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Nginx 1.4.x on Unix systems

This documentation will cover installing and configuring PHP with PHP-FPM for a Nginx 1.4.x HTTP server.

This guide will assume that you have built Nginx from source and therefore all binaries and configuration files are located at /usr/local/nginx. If this is not the case and you have obtained Nginx through other means then please refer to the » Nginx Wiki in order translate this manual to your setup.

This guide will cover the basics of configuring an Nginx server to process PHP applications and serve them on port 80, it is recommended that you study the Nginx and PHP-FPM documentation if you wish to optimise your setup past the scope of this documentation.

Please note that throughout this documentation version numbers have been replaced with an 'x' to ensure this documentation stays correct in the future, please replace these as necessary with the corresponding version numbers.

  1. It is recomended that you visit the Nginx Wiki » install page in order to obtain and install Nginx on your system.

  2. Obtain and unpack the PHP source:

    tar zxf php-x.x.x
    
  3. Configure and build PHP. This is where you customize PHP with various options, like which extensions will be enabled. Run ./configure --help for a list of available options. In our example we'll do a simple configure with PHP-FPM and MySQL support.

    cd ../php-x.x.x
    ./configure --enable-fpm --with-mysql
    make
    sudo make install
    
  4. Obtain and move configuration files to their correct locations

    cp php.ini-development /usr/local/php/php.ini
    cp /usr/local/etc/php-fpm.conf.default /usr/local/etc/php-fpm.conf
    cp sapi/fpm/php-fpm /usr/local/bin
    
  5. It is important that we prevent Nginx from passing requests to the PHP-FPM backend if the file does not exists, allowing us to prevent arbitrarily script injection.

    We can fix this by setting the cgi.fix_pathinfo directive to 0 within our php.ini file.

    Load up php.ini:

    vim /usr/local/php/php.ini
    

    Locate cgi.fix_pathinfo= and modify it as follows:

    cgi.fix_pathinfo=0
    
  6. php-fpm.conf must be modified to specify that php-fpm must run as the user www-data and the group www-data before we can start the service:

    vim /usr/local/etc/php-fpm.conf
    

    Find and modify the following:

    ; Unix user/group of processes
    ; Note: The user is mandatory. If the group is not set, the default user's group
    ;       will be used.
    user = www-data
    group = www-data
    

    The php-fpm service can now be started:

    /usr/local/bin/php-fpm
    

    This guide will not configure php-fpm any further, if you are interested in further configuring php-fpm then please consult the documentation.

  7. Nginx must now be configured to support the processing of PHP applications:

    vim /usr/local/nginx/conf/nginx.conf
    

    Modify the default location block to be aware it must attempt to serve .php files:

    location / {
        root   html;
        index  index.php index.html index.htm;
    }

    The next step is to ensure that .php files are passed to the PHP-FPM backend, blow the commented default PHP location block, enter the following:

    location ~* \.php$ {
        fastcgi_index   index.php;
        fastcgi_pass    127.0.0.1:9000;
        include         fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param   SCRIPT_FILENAME    $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_param   SCRIPT_NAME        $fastcgi_script_name;
    }

    Restart Nginx.

    sudo /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx -s stop
    sudo /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx
    
  8. Create a test file

    rm /usr/local/nginx/html/index.html
    echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" >> /usr/local/nginx/html/index.php
    

    Now navigate to http://localhost. The phpinfo() should now be shown.

Following the steps above you will have a running Nginx web server with support for PHP as a SAPI module. Of course there are many more configuration options available Apache and PHP. For more information type ./configure --help in the corresponding source tree.

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