Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Installing Nginx With PHP5 (And PHP-FPM) And MySQL Support On Fedora 16

Nginx (pronounced "engine x") is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server. Nginx is known for its stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption. This tutorial shows how you can install Nginx on a Fedora 16 server with PHP5 support (through PHP-FPM) and MySQL support.
I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

2 Installing MySQL 5

First we install MySQL 5 like this:
yum install mysql mysql-server
Then we create the system startup links for MySQL (so that MySQL starts automatically whenever the system boots) and start the MySQL server:
systemctl enable mysqld.service
systemctl start mysqld.service
Now check that networking is enabled. Run
netstat -tap | grep mysql
It should show something like this:
[root@server1 ~]# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 *:mysql                     *:*                         LISTEN      1116/mysqld
[root@server1 ~]#
If it does not, edit /etc/my.cnf and comment out the option skip-networking:
vi /etc/my.cnf
and restart your MySQL server:
systemctl restart mysqld.service
to set a password for the user root (otherwise anybody can access your MySQL database!):
[root@server1 ~]# mysql_secure_installation


In order to log into MySQL to secure it, we'll need the current
password for the root user.  If you've just installed MySQL, and
you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none):
 <-- ENTER
OK, successfully used password, moving on...

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MySQL
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
New password: <-- yourrootsqlpassword
Re-enter new password: <-- yourrootsqlpassword
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
 ... Success!

By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MySQL without having to have a user account created for
them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 ... Success!

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 ... Success!

By default, MySQL comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 - Dropping test database...
 ... Success!
 - Removing privileges on test database...
 ... Success!

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]
 <-- ENTER
 ... Success!

Cleaning up...

All done!  If you've completed all of the above steps, your MySQL
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MySQL!

[root@server1 ~]#

3 Installing Nginx

Nginx is available as a package for Fedora 16 which we can install as follows:
yum install nginx
Then we create the system startup links for nginx and start it:
systemctl enable nginx.service
systemctl start nginx.service
Type in your web server's IP address or hostname into a browser (e.g., and you should see the nginx welcome page:

4 Installing PHP5

We can make PHP5 work in nginx through PHP-FPM (PHP-FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) is an alternative PHP FastCGI implementation with some additional features useful for sites of any size, especially busier sites). There's a php-fpm package in the official Fedora 16 repositories, therefore we can install php-fpm together with php-cli and some PHP5 modules like php-mysql which you need if you want to use MySQL from your PHP scripts:
yum install php-fpm php-cli php-mysql php-gd php-imap php-ldap php-odbc php-pear php-xml php-xmlrpc php-eaccelerator php-magickwand php-mbstring php-mcrypt php-mssql php-shout php-snmp php-soap php-tidy
Then open /etc/php.ini and set cgi.fix_pathinfo=0:
vi /etc/php.ini
; cgi.fix_pathinfo provides *real* PATH_INFO/PATH_TRANSLATED support for CGI.  PHP's
; previous behaviour was to set PATH_TRANSLATED to SCRIPT_FILENAME, and to not grok
; what PATH_INFO is.  For more information on PATH_INFO, see the cgi specs.  Setting
; this to 1 will cause PHP CGI to fix its paths to conform to the spec.  A setting
; of zero causes PHP to behave as before.  Default is 1.  You should fix your scripts
; http://www.php.net/manual/en/ini.core.php#ini.cgi.fix-pathinfo
(Please read http://wiki.nginx.org/Pitfalls to find out why you should do this.)
In addition to that, in order to avoid errors like
[13-Nov-2011 22:13:16] PHP Warning: phpinfo(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'Europe/Berlin' for 'CET/1.0/no DST' instead in /usr/share/nginx/html/info.php on line 2
... in /var/log/php-fpm/www-error.log when you call a PHP script in your browser, you should set date.timezone in /etc/php.ini:
; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
; http://www.php.net/manual/en/datetime.configuration.php#ini.date.timezone
date.timezone = "Europe/Berlin"
You can find out the correct timezone for your system by running:
cat /etc/sysconfig/clock
[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/sysconfig/clock
[root@server1 ~]#
Next create the system startup links for php-fpm and start it:
systemctl enable php-fpm.service
systemctl start php-fpm.service
PHP-FPM is a daemon process that runs a FastCGI server on port 9000.

5 Configuring nginx

The nginx configuration is in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf which we open now:
vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
The configuration is easy to understand (you can learn more about it here: http://wiki.codemongers.com/NginxFullExample and here: http://wiki.codemongers.com/NginxFullExample2)
First (this is optional) you can increase the number of worker processes and set the keepalive_timeout to a reasonable value:
worker_processes  4;
    keepalive_timeout  2;
The virtual hosts are defined in server {} containers. The default vhost is defined in the file /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf - let's modify it as follows:
vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
server {
    listen       80;
    server_name  _;

    #charset koi8-r;

    #access_log  logs/host.access.log  main;

    location / {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;
        index  index.php index.html index.htm;

    error_page  404              /404.html;
    location = /404.html {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

    # redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
    error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
    location = /50x.html {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

    # proxy the PHP scripts to Apache listening on
    #location ~ \.php$ {
    #    proxy_pass;

    # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
    location ~ \.php$ {
        root           /usr/share/nginx/html;
        fastcgi_index  index.php;
        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include        fastcgi_params;

    # deny access to .htaccess files, if Apache's document root
    # concurs with nginx's one
    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny  all;
server_name _; makes this a default catchall vhost (of course, you can as well specify a hostname here like www.example.com).
In the location / part, I've added index.php to the index line. root /usr/share/nginx/html; means that the document root is the directory /usr/share/nginx/html.
The important part for PHP is the location ~ \.php$ {} stanza. Uncomment it to enable it. Change the root line to the web site's dosument root (e.g. root /usr/share/nginx/html;). Please make sure that you change the fastcgi_param line to fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name; because otherwise the PHP interpreter won't find the PHP script that you call in your browser.
Now save the file and reload nginx:
systemctl reload nginx.service
Now create the following PHP file in the document root /usr/share/nginx/html...
vi /usr/share/nginx/html/info.php
Now we call that file in a browser (e.g.

As you see, PHP5 is working, and it's working through FPM/FastCGI, as shown in the Server API line. If you scroll further down, you will see all modules that are already enabled in PHP5, including the MySQL module:

6 Making PHP-FPM Use A Unix Socket

By default PHP-FPM is listening on port 9000 on It is also possible to make PHP-FPM use a Unix socket which avoids the TCP overhead. To do this, open /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf...
vi /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
... and make the listen line look as follows:
;listen =
listen = /tmp/php5-fpm.sock
Then restart PHP-FPM:
systemctl restart php-fpm.service
Next go through your nginx configuration and all your vhosts and change the line fastcgi_pass; to fastcgi_pass unix:/tmp/php5-fpm.sock;, e.g. like this:
vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
        location ~ \.php$ {
            root           /usr/share/nginx/html;
            fastcgi_pass   unix:/tmp/php5-fpm.sock;
            fastcgi_index  index.php;
            fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
            include        fastcgi_params;
Finally reload nginx:
systemctl reload nginx.service

7 Links

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