How to install WordPress on Debian 9 with LAMP (Tutorial)

install_wordpress_debian_lamp

WordPress + LAMP is the classic web hosting setup.

Sure, there are other software stack options for hosting WordPress (some of our team is partial to LEMP). But in terms of wide implementation and usage for websites across the globe, nothing compares to WordPress with LAMP.

So today we’ll show you how to get serve your website to the world this way by installing WordPress on Debian 9 using a LAMP stack.

Want to install WordPress but not on Debian?
👉Click here for our WordPress + Ubunbu 18.04 tutorial
👉Click here for our WordPress + Centos 7 tutorial

WordPress + LAMP: the most popular CMS and web server

WordPress is a powerhouse—over 34% of all websites online today use it—that’s over 22 million websites.

And for sites using a CMS (content management system), it towers over the competition with 60% of the market share.

Meanwhile, Apache (a key piece of the LAMP stack) is the world’s most popular web server.

So, you can see why having the WordPress/LAMP installation in your pocket is key for any developer or anyone looking to host their own blog or website.

How to install WordPress on Debian 9 using a LAMP stack

In this tutorial, I will show you how to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 9.

Prerequisites for installing WordPress on Debian 9

Before we get started, you’ll need to have the following set up:

  1. LAMP stack: LAMP stands for Linux Apache MySQL PHP. WordPress is both a front end and a back-end system so it requires a web server, a database engine and PHP for serving dynamic content which is handled by the LAMP stack. —>Click here for a step-by-step guide to installing LAMP on your Linux server.
  2. SSH access to your Debian 9 Server
  3. A system user with sudo privileges

If you’re all set, then let’s get started!

Step 1: Create a database for WordPress user

WordPress ships a bundle of numerous files and those files need to be stored in a database.

So, your first step towards installing WordPress is to setup MySQL database to handle these files.

To do this, let’s log in to MySQL as a root user, using the command:

mysql -u root -p

You’ll then prompted for the password that you set during the set-up of MySQL database system.

Once logged in, you need to create a new database that will accommodate WordPress files during and after the installation process. You can name it whatever you wish, but to keep things simple, we will call it wordpressdb in this guide.

To create the database, run the following command.

mysql> CREATE DATABASE wordpressdb;

NOTE: Always remember to terminate MySQL statements with a semi-colon “;”

With the database in place, you need to create a new MySQL user account that will have exclusive access to the database.

Let’s also grant the user full access to the database and set a strong password. For this guide, we will create a user
called admin-user.

To do that, execute the following command

mysql> GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO 'admin-suser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD';

NOTE: Remember to replace the PASSWORD string with a strong password.

At this point, we’ve created a database and a user account specifically for WordPress.

To apply the changes in MySQL instance, we need to run the command below

mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Then we’ll exit the MySQL instance by running the command

mysql>   EXIT;

Step 2: Install additional PHP extensions

LAMP stack requires only a minimal set of extensions for PHP to communicate with MySQL database server. However, WordPress and many of its plugins require additional extensions to function without complications.

With that in mind, we’re now going to install additional PHP extensions for WordPress.

First, update the system:

# sudo apt update

Next, install the additional PHP extensions:

# sudo apt install php-curl php-gd php-mbstring php-xml php-xmlrpc php-  soap php-intl php-zip

To load these extensions, restart Apache web server by running the following command:

# sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 3: Download WordPress

With all the prerequisites in place, let’s go ahead and download WordPress.

For security reasons, I recommend always downloading WordPress from its official repository:

First Navigate to /var/www/ directory

# cd  /var/www/```

Then download the zipped folder using the command

# curl -O https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

Extract the tarball file

# tar -xvf latest.tar.gz

The extraction of the tarball file yields a folder labeled wordpress.

This is the folder that contains all the WordPress configuration files. At this point, it’s safe to delete the tarball file you just downloaded from the WordPress repository.

# rm latest.tar.gz

Step 4: Configure the WordPress directory

Before we proceed to the next step, we need to adjust ownership and file permissions of the WordPress directory.

