Install and Configure a LAMP Server on Ubuntu Guide

This guide was created as documentation for the next time I need to install and configure a LAMP web development environment on Ubuntu.

Installation and configuration of a LAMP web server:

After installing Ubuntu, enter the following on the command-line:

sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

The ^ (caret symbol) and meta-packages

The ^ (caret symbol or ‘hat’) indicates that this is a ‘meta-package’ (list of packages to be installed together).

Now, apt-get provides a way to perform that same task by itself without you having to install tasksel first and all you have to do is to give that same package name to apt-get but just append a caret at the end to tell apt-get that it is a tasksel package/task identifier and not a regular package name in debian/ubuntu repositories.

Read More:

Notes on this quote about using metapackages:

Giving your example:

  1. sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
    • Will install the metapackage kubuntu-desktop. Dependencies are “auto installed”.
  2. sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop^
    • Will select all packages tagged with task “kubuntu-desktop”. That are all dependencies of metapackage kubuntu-desktop. They all are marked as “manually installed”.
  3. sudo tasksel install kubuntu-desktop
    • Make sure X is installed before installing packages of task.
    • Will install the metapackage kubuntu-desktop. Dependencies are “auto installed”.


Upgrade to PHP 8.1

Grabbed the instructions from here:

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

sudo apt update
sudo apt install php8.1 libapache2-mod-php8.1
sudo systemctl restart apache2

sudo apt update
sudo apt install php8.1-fpm libapache2-mod-fcgid
sudo a2enmod proxy_fcgi setenvif
sudo a2enconf php8.1-fpm

Create homes for web server webroot, backup, installs, and log files:

sudo mkdir /web /web/backup /web/logfiles /web/webroot

I also create these two folders for training courses & having a sandbox to play in

sudo mkdir /web/sandbox /web/training

The sandbox is used for anything that I know won’t be saved long term while Training is for any online courses/articles I might follow to learn something new.

Create the webdev group, add users and set permissions:

sudo groupadd webdev
sudo usermod -a -G webdev jake
sudo chown -R www-data:webdev /web
sudo chmod -R 775 /web/

*** NOTE: changed to to fix permission problems:

sudo chmod -R 777 /web/

Modify the Apache2 Configuration

sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

ErrorLog & LogLevel (keep default settings):

# ErrorLog: The location of the error log file.
# If you do not specify an ErrorLog directive within a <VirtualHost>
# container, error messages relating to that virtual host will be
# logged here.  If you *do* define an error logfile for a <VirtualHost>
# container, that host's errors will be logged there and not here.
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

# LogLevel: Control the severity of messages logged to the error_log.
# Available values: trace8, ..., trace1, debug, info, notice, warn,
# error, crit, alert, emerg.
# It is also possible to configure the log level for particular modules, e.g.
# "LogLevel info ssl:warn"
LogLevel warn

Setting /web/webroot/ as the root web folder:

<Directory /var/www/> to <Directory /web/webroot/>

# Sets the default security model of the Apache2 HTTPD server. It does
# not allow access to the root filesystem outside of /usr/share and /www|web/www.
# The former is used by web applications packaged in Debian,
# the latter may be used for local directories served by the web server. If
# your system is serving content from a sub-directory in /srv you must allow
# access here, or in any related virtual host.
<Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride None
        Require all denied

<Directory /usr/share>
        AllowOverride None
        Require all granted

<Directory /web/webroot/>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

Save the Apache2 Configuration:

Save and exit (Ctrl + X, Enter)

Updating the Default Website

Update the VirtualHost Configuration:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Here is how I setup my 000-default.conf file to use as a template for all other .conf files:

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName heftysmurf

        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
        DocumentRoot /web/webroot

        ErrorLog /web/logfiles/default-error.log
        CustomLog /web/logfiles/default-access.log combined

Save VirtualHost Configuration Changes:

Save (Ctrl + X and exit (Ctrl + X, Enter).

