Install LEMP Server (Nginx, MariaDB, PHP) On CentOS 7

LEMP is a combination of operating system and open-source software stack. The acronym LEMP is derived from first letters of Linux, engine-x (Nginx) HTTP Server, MariaDB database, and PHP/Perl/Python.

In this tutorial, let us see how to install LEMP server on RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux 7.

My testbox hostname and IP address are server.unixmen.local and respectively.

Install Nginx

Nginx (pronounced engine-x) is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server written by Igor Sysoev. According to netcraft web server survey 14.08% web sites are served by Nginx.

Nginx will not be found in the official CentOS repository, so let us install EPEL repository first. To install EPEL repository refer the following link.

Now, install Nginx with following command:

yum install nginx -y

Start Nginx and make it to start automatically on every reboot:

systemctl start nginx 
systemctl enable nginx

Stop Apache or any other web servers if you have any:

systemctl stop httpd
systemctl disable httpd

Allow Nginx server through your firewall/router if you want to access the web server from other systems:

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=http
systemctl restart firewalld

Now point your web browser with “http://ip-address″. The test page of nginx will open.

Test Page for the Nginx HTTP Server on Fedora - Mozilla Firefox_001

Nginx web server has been installed now.

Configure Nginx

Open the file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and set the worker_processes (i.e No. of CPU’s in your system). To see the no. of CPU’s, use the command “lscpu”.

vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

In my case it’s “1″. So I set this as ’1′:

worker_processes 1;

Scroll down and make the changes as shown below.

server {
        listen       80;
        server_name  server.unixmen.local;
        root         /usr/share/nginx/html;
    ## Uncomment or Add the following lines

    location ~ \.php$ {
            root           /usr/share/nginx/html;
            fastcgi_index  index.php;
            fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
            include        fastcgi_params;


Save and close the file. Restart Nginx service:

systemctl restart nginx

Install MariaDB

MariaDB is a drop in replacement for MySQL. It is a robust, scalable and reliable SQL server that comes rich set of enhancements.

Now, start installing MariaDB as shown below:

yum install mariadb-server mariadb -y

Start MariaDB service and let it to start automatically on every reboot:

systemctl start mariadb
systemctl enable mariadb

Set MySQL root password

By default, MySQL root password is empty. So, to prevent unauthorized access to MySQL, let us set root user password. Enter the following command to setup mysql root user password:

/usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation: line 379: find_mysql_client: command not found


In order to log into MariaDB to secure it, we'll need the current
password for the root user.  If you've just installed MariaDB, and
you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): 
OK, successfully used password, moving on...

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n] y ## Enter Y and press Enter
New password:   ## Enter new password
Re-enter new password:  ## Enter password again
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
 ... Success!

By default, a MariaDB installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MariaDB 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 environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y  ## Enter Y and press Enter
 ... Success!

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? [Y/n] y  ## Enter Y and press Enter
 ... Success!

By default, MariaDB 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 environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y  ## Enter Y and press Enter
 - Dropping test database...
 ... Success!
 - Removing privileges on test database...
 ... Success!

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

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y  ## Enter Y and press Enter
 ... Success!

Cleaning up...

All done!  If you've completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MariaDB!

Install PHP

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely used open-source general purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

Install PHP with following command:

yum install php php-common php-fpm php-mysql -y

Start php-fpm service and let it to start automatically on every reboot:

systemctl start php-fpm
systemctl enable php-fpm

Configure PHP

Open up /etc/php.ini file in any editor. Find the line cgi.fix_pathinfo and change the value from 1 to 0 (zero):

vi /etc/php.ini

Open up the file /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf and change the user and group values from apache to nginx:

vi /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf
; Unix user/group of processes
; Note: The user is mandatory. If the group is not set, the default user's group
;       will be used.
; RPM: apache Choosed to be able to access some dir as httpd
user = nginx
; RPM: Keep a group allowed to write in log dir.
group = nginx

Save and close the file. Restart php-fpm service:

systemctl restart php-fpm

Test PHP

Create a sample “testphp.php” file in web root folder and append the lines as shown below:

vi /usr/share/nginx/html/testphp.php

Save and close the file. Restart Nginx service:

systemctl restart nginx

Navigate to  http://server-ip-address/testphp.php. It will display all the details about PHP such as version, build date and commands etc.

phpinfo() - Mozilla Firefox_002

If you want to install all PHP modules, enter the command yum install php* -y and restart the Nginx service. To verify for the modules, open up your web browser and navigate to http://server-ip-address/testphp.php. You will then see all PHP modules.

PHP-FPM listens localhost ( via port 9000 by default. If you want to make PHP-FPM to listen to unix socket, follow the steps below. Edit file /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf,

vi /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Find the following line:

listen =

Change the above line as shown below:

listen = /var/run/php-fpm/php5-fpm.sock

Then edit nginx configuration file:

vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Find the following line:


And, change it as shown below:

fastcgi_pass   unix:/var/run/php-fpm/php5-fpm.sock;

Save and close the file. Restart nginx and php-fpm service.

systemctl restart nginx
systemctl restart php-fpm

That’s it. Your LEMP server is ready to use.