What a n00b!

Running LAMP Applications Using Nginx

While playing with WordPress on nginx for my last post, I discovered that a majority of the how-tos out there on running PHP/MySQL applications using nginx left a bit to desired. Here's the steps that I took to get my application (WordPress, specifically) working.

Install nginx, MySQL, and PHP

First, let's install nginx and PHP along with a few PHP libraries:

sudo apt-get install php5-mhash php5-mysql php5-odbc curl php5-curl php5-gd php5-imap nginx php5-cgi php5-cli php5-common

If you didn't already have MySQL installed on your server, you'll need that too:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

The installer will prompt you to enter a root password. Make sure it's a fairly good password, but also be sure to record it as you'll need it later.

Install spawn-fcgi

Spawn-fcgi used to be included with lighttpd, but has been moved to its own project, so it can be downloaded separately. Unfortunately, the spawn-fcgi project is not in the Ubuntu repositories, so it has to be installed separately. First, download the tarball from the spawn-fcgi project page. As of this writing, it's on version 1.6.2. For this particular version, run the following from a directory your user can download to:

wget http://www.lighttpd.net/download/spawn-fcgi-1.6.2.tar.gz

Untar it:

tar zxf spawn-fcgi-1.6.2.tar.gz

Make sure you have the compilation tools:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Now, navigate into the spawn-fcgi download directory and compile:

cd spawn-fcgi-1.6.2 ./configure make

Now, let's install it into /usr/bin:

cd src sudo cp spawn-fcgi /usr/bin/

Now, let's make the init script. Copy the following example into /etc/init.d/fastcgi:

#!/bin/bash PHP_SCRIPT=/usr/bin/php-fastcgi RETVAL=0 case "$1" in 'start') $PHP_SCRIPT RETVAL=$? ;; 'stop') killall -9 php5-cgi RETVAL=$? ;; 'restart') killall -9 php5-cgi $PHP_SCRIPT RETVAL=$? ;; *) echo “Usage: php-fastcgi {start|stop|restart}” exit 1 ;; esac exit $RETVAL

Next, let's create the script to launch the PHP CGI process. Copy the following example text into /usr/bin/php-fastcgi:

/usr/bin/spawn-fcgi -a -p 9000 -C 5 -u www-data -g www-data -f /usr/bin/php5-cgi

Make sure the new scripts are executable:

chmod +x /usr/bin/php-fastcgi /etc/init.d/fastcgi

You should be able to start up your fastcgi process now with the following:

/etc/init.d/fastcgi start

Make the fastcgi process start at boot:

sudo update-rc.d fastcgi defaults

Setup nginx site

I used the following as my site file. A majority of it was taken from the default site and parts from other how-tos. You can rewrite the /etc/nginx/sites-available/default with this templated page (in my example, I assumed that the site is called site.com and that you are using WordPress at /var/www/wordpress). Be sure to change the "root" and "SCRIPT_FILENAME" lines.

server { listen 80; server_name site.com; access_log /var/log/nginx/localhost.access.log; location / { root /var/www/wordpress; index index.php; if (-f $request_filename) { expires 30d; break; } if (!-e $request_filename) { rewrite ^(.+)$ /index.php?q=$1 last; } } error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html; location = /50x.html { root /var/www/nginx-default; } # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on # location ~ .php$ { fastcgi_pass; fastcgi_index index.php; fastcgi_param QUERY_STRING $query_string; fastcgi_param REQUEST_METHOD $request_method; fastcgi_param CONTENT_TYPE $content_type; fastcgi_param CONTENT_LENGTH $content_length; fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME /var/www/wordpress$fastcgi_script_name; include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params; } }

Before restarting nginx, make sure everything is cool with the config and correct any errors:

sudo nginx -t

Now, restart nginx with the new changes:

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Install your application

You can now install your application as you normally would using Apache. In this example, you can download the WordPress packages to /var/www/wordpress and install from there, making sure that the files are owned by the www-data user.


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