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Adding PHP to NGINX server

PHP is one of the highest used programming languages for websites, and it allows you to add practically any functionality you'd ever want to your sites.


sudo apt install php-fpm

If you want to work with mysql, then you also need to install php-mysql.

Add to Website's NGINX conf

For each website you want to use php, you'll need to edit the config file.

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/

The following code needs adding within the server block.

location ~ \.php$ {
	include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
	fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php<VERSION>-fpm.sock;

This will use nginx's fastcgi-php.conf snippet which is more secure by default than many other php/nginx configs because it 404s if the requested file doesn't exist. Read Neal Poole's Don't trust the tutorials for more info.

Reload NGINX

sudo systemctl reload nginx

Test it works

Create a PHP file e.g. filename.php in the website's directory, and add the snippet below into it.

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Go to that webpage in your browser e.g. domain.co.uk/filename.php, and if php is working you should see a dump of your PHP's version, headers, etc.

Make nginx use index.php as homepage/root

Now we'll set nginx to load up index.php as the root of the website, if it exists. Open the site's config with an editor.

vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/

Change the index line to read as below. This will then tell the server to load index.php, and if it doesn't exists, load index.html in its stead.

index index.php index.html