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Howto setup a LAMP-Server in 2018-2020

This documentation is about how to set up a LAMP- Server (Linux, Apache, MySql, PhP) in the current, most stable way. The Reason for me writing this is, that default Installations of common Distruibutions are often based on an old way in Server- Configuration, which is not the way it could be done today, leading to instability and complex configuration.

First, starting from Windows, you should make shure to have enough harddisk- space free. Then get a installation-medium of the Linux your choice. I will stick to OpenSuSE as to get from OpenSuSE (use Leap 15.0 currently as stable Distro. Tumbleweed may be instable). Follow the instructions to

  1. Download the DVD-Image
  2. Make the Installation- Media
  3. Install the System with standard Desktop- Packages (KDE)
  4. Boot into new Linux and Set Up Desktop as you like

The most important thing to consider when making performant LAMP is to not overextend memory-usage of your System. That means, that the amount of memory used by all Applications, should normally never exeed the system-memory space. If the settings are too high for your setup, the system will start to swap o lot of data, not working fast enough any more. As basic thumb-based Values, you need: 1 GByte Memory for Linux- Base- System 1 GByte Memory if you plan to have the graphical Desktop running (you can run that server in Textmode, which will not consume Memory) 1 GByte free (this will be used by System for filecache)

The remaining Memory should be Split around this Values:

  • 1/2 to Mysql
  • 1/4 to PhP
  • 1/4 to Apache

Those values are only for initial setup. After watching your System some time, you can adjust them to your needs. Mostly, when the system is growing, the Database will need even much more Memory than the Webserver, but that depens on your needs.

This is a very tight setup - having no more space for other Applications. So maybe if possible, spend some more GB and leave them free or dedicated to other things (e.g. In- Memory-DB like redis for special jobs).

Again in short: Don't use more Memory as your system can deliver, or you will have no fun with it!

As the System is still usable also with a bad configuration, here is how to check if the Memory is set up right:

Open a terminal and type in „top“ as command. In the 4th line you should see „KiB Mem…“ . The important Values in that line are: XXX free ⇒ if this Value is to low (<90000 is very low), the System has no space left to start new Tasks. This Value should always be higher. 256000 or more is a good Value. XXX buff/cache ⇒ this is the value, that the system has allocated for filebuffering. A low value indicates that it may not performe well. The Value should be around 1024000 or more for best performance.

If those values are both high, you can go and set swappiness to 0, which means that the system will tray to stay in memory as long as it will be possible.

Use „systemctl vm.swappiness = 0“ and set it in /etc/sysctl.conf by adding line „vm.swappiness=0“.

In OpenSuSE MariaDB is available and working out of the Box (maybe change the Admin- Password at first Start). MySQL is tuneable in /etc/my.cnf:

You should check the Parameters align with the memory of your machine (see above): Settings for 4 GB Memory (at all), are:

  • innodb_buffer_pool_size = 768M
  • innodb_log_file_size = 96M
  • #Hint: innodb_log_file_size * 2/innodb_buffer_pool_size should be equal 25%)
  • max_connections = 24
  • join_buffer_size = 12M
  • sort_buffer_size = 1M
  • readn_rnd_buffer_size = 1M

Memory-Usage will be: innodb_buffer_pool_size + ( join_buffer_size + sort_buffer_size + readn_rnd_buffer_size ) * max_connections. If your System has more memory, use some tuning script (like MySQLTuner-perl) to see what makes most sense to put the memory to.

Start Mysql with „rcmysqld start“ at the command line as root, it should work now.

In SuSE 15.X the apache-prefork is installed by default as MPM, which means having one single Apache- Programm in memory. This is not very well scaleable (not multithreaded) and not very stable, as one hangig Request can stop the Server.

In modern setups, apache-event (which is the successor of the apache-worker MPM) is used. This is the most stable and best multithreaded webserver commonly used. If you experience problems with it, you can switch back to apache-worker, which is basically the same.

To switch to that MPM:

  • Open the Software Store
  • Install apache-event
  • Remove apache-prefork
  • Commit the Changes
  • in /etc/apache2/server-tuning.conf the module will be configured. Event and Worker is nearby the same. I use the following parameters for the event/worker module:
#This Config is for event or worker MPMs.
#ServerLimit is the maximum number of apache-servers running beside the one controlling server. So 31 will make max. 32 Processes in total.
ServerLimit 31
StartServers        2
#This should be set to threadsperchild * serverlimit
MaxRequestWorkers  496
MinSpareThreads     32
MaxSpareThreads     64
# number of worker threads created by each child process
ThreadsPerChild     16
# maximum number of requests a server process serves
MaxRequestsPerChild  5000
#unsued Parameters, while not needed or obsolete
#MaxClients         512
#ThreadLimit         16

I would suggest to remove any mpm-specific configurations and use only those settings. You can leave the other settings as defined by initial setup.

If installed, remove mod_php (see beneath)! The Module for apache is known to make it slow and instable - here we will set up PhP-FPM, which is much more stable and much faster. Here you can find a good Documentation for changing to php-fpm, but we will extend them a bit.

