Lighttpd is a secure, fast, standards-compliant web server designed for speed-critical environments. This tutorial shows how you can install Lighttpd on a Debian Lenny server with PHP5 support (through FastCGI) 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 192.168.0.100. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.
2 Installing MySQL 5.0
First we install MySQL 5.0 like this:
aptitude install mysql-server mysql-client
You will be asked to provide a password for the MySQL root user – this password is valid for the user root@localhost as well as email@example.com, so we don’t have to specify a MySQL root password manually later on:
New password for the MySQL “root” user: <– yourrootsqlpassword
Repeat password for the MySQL “root” user: <– yourrootsqlpassword
3 Installing Lighttpd
Lighttpd is available as a Debian package, therefore we can install it like this:
aptitude install lighttpd
Now direct your browser to http://192.168.0.100, and you should see the Lighttpd placeholder page:
Lighttpd’s default document root is /var/www on Debian, and the configuration file is /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. Additional configurations are stored in files in the /etc/lighttpd/conf-available directory – these configurations can be enabled with the lighttpd-enable-mod command which creates a symlink from the /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled directory to the appropriate configuration file in /etc/lighttpd/conf-available. You can disable configurations with the lighttpd-disable-mod command.
4 Installing PHP5
We can make PHP5 work in Lighttpd through FastCGI. Fortunately, Debian provides a FastCGI-enabled PHP5 package which we install like this:
aptitude install php5-cgi
5 Configuring Lighttpd And PHP5
To enable PHP5 in Lighttpd, we must modify /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini and add the line cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1 right at the end of the file:
[...] cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1
To enable the fastcgi configuration (which is stored in /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/10-fastcgi.conf), run the following command:
This creates a symlink /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled/10-fastcgi.conf which points to /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/10-fastcgi.conf:
ls -l /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled
server1:/usr/bin# ls -l /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 44 2009-03-19 15:16 10-fastcgi.conf -> /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/10-fastcgi.conf
Then we reload Lighttpd:
6 Testing PHP5 / Getting Details About Your PHP5 Installation
The document root of the default web site is /var/www. We will now create a small PHP file (info.php) in that directory and call it in a browser. The file will display lots of useful details about our PHP installation, such as the installed PHP version.
<?php phpinfo(); ?>
Now we call that file in a browser (e.g. http://192.168.0.100/info.php):
As you see, PHP5 is working, and it’s working through FastCGI, as shown in the Server API line. If you scroll further down, you will see all modules that are already enabled in PHP5. MySQL is not listed there which means we don’t have MySQL support in PHP5 yet.
7 Getting MySQL Support In PHP5
To get MySQL support in PHP, we can install the php5-mysql package. It’s a good idea to install some other PHP5 modules as well as you might need them for your applications. You can search for available PHP5 modules like this:
aptitude search php5
Pick the ones you need and install them like this:
aptitude install php5-mysql php5-curl php5-gd php5-idn php-pear php5-imagick php5-imap php5-mcrypt php5-memcache php5-mhash php5-ming php5-ps php5-pspell php5-recode php5-snmp php5-sqlite php5-tidy php5-xmlrpc php5-xsl php5-json
Now restart Lighttpd:
Now reload http://192.168.0.100/info.php in your browser and scroll down to the modules section again. You should now find lots of new modules there, including the MySQL module:
- Lighttpd: http://www.lighttpd.net
- PHP: http://www.php.net
- MySQL: http://www.mysql.com
- Debian: http://www.debian.org