Setting up Shared Hosting with Nginx on Ubuntu – step by step guide

This is a draft version of the post. It’ll be revised.

Installing Ubuntu Server

  1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu Server. Note that it is not possible to convert Ubuntu 32 bit to 64 bit. The only way is to do a clean install.
  2. Create a bootable USB stick using Pen Drive Linux’s USB Installer.
  3. Boot up from USB and install Ubuntu Server. During the installation you can switch to terminal mode by pressing Alt+F2 and switch back by pressing Alt+F1.

Update the server:

aptitude update
aptitude safe-upgrade

Install SSH with tasksel, FTP and sendmail with apt-get. To configure FTP and sendmail see Installing and configuring FTP server on Ubuntu and How I configured sendmail for PHP on Ubuntu Server 12.04.

Append the following to /etc/bash.bashrc:


# enable color support of ls and also add handy aliases
if [ -x /usr/bin/dircolors ]; then
    test -r ~/.dircolors && eval "$(dircolors -b ~/.dircolors)" || eval "$(dircolors -b)"
    alias ls='ls --color=auto'
    #alias dir='dir --color=auto'
    #alias vdir='vdir --color=auto'

    alias grep='grep --color=auto'
    alias fgrep='fgrep --color=auto'
    alias egrep='egrep --color=auto'

# some more ls aliases
alias ll='ls -alF'
alias la='ls -A'
alias l='ls -CF'

Installing LEMP

Installing MySQL

Install MySQL server by running

apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

During the installation you will be prompted to provide a password for the MySQL root user.

To ensure that MySQL works login from the command line:

mysql -u root -p<root password>

Installing Nginx

Install and start Nginx as follows:

apt-get install nginx
/etc/init.d/nginx start

To ensure that Nginx works type in your web server’s IP address or hostname into a browser and you should see the following page:

Nginx works

Installing PHP5

Install PHP5 with the following command

apt-get install php5-fpm php5-cli

then check witch PHP5 modules are installed by default:

php -m

and install missing modules:

apt-get install php5-mysql php5-gd php5-curl php-apc

Configure each module by editing /etc/php5/conf.d/*.conf files. To increase the size of shared memory segment used by APC module from its default value “32M” to “128M” append line


to /etc/php5/conf.d/apc.ini.

Configuring user permissions

Create user ‘devnote’

useradd -d /home/devnote -m devnote

Add user ‘www-data’ to group ‘devnote’ (Nginx reads static files (*.jpg, *.png, etc) as www-data and PHP-FPM reads and executes PHP scripts as devnote ).

usermod -a -G devnote www-data

Restart Nginx

/etc/init.d/nginx restart

4 Responses to Setting up Shared Hosting with Nginx on Ubuntu – step by step guide

  1. superadmin says:

    with PHP 7.0 I also installed the following:
    apt-get install php7.0-xml
    apt-get install php7.0-mcrypt
    apt-get install php7.0-zip

  2. superadmin says:

    To fix some error with languages I did:
    locale-gen “en_US.UTF-8”
    dpkg-reconfigure locales

  3. dmitriano says:

    Allowing remote MySQL access:
    sudo nano mysqld.cnf
    #bind-address =
    sudo service mysql restart

  4. dmitriano says:

    Added this to my /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:

    gzip_min_length 1000;
    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_comp_level 6;
    gzip_buffers 16 8k;
    gzip_http_version 1.1;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

    I am not sure about all the gzip_* directives, but at least gzip_types need to be defined, because its default value is text/html.


    Online tool that checks if the pages are compressed:

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