PhP-FPM is a Server for running the PhP-Instances in a controlled way. It will manage the maximum amount of running instances and take care of errors like hanging scripts. To get it:

  • Uninstall mod_php and remove it from apache- starting parameters:
sudo zypper remove apache2-mod_php7
sudo a2dismod php7
  • I would suggest using a newer Version of php-fpm than in the default Repositories. E.g. using the Version of Repository „Apache Modules“. Check out other „Experimental Packages“ in
  • Either install the new Version with 1-Click-Install there or for the default Version, use
sudo zypper install php7-fpm
  • Copy the configuration-files for php-fpm:
sudo cp /etc/php7/fpm/php-fpm.conf.default /etc/php7/fpm/php-fpm.conf
sudo cp /etc/php7/fpm/php-fpm.d/www.conf.default /etc/php7/fpm/php-fpm.d/www.conf
  • Than go to /etc/php7/fpm and briefly check if php-fpm.conf is ok for you
  • Explanation: In php-fpm.d directory you need to set up at least one pool. This is one Instance for Apache to speak to.

The „pm“-setting in www.conf controls how much memory will be used at the end. Start with:

  • pm = dynamic
  • pm.max_children = 120
  • pm.start_servers = 12
  • pm.min_spare_servers = 6
  • pm.max_spare_servers = 18

Whenever you can - you should use unix sockets instead of TCP/IP, because of less overhead. If you are on the same machine (apache and php-fpm), than you can.

So this here is new for the setup: in „/etc/php7/fpm/php-fpm.d/www.conf“ set

listen = /var/run/php-fpm.sock
listen.owner = wwwrun = www
listen.mode = 0660

You need to make the file be created by systemd, so create a file /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/php-fpm.conf and paste this line there:

d /run/php-fpm 0700 wwwrun root -

I do not recommend using php.ini in /etc/php7/fpm, but to put it in /etc/php7/conf.d With that Setup, the whole php-configuration will be the same for cli- and web(f)cgi- php execution. Check to move all php.ini files to conf.d. After that, go through the ini-files in conf.d an see if they fit your needs. Especially each Parameter should only be defined once.

After that, start php-fpm:

sudo systemctl start php-fpm
sudo systemctl enable php-fpm

and check, if the socket-file has been created.

About PHP- Modules

many modules for PHP are offered in the Distrubution. I would not recommend using those - as all php-modules need to be compiled against your php. If you update PHP and your modules are the same, they may brake your PHP!

Better use pearl / pecl and install modules with it! Here, i have found no other way, than to search for php-pear and php-pecl in the distribution and use them.

For me, i needed: php-pear, php-pecl, php7-devel (for command phpize)

Which can be found in the Repo:

After that, modules can be installed by e.g. „pecl install imagick“. They also need to be loaded in php.conf. I would make an new config named /etc/php7/conf.d/pear_pecl.conf and include they modules there. E.g. „“

Restart php-fpm for the changes and check the log of php-fpm (usually in /var/log/php-fpm.log) for errors when loading modules.

For making Apache use php-fpm as php-server, you use the module „proxy_fcgi“, which should be included in the apache MPM- Package.

Caution: this has noting to do with „mod_fcgi“! You will not need mod_fcgi, as this would manage php itself in a new server, which we dont' want! „proxy_fcgi“ offers the fcgi- interface and tunnels it to php-fpm. Thus, it will be a small wrapper, not having to manage something as big as php.

  • To enable this and all its dependencies, use
sudo a2enmod setenvif rewrite proxy proxy_fcgi

Now, tell proxy_fcgi to use php:

  • Create /etc/apache2/conf.d/mod_proxy_fcgi.conf and add:
# Don't use "ProxyPassMatch", while non-ascii-urls will not work!
# This is to forward all PHP to php-fpm
 <FilesMatch \.php$>
   SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/"

# Don't use "Reuse" cause of timeouts and php-fpm manages reuse of php automagically!
# <Proxy fcgi://localhost enablereuse=on max=10>
 <Proxy fcgi://localhost>
    #6 Hours = 21600
    #Make this high, as upload will stop after that amount of time
    ProxySet connectiontimeout=30 timeout=21600

 # If the php file doesn't exist, disable the proxy handler.
 # This will allow .htaccess rewrite rules to work and
 # the client will see the default 404 page of Apache
 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} \.php$
 RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/%{REQUEST_URI} !-f
 RewriteRule (.*) - [H=text/html]

Now you can start and enable apache2

sudo systemctl start apache2
sudo systemctl enable php-fpm

check if the modules have beend loaded:

apache2ctl -M

This should include proxy_fcgi_module now.

Create the File /srv/www/htdocs/phpinfo.php (with read-permissions for user wwwrun) and paste this into it:


// Show all information, defaults to INFO_ALL


Now open your Web- Browser and go to: http://localhost/phpinfo.php

This should give you the complete Info of your php-configuration. If something fails, check if the above services are started an/or the logfiles.

You are done. Now its up to you to fill Apache with content. Have fun!

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  • content/apache_phpfpm.1586115169.txt.gz
  • Zuletzt geändert: 2020/04/05 19:32
  • von Daniel