Let’s assign file ownership to all the files in the WordPress directory using the

# sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/wordpress

Next, we’ll set the correct permissions as shown:

# sudo find /var/www/wordpress/ -type d -exec chmod 750 {} \;
# sudo find /var/www/wordpress/ -type f -exec chmod 640 {} \;

We also need to rename the sample configuration file in the WordPress directory to a filename it can read from:

# cd /var/www/wordpress
# mv wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php

Next, we will open the wp-config.php file using the default text editor Vim.

# vim  wp-config.php

Now scroll down and locate the database settings as shown below. Be sure to fill in the WordPress database name, database user, database password and hostname.

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'wordpressdb');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'admin-user');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'StrongPassword');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');

/** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
define('DB_COLLATE', '');

Save and exit the configuration file.

You also need to generate security keys to provide additional security to your WordPress installation. WordPress provides an automatic generator for these keys to eliminate the need for generating them ourselves.

To generate these values from WordPress secret generator, simply run the command:

# curl -s https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/

Note: The command gave us the output below. DO NOT USE THESE VALUES, you need to copy the unique values that you generated.

define('AUTH_KEY',      'UV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...mL)');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'bn(UV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emL)zx');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    '-naUV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emL{fY');
define('NONCE_KEY',     '{xNwUV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emL8Fq');
define('AUTH_SALT',        'j+;UV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emLZpu');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', '0M=UV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emL*xC');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'G&2UV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emLps+');
define('NONCE_SALT',    '2gZUV>...SAMPLE ONLY...COPY YOUR OWN VALUES...emLh/L');

Copy the unique output that you’ve generated.

Once again, open the WordPress configuration file wp-config.php

# vim  wp-config.php

Scroll and locate the section that contains the dummy values, which looks like this:

define('AUTH_KEY',         'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_KEY',        'put your unique phrase here');
define('AUTH_SALT',        'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_SALT',       'put your unique phrase here');

Delete those values and paste the security keys that WordPress generated for you.

Now save and exit the configuration file.

Step 5: Modify Apache configuration

In this step, we need to make a few adjustments to the default configuration file 000-default.conf in the path /etc/apache2/sites-available.

Start by opening the default configuration file

# vim  /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Next, locate the DocumentRoot attribute and change it from /var/www/html to /var/www/wordpress.

In the same file, copy and paste the following lines inside the Virtual Host block.

<Directory /var/www/wordpress/>
AllowOverride All
</Directory>

virtual_host_wordpress_ubuntu

Save and exit the configuration file.

Next, you need to enable the mod_rewrite so that you can use WordPress Permalink feature.

# sudo a2enmod rewrite

To verify that all went well, execute the command.

# sudo apache2ctl configtest

Output: Ok

To implement the changes, restart Apache web server.

# sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 6: Run WordPress installation using the web browser

At this point, you’ve finished all the server configurations for your WordPress installation.

The final step is to complete the installation via a web browser.

To do this, launch your web browser and browser your server’s IP address or domain name
http://server_IP_address or http://YOUR-DOMAIN

The first page will prompt you to select the language.

wordpress_ubuntu_language

Click on your preferred language and hit the ‘Continue’ button.

In the next step fill in the additional information required such as ‘Site Name’, ‘Username’ , ‘Password’, and ‘Email address’.

wordpress_ubuntu_welcomeOnce you’ve filled in all the required fields, click on ‘Install WordPress’

If all went well, you will be directed to the Login Page.

Hit the ‘Login’ button and you’ll head to the world-famous WordPress dashboard that you see below:

wordpress_ubuntu_dashboard

Guess what? You just installed WordPress on Debian!

Congratulations! If you’ve followed along this far, you’ve installed WordPress with LAMP on Debian 9.

So, now you’re ready to get to work building your new blog or website.

If you are just getting started with WordPress, the good news is that there are TONS of free resources for learning and customization. If you were able to install LAMP on your server and execute the WordPress setup, then WordPress itself should be a piece of cake!

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