Setting Up WordPress 5.0 on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04 / 18.10 with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2-FPM

For those who want to run the upcoming WordPress 5.0 on Ubuntu with Nginx HTTP and PHP 7.2-FPM support, then the steps below should be a great place to start… Our previous tutorial showed you how to install it with Apache2 support…

WordPress 5.0 is just around the corner, and if you’re a students or new users looking for help installing it when it is released, the steps below will show you how properly install WordPress…

The primary feature of this release is the new Gutenberg editor that will become the default WordPress experience going forward….

The good new is, if you feel strongly about not using Gutenberg, there’s an installable plugin that you install to bring back the classic editor instead of using Gutenberg editor…

As always, WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) available and probably the one with the most support, plugins and themes…

For more about WordPress CMS, please check their Homepage

This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install WordPress CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 and 18.04 LTS…

To get started with installing WordPress, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

WordPress CMS requires a web server and Nginx HTTP server is the most popular open source web server available today… To install Nginx server, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

After installing Nginx, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Nginx service to always start up with the server boots…

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

Now that Nginx is installed…. to test whether the web server is working, open your browser and browse to the URL below…

http://localhost

nginx default home page test

If you see the page above, then Nginx is successfully installed…

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

WordPress also requires a database server to store its content… If you’re looking for a truly open source database server, then MariaDB is a great place to start… To install MariaDB run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots…

Run these on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mysql.service
sudo systemctl start mysql.service
sudo systemctl enable mysql.service

Run these on Ubuntu 18.10 and 18.04 LTS

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

Next, run the commands below to secure the database server with a root password if you were not prompted to do so during the installation…

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Now that MariaDB is installed, to test whether the database server was successfully installed, run the commands below…

sudo mysql -u root -p

type the root password when prompted…

mariadb welcome

If you see a similar screen as shown above, then the server was successfully installed…

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2 and Related Modules

WordPress CMS is a PHP based CMS and PHP is required… However, PHP 7.2 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories… To run PHP 7.2 on Ubuntu 16.04 and previous, you may need to run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mysql php7.2-gmp php7.2-curl php7.2-intl php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default configuration file for Nginx…

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini

The lines below is a good settings for most PHP based CMS… Update the configuration file with these and save….

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
short_open_tag = On
memory_limit = 256M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Everytime you make changes to PHP configuration file, you should also restart Nginx web server… To do so, run the commands below:

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Now that PHP is installed, to test whether it’s functioning, create a test file called phpinfo.php in Nginx default root directory…. ( /var/www/html/)

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Next, open your browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by phpinfo.php

http://localhost/phpinfo.php

You should see PHP default test page…

PHP Test Page

Step 4: Create WordPress Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for WordPress to function, continue below to start configuring the servers. First run the commands below to create a blank WordPress database.

To logon to MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called wordpress

CREATE DATABASE wordpress;

Create a database user called wordpressuser with a new password

CREATE USER 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download WordPress Latest Release

To get WordPress latest release you will need to go to its official download page and get it from there… The link below is where to find WordPress latest archive versions…

https://wordpress.org/download/

cd /tmp
wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
tar -xvzf latest.tar.gz
sudo mv wordpress /var/www/html/wordpress

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for WordPress root directory and give Nginx control….

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/wordpress/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/wordpress/

Step 6: Configure Nginx

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for WordPress. This file will control how users access WordPress content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called wordpress

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

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/wordpress;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;
    server_name  example.com www.example.com;

     client_max_body_size 100M;
  
     autoindex off;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;
    }

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
         include fastcgi_params;
    }
}

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the WordPress

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Then open your browser and browse to the server domain name. You should see WordPress setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

http://example.com/

Then follow the on-screen instructions… Select the installation language then click Continue

WordPress Ubuntu Installation

You will need to know the following items before proceeding…. Use the database connection info you created above….

  • Database name
  • Database username
  • Database password
  • Database host
  • Table prefix (if you want to run more than one WordPress in a single database)

The wizard will use the database information to create a wp-config.php file in WordPress root folder….

If for any reason this automatic file creation doesn’t work, don’t worry… All this does is fill in the database information to a configuration file. You may also simply open wp-config-sample.php in a text editor, fill in your information, and save it as wp-config.php.

WordPress Ubuntu Installation

Next, type in the database connection info and click Submit

WordPress Ubuntu Installation

After that, click Run the installation button to have WordPress complete the setup…

WordPress Ubuntu Installation

Next, create the WordPress site name and the backend admin account…. then click Install WordPress

WordPress installation on Ubuntu

When you’re done, WordPress should be installed and ready to use…

WordPress Ubuntu install

Congratulation! You have successfully installed WordPress CMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04 and 18.10….

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