Installing Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack on Ubuntu 18.04

Installing Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) Stack on Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) is finally here and is being rolled out across VPS hosts such as DigitalOcean and AWS. In this guide we will install a LAMP Stack (Apache, MySQL, PHP) and configure a web server.

Video Tutorial


You should use a non-root user account with sudo privileges. Please see the Initial server setup for Ubuntu 18.04 guide for more details.

1. Install Apache

Let’s begin by updating the package lists and installing Apache on Ubuntu 18.04. Below we have two commands separated by &&. The first command will update the package lists to ensure you get the latest version and dependencies for Apache . The second command will then download and install Apache. Press y and ENTER when asked to continue.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install apache2

Installation may take a few minutes. Once installed, continue to Step 2 to configure the firewall.

2. Configure Firewall

It is highly recommended that you configure a firewall for added security.

We’ll start by adding a firewall rule for SSH because if you are configuring your server remotely, you don’t want to get locked out when enabling the firewall! You may have already done this in the our Initial server setup for Ubuntu 18.04 guide, but it’s no harm adding it again just in case. If the rule already exists, the command will just skip it.

sudo ufw allow OpenSSH

Now we can add the firewall rules for Apache.

sudo ufw allow in "Apache Full"

Now enable the firewall if it isn’t already.

sudo ufw enable

Press y if you see a message “Command may disrupt existing ssh connections”.

If the firewall was activated correctly, you should see “Firewall is active and enabled on system startup“.

You can also check the current firewall status with:

sudo ufw status
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
OpenSSH                    ALLOW       Anywhere
Apache Full                ALLOW       Anywhere
OpenSSH (v6)               ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)
Apache Full (v6)           ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)

Above we can see the firewall is active and has two rules per service. v6 is short for IPv6. This is the new Internet Protocol, which was introduced to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion.

3. Test Apache

To see if Apache installed correctly, we can check the current Apache service status.

sudo service apache2 status

If it is up and running, you should see a green active state.

 apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Drop-In: /lib/systemd/system/apache2.service.d
Active: active (running) since Sat 2018-03-31 08:44:04 CEST; 15min ago
Main PID: 5727 (apache2)
Tasks: 55 (limit: 4915)
CGroup: /system.slice/apache2.service
├─5727 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
├─5728 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
└─5729 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

Mar 31 08:44:04 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Starting The Apache HTTP Server...
Mar 31 08:44:04 ubuntu1804 apachectl[5675]: AH00558: apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 
Mar 31 08:44:04 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Started The Apache HTTP Server.

If you get the above error about a fully qualified domain name, you can ignore it.

You may need to press q to exit the server status.

Now that the Apache service is up and running, you should be able to view the test Apache web page through your web browser. Enter the IP address of your server in the address bar and hit ENTER.

If you don’t know your IP, you can find out with the following command.

sudo ifconfig | grep -Eo 'inet (addr:)?([0-9]*\.){3}[0-9]*' | grep -Eo '([0-9]*\.){3}[0-9]*' | grep -v ''

You’re all set! You can find this Apache default welcome page in the folder /var/www/html. To edit this file:

sudo nano /var/www/html/index.html

Press CTRL + X to exit the nano text editor.

Your Apache web server is ready to go! You can now add your own html files and images the the /var/www/html directory as you please. If you want to host multiple sites and domains on Apache, please see Installing Apache on Ubuntu 18.04 with Multiple Domains.

4. Install MySQL

Let’s begin by updating the repository and installing the MySQL package using apt. APT (Advanced Package Tool) is the command line tool used in Ubuntu 18.04 to interact with the packaging system.

You can see below we have two commands combined into one using &&.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install mysql-server

Press y and ENTER when prompted to install the MySQL package.

Once the package installer has finished, we can check to see if the MySQL service is running.

sudo service mysql status

If running, you will see a green Active status like below.

 mysql.service - MySQL Community Server
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mysql.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: active (running) since Mon 2018-04-02 02:40:59 CEST; 2min 47s ago
Main PID: 18476 (mysqld)
Tasks: 27 (limit: 4915)
CGroup: /system.slice/mysql.service
└─18476 /usr/sbin/mysqld --daemonize --pid-file=/run/mysqld/

Apr 02 02:40:59 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Starting MySQL Community Server...
Apr 02 02:40:59 ubuntu1804 systemd[1]: Started MySQL Community Server.

You may need to press q to exit the service status.

5. Configure MySQL Security

You should now run mysql_secure_installation to configure security for your MySQL server.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

If you created a root password in Step 1, you may be prompted to enter it here. Otherwise you will be asked to create one.

You will be asked if you want to set up the Validate Password Plugin. It’s not really necessary unless you want to enforce strict password policies for some reason.

Securing the MySQL server deployment.

Connecting to MySQL using a blank password.

VALIDATE PASSWORD PLUGIN can be used to test passwords
and improve security. It checks the strength of password
and allows the users to set only those passwords which are
secure enough. Would you like to setup VALIDATE PASSWORD plugin?

Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No:

Press ENTER here if you don’t want to set up the validate password plugin.

Please set the password for root here.

New password:

Re-enter new password:

If you didn’t create a root password in Step 1, you must now create one here.

Generate a strong password and enter it. Note that when you enter passwords in Linux, nothing will show as you are typing (no stars or dots).