Update Error Reporting, File Uploads and Timezone:

PHP 8.x php.ini file location:

sudo nano /etc/php/8.x/apache2/php.ini

Turn display_errors On:

You’ll need to scroll WAYYYY past the “Quick Reference” section to get to the actual settings.

I find it easiest to CTRL+W and search by setting name.

; This directive controls whether or not and where PHP will output errors,
; notices and warnings too. Error output is very useful during development, but
; it could be very dangerous in production environments. Depending on the code
; which is triggering the error, sensitive information could potentially leak
; out of your application such as database usernames and passwords or worse.
; For production environments, we recommend logging errors rather than
; sending them to STDOUT.
; Possible Values:
;  Off = Do not display any errors
;   stderr = Display errors to STDERR (affects only CGI/CLI binaries!)
;   On or stdout = Display errors to STDOUT
; Default Value: On
; Development Value: On
; Production Value: Off
display_errors = On

Turned display_startup_errors On:

; The display of errors which occur during PHP's startup sequence are handled
; separately from display_errors. PHP's default behavior is to suppress those
; errors from clients. Turning the display of startup errors on can be useful in
; debugging configuration problems. We strongly recommend you
; set this to 'off' for production servers.
; Default Value: Off
; Development Value: On
; Production Value: Off
display_startup_errors = On

Up the post_max_size to 40M:

; Maximum size of POST data that PHP will accept.
; Its value may be 0 to disable the limit. It is ignored if POST data reading
; is disabled through enable_post_data_reading.
post_max_size = 40M

Up the upload_max_filesize to 40M:

; Maximum allowed size for uploaded files.
upload_max_filesize = 40M

Change the TimeZone to America/Vancouver:

; Defines the default timezone used by the date functions
date.timezone = America/Vancouver

Save php.ini Configuration Changes:

Save (Ctrl + X, Enter)

Restart the Apache web server:

All of the configuration and setup is now complete. Time to restart the Apache web server:

sudo service apache2 restart

Test the LAMP Installation:

Create a PHP file and output phpinfo():

sudo nano /web/webroot/index.php

echo phpinfo();

Open: (localhost)[http://localhost/]

Save, Exit and test in the browser:

You should see a dump of the information about your LAMP installation, including where to find your php.ini file:

Screenshot of phpinfo() from my server
# text dump from screenshot of phpinfo() 
PHP Version 8.1.3
System 	Linux HeftySmurf 5.14.0-1031-oem #34-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 25 08:21:05 UTC 2022 x86_64
Build Date 	Feb 21 2022 14:48:42
Build System 	Linux
Server API 	FPM/FastCGI
Virtual Directory Support 	disabled
Configuration File (php.ini) Path 	/etc/php/8.1/fpm
Loaded Configuration File 	/etc/php/8.1/fpm/php.ini
Scan this dir for additional .ini files 	/etc/php/8.1/fpm/conf.d 

The above phpinfo() screendump carries on for several pages. I just copied the top few settings of this phpinfo() dump.

More Information:

  • www-data is an Apache group
# * apache2.conf is the main configuration file (this file). It puts the pieces
#   together by including all remaining configuration files when starting up the
#   web server.
# * ports.conf is always included from the main configuration file. It is
#   supposed to determine listening ports for incoming connections which can be
#   customized anytime.
# * Configuration files in the mods-enabled/, conf-enabled/ and sites-enabled/
#   directories contain particular configuration snippets which manage modules,
#   global configuration fragments, or virtual host configurations,
#   respectively.
#   They are activated by symlinking available configuration files from their
#   respective *-available/ counterparts. These should be managed by using our
#   helpers a2enmod/a2dismod, a2ensite/a2dissite and a2enconf/a2disconf. See
#   their respective man pages for detailed information.
# * The binary is called apache2. Due to the use of environment www|webiables, in
#   the default configuration, apache2 needs to be started/stopped with
#   /etc/init.d/apache2 or apache2ctl. Calling /usr/bin/apache2 directly will not
#   work with the default configuration.