The best home for your website or web app is a fresh Ubuntu server (21.04 at the time of this writing) with some essentials for web hosting. What follows is a simple step-by-step guide to installing Apache, MySQL, PHP, PhpMyAdmin, and vsftpd.
Need a Server?
I’m a huge fan of DigitalOcean. Great service, a fantastic control panel, and a bunch of locations all around the world. It’s worth noting they have a ton of different premade images you can use that include a LAMP stack, however I always recommend starting with a minimal clean install and installing and configuring it yourself.
To ensure security and the most likelihood everything works right, update your Ubuntu 21.04 Server:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
Apache Web Server
First things first, let’s install Apache:
sudo apt install apache2 apache2-utils -y
Make sure apache is already running if it isn’t already:
sudo systemctl start apache2
Set apache to start at server boot:
sudo systemctl enable apache2
If you’re running a firewall, which you should be, let’s allow apache through the firewall:
sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
sudo ufw allow http
To verify things are working, visit your servers IP/hostname in your web browser:
(these are just examples and will not work)
MariaDB Database Server
We’re going to use MariaDB, a superior drop-in replacement for MySQL:
sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client -y
Start mariadb if it isn’t already:
sudo systemctl start mariadb
Set mariadb to start at server boot:
sudo systemctl enable mariadb
Go through the initial MariaDB setup. Answer Y to everything.
We’re going to install PHP and some common required packages:
sudo apt install php7.4 php-common php7.4-mysql php7.4-cli php7.4-common php7.4-json php7.4-readline libapache2-mod-php7.4 -y
Restart apache to get everything working:
sudo a2enmod php7.4
sudo systemctl restart apache2
PhpMyAdmin is a useful tool to easily manage MySQL databases and users.
sudo apt install phpmyadmin -y
Create the required symlink:
sudo ln -s /usr/share/phpmyadmin /var/www/html/phpmyadmin
If everything went well, you should be able to access phpMyAdmin at
http://example/phpmyadmin where example is your servers IP or hostname.
vsftpd FTP Server
vsftpd is a great choice because it’s easy to set up and generally just works. So install it!
sudo apt install vsftpd -y
Make sure vsftpd is running if it isn’t already:
sudo systemctl start vsftpd
And then set vsftpd to start at server boot:
sudo systemctl enable vsftpd
Allow FTP connections through the firewall:
sudo ufw allow 20/tcp
sudo ufw allow 21/tcp
Now, let’s make sure that authenticated FTP users can actually upload files, because that’s pretty useful. Open the vsftpd config file:
sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf
write_enable entry and set it to
write_enable=YES. Save and exit, and then restart vsftpd:
sudo systemctl restart vsftpd
Have any feedback? Found my article useful? Or know a better way? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.