By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user,
allowing anyone to log into MySQL without having to have
a user account created for them. This is intended only for
testing, and to make the installation go a bit smoother.
You should remove them before moving into a production

Remove anonymous users? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) :

Press y and ENTER to remove anonymous users.

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from
'localhost'. This ensures that someone cannot guess at
the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) :

Press y and ENTER to disallow root login remotely. This will prevent bots and hackers from trying to guess the root password.

By default, MySQL comes with a database named 'test' that
anyone can access. This is also intended only for testing,
and should be removed before moving into a production

Remove test database and access to it? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) :

Press y and ENTER to remove the test database.

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes
made so far will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? (Press y|Y for Yes, any other key for No) :

Press y and ENTER to reload the privilege tables.

All done!

As a test, you can log into the MySQL server and run the version command.

sudo mysqladmin -p -u root version

Enter the MySQL root password you created earlier and you should see the following:

mysqladmin Ver 8.42 Distrib 5.7.21, for Linux on x86_64
Copyright (c) 2000, 2018, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective

Server version 5.7.21-1ubuntu1
Protocol version 10
Connection Localhost via UNIX socket
UNIX socket /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
Uptime: 2 hours 34 min 19 sec

Threads: 1 Questions: 15 Slow queries: 0 Opens: 113 Flush tables: 1 Open tables: 106 Queries per second avg: 0.001

You have now successfully installed and configured MySQL!

6. Install PHP

Let’s begin by updating the repository and installing the PHP package using apt. We will also install two more packages libapache2-mod-php and php-mysql, which will allow PHP to communicate with the MySQL database.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql

Press y and ENTER when prompted to install the PHP package.

7. Test PHP

Once the package has finished installing, we can test PHP in the command line.

php -version

If PHP installed correctly, you should see something similar below:

PHP 7.2.3-1ubuntu1 (cli) (built: Mar 14 2018 22:03:58) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.2.3-1ubuntu1, Copyright (c) 1999-2018, by Zend Technologies

Great! Now, let’s test PHP for Apache.

Create a new file called info.php in your document root directory.

The default document root in Ubuntu 18.04 is /var/www/html/, or if you followed our previous Apache guide on setting up Virtual Hosts, your document root may be in somewhere like  /var/www/ where is the name of your own domain.

Once you’ve confirmed the location of you document root directory, create a new file called info.php using the nano text editor.

In this example, we will create a new file in /var/www/html/

sudo nano /var/www/html/info.php

Once nano editor has opened, paste in the following PHP code. (If using PuTTY, click to right mouse button to paste)


Save file and exit. (Press CTRL + X, press Y and then press ENTER)

We can now load this file in the browser by going to or http://your_ip/info.php

Tip: If you don’t know you IP, you can find out with:

sudo ifconfig | grep -Eo 'inet (addr:)?([0-9]*\.){3}[0-9]*' | grep -Eo '([0-9]*\.){3}[0-9]*' | grep -v ''

Below we can see the PHP info page is working correctly.

PHP 7 info test page on Apache and Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

Once you’ve confirmed PHP is working correctly, it’s important to delete info.php as it contains information that could be useful to hackers.

sudo rm /var/www/html/info.php

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed and configured a LAMP Stack for Ubuntu 18.04.

What Next?

Now that your Ubuntu 18.04 LAMP web server is up and running, you may want to install phpMyAdmin so you can manage your MySQL server.

To set up a free SSL cert for your domain:

You may want to install and configure an FTP server:

We also have several other articles relating to the day-to-day management of your Ubuntu 18.08 LAMP server

Let me know in the comments if this helped. Follow me @DevAnswers or buy me a beer 🍺


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10 replies

For completely green developers, is there a link you can add in your step on how to…

Test Apache Step – See the apache page in a browser

Test PHP step – Create and view php files

Not sure what you mean. You want me to create separate pages for those?

i am trying to learn the entire setup. Now that I have all of this installed, how do I go about “seeing what the user sees?”

also, kudos on the fast reply

Do you mean a demo page that shows Apache, PHP and MySQL in action? I don’t have anything like that yet, though it’s on the list.

The info.php page you create in Step 7 is a good demo of Apache and PHP working together.

Hello i have a problem with php, where only the php code shows when I access “http:/localhost/info.php” My browser does not show that screen,

I had the problem with other tutorial, and google to unistall lamp with a purge command. but now my lamp server won’t work.

any thought?

thank you in advaned.

You should try completely removing Apache and PHP again and then reinstalling.

Stop Apache service

sudo service apache2 stop

Remove PHP

sudo apt remove --purge php*

Remove Apache

sudo apt remove --purge apache2*

Clean up

sudo apt autoremove && sudo apt autoclean

Make sure Apache directory is gone

sudo rm -rf /etc/apache2 

Now try following this guide again and see if you can get PHP working.

My php file doesnt execute mysql statements ? mysql seems doesnt excute unless by the use of sudo [sudo mysql -u root -p (password)] but with no root privileges in not working in php files ? any tips or can we use mysql as non root . Please help 🙂 Thanks~s

Try installing these two helper packages

sudo apt install libapache2-mod-php php-mysql

Thanks, this was very useful!
FYI there is a small typo in step 4: “…to install the PHP package.” should be “…to install the MySQL package.”.

One optional step could also be added: change the preference from index.html to index.php by editing the order in /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dir.conf

Thanks, I rely on fresh eyes to spot these things!