If you’re going to be developing any PHP application, you’re mostly going to need PHP server scripts installed. PHP is an open source server scripting language use for creating dynamic, powerful web applications and websites.
PHP is a widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft’s ASP.
This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to setup Lighttpd web server environment with PHP support. Most popular content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal use PHP.
PHP is a big deal!
When you’re ready to setup Lighttpd environment with PHP support, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Install Lighttpd Web Server
sudo apt install lighttpd
After installing Lighttpd, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Lighttpd service to always startup when the server boots up.
sudo systemctl stop lighttpd.service sudo systemctl start lighttpd.service sudo systemctl enable lighttpd.service
Step 2: Install PHP FastCGI and Related Modules
After installing Lighttpd above, run the commands below to install PHP-FastCGI and related PHP modules. PHP-FastCGI is a version for Lighttpd web servers while PHP is Apache2. Nginx is PHP-FPM. There are many PHP modules that perform different functions.. however, there are some important ones that are always needed when developing PHP based websites.
sudo apt-get install php-cgi php-mcrypt php-cli php-mysql php-gd php-imagick php-recode php-tidy php-xmlrpc
The line above will allow PHP to function with many popular PHP based websites and applications.
After installing PHP-FastCGI, you can enable PHP-FastCGI modules by running the commands below
sudo sudo lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi sudo lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi-php
If the commands above fail, install the package below.
sudo apt install libterm-readline-gnu-perl
Then run the commands to enable the modules again, this time they should work.
Step 3: Configure Lighttpd PHP-FastCGI Settings
Now that Lighttpd and PHP0-FastCGI are installed, you may want to configure Lighttpd to use PHP server scripting properly. The default Lighttpd PHP-FastCGI configuration file is located at /etc/php/7.x/cgi/php.ini
The x in the location will be 0 or 1 depending on the php version installed.
Open PHP Lighttpd configuration file by running the commands below
sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/cgi/php.ini
Then edit the file to suit your environments. Some important lines to consider:
file_uploads = On allow_url_fopen = On memory_limit = 256M upload_max_filesize = 64M
Next, open the Lighttpd site configuration file… by default it’s stored at /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
Use the main configuration file to setup advanced server global settings..
Lighttpd PHP-FastCGI configuration file is stored at /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/15-fastcgi-php.conf
Run the commands below to open Lighttpd PHP-FastCGI default site configuration file
sudo nano /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/15-fastcgi-php.conf
Then confirm that PHP-FastCGI is configured as shown in the highlighted portion below.
# -*- depends: fastcgi -*- # /usr/share/doc/lighttpd/fastcgi.txt.gz # http://redmine.lighttpd.net/projects/lighttpd/wiki/Docs:ConfigurationOptions#mod_fastcgi-fastcgi ## Start an FastCGI server for php (needs the php5-cgi package) fastcgi.server += ( ".php" => (( "bin-path" => "/usr/bin/php-cgi", "socket" => "/var/run/lighttpd/php.socket", "max-procs" => 1, "bin-environment" => ( "PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN" => "4", "PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS" => "10000" ), "bin-copy-environment" => ( "PATH", "SHELL", "USER" ), "broken-scriptfilename" => "enable" )) )
Restart Lighttpd services
sudo systemctl restart lighttpd.service
Step 4: Test PHP-CGI Setup
At this point, Lighttpd and PHP-FastCGI should be installed and ready.. to test your Lighttpd PHP settings, create a blank file with the line below:
sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php
Then add the line in the file and save.
<?php phpinfo( ); ?>
Save the file and open your browser and browse to the server name or IP address followed by phpinfo.php
You should see something similar to the image below… if you do, then you’re all good!
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed and configured Lighttpd and PHP on Ubuntu servers
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