Install LEMP with phpmyadmin on CentOS 7

To add the CentOS 7 EPEL repository, open terminal and use the following command:

yum install epel-release

Since we are using a sudo command, these operations get executed with root privileges. It will ask you for your regular user’s password to verify that you have permission to run commands with root privileges. Now that the Nginx repository is installed on your server, install Nginx using the following yum command:

yum install nginx

Afterwards, your web server is installed. Once it is installed, you can start Nginx on your VPS:

systemctl start nginx

You can do a spot check right away to verify that everything went as planned by visiting your server’s public IP address in your web browser (see the note under the next heading to find out what your public IP address is if you do not have this information already):

Open in a web browser: http://server_domain_name_or_IP/

You will see the default CentOS 7 Nginx web page, which is there for informational and testing purposes. It should look something like this:

If you see this page, then your web server is now correctly installed. Before continuing, you will want to do is enable Nginx to start on boot. Use the following command to do so:

systemctl enable nginx

How To Find Your Server’s Public IP Address

If you do not know what your server’s public IP address is, there are a number of ways you can find it. Usually, this is the address you use to connect to your server through SSH. From the command line, you can find this a few ways. First, you can use the iproute2 tools to get your address by typing this:

ip addr show eth0 | grep inet | awk '{ print $2; }' | sed 's/\/.*$//'

This will give you one or two lines back. They are both correct addresses, but your computer may only be able to use one of them, so feel free to try each one. An alternative method is to use an outside party to tell you how it sees your server. You can do this by asking a specific server what your IP address is:

curl http://icanhazip.com

Regardless of the method you use to get your IP address, you can type it into your web browser’s address bar to get to your server.

Step Two — Install MySQL (MariaDB)

Now that we have our web server up and running, it is time to install MariaDB, a MySQL drop-in replacement. MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system. Basically, it will organize and provide access to databases where our site can store information.

Again, we can use yum to acquire and install our software. This time, we’ll also install some other “helper” packages that will assist us in getting our components to communicate with each other:

yum install mariadb-server mariadb

When the installation is complete, we need to start MariaDB with the following command:

systemctl start mariadb

Now that our MySQL database is running, we want to run a simple security script that will remove some dangerous defaults and lock down access to our database system a little bit. Start the interactive script by running:

mysql_secure_installation

The prompt will ask you for your current root password. Since you just installed MySQL, you most likely won’t have one, so leave it blank by pressing enter. Then the prompt will ask you if you want to set a root password. Go ahead and enter Y, and follow the instuctions:

mysql_secure_installation prompts:

Enter current password for root (enter for none):
 OK, successfully used password, moving on...
 Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB root user without the proper authorisation.
 New password: password
 Re-enter new password: password
 Password updated successfully!
 Reloading privilege tables..
 ... Success!

For the rest of the questions, you should simply hit the “ENTER” key through each prompt to accept the default values. This will remove some sample users and databases, disable remote root logins, and load these new rules so that MySQL immediately respects the changes we have made.

The last thing you will want to do is enable MariaDB to start on boot. Use the following command to do so:

systemctl enable mariadb

At this point, your database system is now set up and we can move on.

Step Three — Install PHP

PHP is the component of our setup that will process code to display dynamic content. It can run scripts, connect to our MySQL databases to get information, and hand the processed content over to our web server to display.

We can once again leverage the yum system to install our components. We’re going to include the php-mysql and php-fpm packages as well:

yum install php-mbstring
yum install php php-mysql php-fpm

Configure the PHP Processor
We now have our PHP components installed, but we need to make a slight configuration change to make our setup more secure. Open the main php-fpm configuration file with root privileges:

vi /etc/php.ini

What we are looking for in this file is the parameter that sets cgi.fix_pathinfo. This will be commented out with a semi-colon (;) and set to “1” by default.

This is an extremely insecure setting because it tells PHP to attempt to execute the closest file it can find if a PHP file does not match exactly. This basically would allow users to craft PHP requests in a way that would allow them to execute scripts that they shouldn’t be allowed to execute. We will change both of these conditions by uncommenting the line and setting it to “0” like this: /etc/php.ini excerpt

cgi.fix_pathinfo=0

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Next, open the php-fpm configuration file www.conf:

vi /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Find the line that specifies the listen parameter, and change it so it looks like the following:

/etc/php-php.d/www.conf — 1 of 3

listen = /var/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock

Next, find the lines that set the listen.owner and listen.group and uncomment them. They should look like this:

/etc/php-php.d/www.conf — 2 of 3

listen.owner = nobody
listen.group = nobody

Lastly, find the lines that set the user and group and change their values from “apache” to “nginx”:

/etc/php-php.d/www.conf — 3 of 3

user = nginx
group = nginx

Then save and quit. Now, we just need to start our PHP processor by typing:

systemctl start php-fpm

This will implement the change that we made. Next, enable php-fpm to start on boot:

systemctl enable php-fpm

Step Four — Configure Nginx to Process PHP Pages

Now, we have all of the required components installed. The only configuration change we still need to do is tell Nginx to use our PHP processor for dynamic content.

We do this on the server block level (server blocks are similar to Apache’s virtual hosts). Open the default Nginx server block configuration file by typing:

vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf

Currently, with the comments removed, the Nginx default server block looks like this:

/etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf — original or if there’s no default.conf available then you need to work on /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file and comment the default “server {}” section and paste the below section:

server {
listen 80;
server_name server_domain_name_or_IP;

# note that these lines are originally from the “location /” block
root /usr/share/nginx/html;
index index.php index.html index.htm;

location / {
 try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
 }
 error_page 404 /404.html;
 error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html;
 location = /50x.html {
 root /usr/share/nginx/html;
 }

location ~ \.php$ {
 try_files $uri =404;
 fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock;
 fastcgi_index index.php;
 fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
 include fastcgi_params;
 }
 }

When you’ve made the above changes, you can save and close the file. Restart Nginx to make the necessary changes:

systemctl restart nginx

Step Five- Installing Phpmyadmin

Start off by downloading the program from EPEL repo.

yum install phpmyadmin

Create a symbolic link between phpMyAdmin and your site’s directory. If you were using the previous tutorial, it may be still located in the nginx default directory, otherwise link it with the appropriate place:

ln -s /usr/share/phpmyadmin/ /usr/share/nginx/www

Restart nginx:

systemctl restart nginx

You should now be able to access phpMyAdmin by going to http://yourdomain/phpMyAdmin. 

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