server

Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP/Perl together commonly known as "LAMP Server"

Build Your Own Debian/Ubuntu LAMP Server
Quick & Easy Do it Yourself Installation:

  • Apache 2 - Linux Web Server
  • MySQL 5 - MySQL Database Server
  • PHP4/5 - PHP Scripting Language
  • phpMyAdmin - Web-based Database Admin Software
Note: Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP/Perl together commonly known as LAMP Server.

First, let us prepare a system that has a minimum requirement of Debian/Ubuntu version of linux with at least 256MB of RAM available. Anything less than this minimum RAM will cause lot of problems since we are running a server along especially MySQL and Webmin requires a lot of RAM to run properly. MySQL will give you this nasty error "cannot connect to mysql.sock" if you dont have enough memory in your server.

I love debian/ubuntu based linux because of my enormous affinity towards the command "apt-get". As a starter knowing this one command, it is so easy to install packages and you don't need to worry about package dependency and configuration. You need to buy a dedicated server or a VPS package if you want to setup your own server. If you want to experiment with the server and installation it is recommended to purchase a VPS package from a server hosting company. Visit Webmaster Resources for more information about server hosts. Believe it or not it is so easy to install and configure your server yourself eventhough you are new to Linux and dedicated/vps hosting.

First download PuTTy (Telnet and SSH client) if you are accessing your server through SSH. Just enter the IP of your server with root login to access your host. As you probably know, Webmin is a freely available server control panel and we will setup this once we have completed the LAMP server and Mail Server. Webmin makes it easier for us to fine tune our linux box.

Before proceeding to install, update the necessary packages with debian with this command.
apt-get install update

1. Installing Apache + PHP

Apache is one of the most famous web server which runs on most linux based servers. With just few commands you can configure apache to run with PHP 4 or PHP 5.
If you want to install PHP 4, just apt-get
apt-get install apache2 php4 libapache2-mod-php4
To install PHP5, just run the following on linux shell. Note that if you dont specify packages with '4', PHP5 will be automatically installed.
apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5
Apache configuration file is located at: /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and your web folder is /var/www.

To check whether php is installed and running properly, just create a test.php in your /var/www folder with phpinfo() function exactly as shown below.

nano /var/www/test.php
# test.php
<?php phpinfo(); ?>
Point your browser to http://ip.address/test.php or http://domain/test.php and this should show all your php configuration and default settings.

You can edit necessary values or setup virtual domains using apache configuration file.

2. Installing MySQL Database Server

Installing mysql database server is always necessary if you are running a database driven ecommerce site. Remember running mysql server to a fair extend requires atleast 256mb of RAM in your server. So unless you are running database driven sites you dont absolutely need mysql. The following commands will install mysql 5 server and mysql 5 client.
apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client php5-mysql
Note: If you have already installed php4, you should make a slight change like this.
apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client php4-mysql
The configuration file of mysql is located at: /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Creating users to use MySQL and Changing Root Password By default mysql creates user as root and runs with no passport. You might need to change the root password.

How to Change the Root Password

mysql -u root
mysql> USE mysql;
mysql> UPDATE user SET Password=PASSWORD
('new-password') WHERE user='root';
You must never use root password, so you might need to create a user to connect to mysql database for a PHP script. Alternatively you can add users to mysql database by using a control panel like webmin or phpMyAdmin to easily create or assign database permission to users. We will install Webmin and phpmyadmin during later once we complete basic installation.

3. PhpMyAdmin Installation

PhpMyAdmin is a nice web based database management and administration software and easy to install and configure under apache. Managing databases with tables couldnt be much simpler by using phpmyadmin. All you need to do is:
apt-get install phpmyadmin
The phpmyadmin configuration file is located at: /etc/phpmyadmin folder.

To set up under Apache all you need to do is include the following line in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf:

Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf
Now restart Apache:
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Point your browser to: http://domain/phpmyadmin

That's it! MySQL and phpMyAdmin are ready. Log in with your mysql root password and create users to connect to database from your php script.

This tutorial was written and contributed to WebmasterSeminar by Scott who currently runs MySQL- Apache-PHP.com.


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