Setup WordPress on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB, PHP 7.2 and Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates

With pressure from Google and other Internet companies, if you want to run WordPress today, you may have to do it over HTTPS or use SSL/TLS domain certificates…

This brief tutorial will show students and new users how to install WordPress content management system on Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04 LTS with Nginx, MariaDB and PHP 7.2 support and Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS enabled… {LEMP + Let’s Encrypt}

Also, WordPress is PHP 7.2 compatible.. so why not use the latest PHP? However, before using PHP 7.2, make sure all your plugins and themes are compatible or you’ll seriously run into issues..

When you’re ready to get WordPress working, continue with the steps below:

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server

Nginx HTTP Server represents the E in the LEMP stack… It’s probably the second most popular web server in use… so install it, since WordPress needs it..

To install Nginx HTTP on Ubuntu 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

To test Nginx setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Nginx default test page as shown below.. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected..

http://localhost

nginx default home page test

Step 2: Install MariaDB Database Server

MariaDB database server is a great place to start when looking at open source database server to use with WordPress… 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 17.10 and 18.04 LTS

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

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server by creating a root password and disallowing remote root access.

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

Restart MariaDB server

To test if MariaDB is installed, type the commands below to logon to MariaDB server

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then type the password you created above to sign on… if successful, you should see MariaDB welcome message

mariadb welcome

Step 3: Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM isn’t available on Ubuntu default repositories… in order to install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2

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-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-soap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-intl php7.2-mysql php7.2-cli php7.2-zip php7.2-curl

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

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

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below are great settings to apply in your environments.

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

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 4: Restart Nginx and PHP7.2-FPM

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Nginx to reload PHP configurations…

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service
sudo systemctl restart php7.2-fpm.service

Step 5: Create WordPress Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required for WordPress to work, 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 wpdb

CREATE DATABASE wpdb;

Create a database user called wpuser with new password

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

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON wpdb.* TO 'wpuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 6: Download WordPress Latest Release

Next, visit WordPress site and download the latest version….

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file and move it into a new WordPress root directory.

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

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for WordPress direcotories.

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

Step 7: Configure Nginx HTTP Server

Next, configure Nginx 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;

    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 8: Enable the WordPress Site

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below, then restart Nginx server…

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

STEP 9: CONFIGURE WORDPRESS

Now that Nginx is configured, run the commands below to create WordPress wp-config.php file.

sudo mv /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-config.php

Then run the commands below to open WordPress configuration file.

sudo nano /var/www/html/wordpress/wp-config.php

Enter the highlighted text below that you created for your database and save.

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'wpdb');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'wpuser');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'user_password_here');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');

/** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
define('DB_COLLATE', '');

Step 10: Install Let’s Encrypt Client

To get Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS certificates on your Ubuntu machine, you should first install its client. The client helps automate the process for you. To install it, run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-nginx

If python-certbot-nginx isn’t already installed, you may have to add its PPA repository and install the package..

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-certbot-nginx

Step 11: Obtaining your free SSL/TLS Certificates

After installing Let’s Encrypt Certbot client module for Nginx, run the commands below to obtain your free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate the domain specified… make sure to replace example.com with your own domain..

sudo certbot --nginx -m admin@example.com -d example.com -d www.example.com

After running the above commands, you should get prompted to accept the licensing terms. If everything is checked, the client should automatically install the free SSL/TLS certificate and configure the Nginx site to use the certs.

Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server at
https://acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org/directory
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)gree/(C)ancel: A

Choose Yes ( Y ) to share your email address

Would you be willing to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a founding partner of the Let's Encrypt project and the non-profit
organization that develops Certbot? We'd like to send you email about EFF and
our work to encrypt the web, protect its users and defend digital rights.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Y)es/(N)o: Y

This is how easy is it to obtain your free SSL/TLS certificate for your Nginx powered website.

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: No redirect - Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2

Pick option 2 to redirect all traffic over HTTPS. This is important!

After that, the SSL client should install the cert and configure your website to redirect all traffic over HTTPS.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://example.com and
https://www.example.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=example.com
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=www.example.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2018-02-24. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

The highlighted code block should be added to your Nginx WordPress configuration file automatically by Let’s Encrypt certbot. Your WordPress site is ready to be used over HTTPS.

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;

    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;
    }

  listen 443 ssl; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem; # managed by Certbot
    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem; # managed by Certbot

    if ($scheme != "https") {
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
    } # managed by Certbot

    # Redirect non-https traffic to https
    # if ($scheme != "https") {
    #     return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
    # } # managed by Certbot

}

You’ll have to manually renew the certificates after every 3 months. You’ll get an email reminder to reset when the certificates are about to expire. To test the renewal process run the commands below.

sudo certbot renew --dry-run

To setup a process to automatically renew the certificates, add a cron job to execute the renewal process.

sudo crontab -e

Then add the line below and save.

0 1 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew & > /dev/null

The cron job will attempt to renew 30 days before expiring

After that, open your browser and browse to your domain name to launch WordPress configuration wizard.

You should see WordPress setup wizard to complete. Please follow the wizard carefully.

https://example.com

varnish wordpress ubuntu

Then type the WordPress website name and create a new admin user and password.. the click install.

WordPress install on ubuntu

This should install WordPress.

wordpress install ubuntu

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed WordPress on Ubuntu with Nginx, MariaDB, PHP 7.2 with Let’s Encrypt free SSL/TLS certificates

You may also like the post below:

Enable VirtualBox VM to VM Communications on Windows / Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04

11 Replies to “Setup WordPress on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 with Nginx, MariaDB, PHP 7.2 and Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates

  1. I set up site using this guide, thanks for amazing tutorial. But after adding cloudflare site is broken now, what should be ssl setting for that

  2. Merci beaucoup pour vos explications. Mon installation WordPress fonctionne sur mon VPS grâce à vous 🙂

    (Remarque : La commande “sudo mv wordpress /var/www/html/wordpress” n’a pas fonctionné correctement à l’installation, j’ai transféré manuellementle répertoire par FTP pour y parvenir.)

    Pouvez-vous m’expliquer comment faire pour que WordPress m’envoie un e-mail lorsque un commentaire est en attente de validation et comment administrer la base de donnée mariadb via une interface graphique pour créer un backup.

    My english is really not good 🙂 Traduction google :
    Thank you very much for your explanations. My WordPress installation works on my VPS thanks to you 🙂

    (Note: The command “sudo mv wordpress / var / www / html / wordpress” did not work properly at installation, I manually transferred the directory via FTP to achieve this.)

    Can you explain to me how to have WordPress send me an e-mail when a comment is waiting for validation and how to administer the mariadb database via a graphical interface to create a backup.

  3. Thank you, Best step by step guide Ive ever seen.

    If you have some contributions with wordpress optimization and configuration I will appreciate you! 😀

    Best regards!!!

  4. what is different between fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock; or fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock; ?

    but, when Iam check ../pool.d/www.conf it’s /run/php/ not /var/php , and what if i use fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock; instead?

    thank you.

  5. IMPORTANT NOTES:
    Domain: mydomain.com
    Type: None
    Detail: DNS problem: SERVFAIL looking up A for
    mydomain.com

    Domain: http://www.mydomain.com
    Type: None
    Detail: DNS problem: SERVFAIL looking up A for
    http://www.mydomain.com
    – Your account credentials have been saved in your Certbot
    configuration directory at /etc/letsencrypt. You should make a
    secure backup of this folder now. This configuration directory will
    also contain certificates and private keys obtained by Certbot so
    making regular backups of this folder is ideal.
    i Got this error please help to solve this error….

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