How to: Install a LAMP server

23 Lug/09

If you’ve read enough of my Ghacks tutorials you have most likely come across mention of a LAMP server. If you are not sure what a LAMP server is:

  • Linux
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • P (can mean php or pearl – depends upon your needs)

LAMP servers are very popular, cheap, effective, flexible, and reliable servers. But how are they installed? Actually, it’s not that hard. In this tutorial I am going to show you how to install a LAMP in two different ways: From the command line (using separate tools) and using the tasksel tool.

Hardware needed

Fortunately a LAMP server can be installed on lower-end hardware and still serve as a fairly efficient server. Naturally if you are going to be using your LAMP server for high traffic, you will want to select your hardware wisely.

Install prerequisite

Before you begin the installation of your server you will need to have your operating system installed. This is the “L” of LAMP. So find your favorite Linux distribution and install the operating system. For the purposes of this installation I am going to be installing on a Ubuntu 9.04 server installation. This will be a console only server (no GUI desktop) which is fine because the installation is done via command line only.

Once you have your operating system installed you are ready to install your server.


This is the easiest portion to install. Either log in to your console or open up a terminal window (if you are working from a GUI desktop) and enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install apache2

You will have to enter your sudo user password for this installation to continue. Once this installation is complete check it by pointing a browser to that server IP address. You should instantly know if Apache is up and running.


For the purposes of this article we will assume the “P” stands for PHP. To install PHP (and all of its requirements) issue the command:

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5

Once this installation is complete restart Apache with the command:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Let’s make sure this portion works properly. To test this create a file in the Apache document root (for this install it will be /var/www) called test.php. The contents of this file will be:
< ?php phpinfo(); ?>

Save that file and then point your browser to http://IP_ADDRESS/test.php

Where IP_ADDRESS is the actual IP address of your server.

You should see “Test PHP Page” written on your browsers page. If so, you’re good to go.


Now to install MySQL. To do this issue the command:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Once this is done you then need to set a password for MySQL. To do this issue the command:

mysql -u root

which will put you in the MySQL prompt. From this prompt (which looks like mysql> ) enter the command:

Where YOURPASSWORD is the password you want to use for the mysql user.

Now start your MySQL server with the command:

/etc/init.d/mysql start

That’s it. Your LAMP server is up and running.

The quick version

You can actually install a full-on LAMP server on a (Ubuntu server install) with a single command:

sudo tasksel

You will need to select LAMP from the list and you will eventually be prompted for a MySQL password. That’s it.

Final thoughts

Getting a powerful, flexible web server up and running will take you less time and effort than you think. LAMP servers are an outstanding choice for your web servers’ needs.

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