How to Install PHP-FPM with Apache on Ubuntu 18.04 – Google Cloud

How to install PHP 7.4-FPM with Apache on Ubuntu 18.04 in Google Cloud Platform. There are two distinct options to run PHP using the web server. One is using the PHP’s CGI and the other one is FPM.

FPM is a process manager to manage the FastCGI in PHP. Apache ships with mod_php by default and works with all major web servers. With mod_php there is a little performance issue because it locks out the process.

You can also configure PHP-FPM pools to run as the different user that owns the website if you are hosting multiple websites on your server in a chroot environment setup.

Getting Started

Make sure your Ubuntu server is having the latest packages by running the following command.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This will update the package index and update the installed packages to the latest version.

Add PPA for PHP 7.4

Add the ondrej/php which has PHP 7.4 package and other required PHP extensions.

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update

Once you have added the PPA you can install PHP 7.4.

Install PHP 7.4 FPM

Now we shall install PHP 7.4-FPM and some common modules to run a PHP application like WordPress.

sudo apt install php7.4-fpm php7.4-common php7.4-mysql php7.4-xml php7.4-xmlrpc php7.4-curl php7.4-gd php7.4-imagick php7.4-cli php7.4-dev php7.4-imap php7.4-mbstring php7.4-soap php7.4-zip php7.4-bcmath -y

Wait for the installation to complete.

Once the installation is complete verify the installation using the following command.

sudo service php7.4-fpm status

You will receive an output similar to the one below.

● php7.4-fpm.service - The PHP 7.4 FastCGI Process Manager
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/php7.4-fpm.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
    Active: active (running) since Thu 2020-01-09 08:36:51 UTC; 1min 48s ago
      Docs: man:php-fpm7.4(8)
  Main PID: 15920 (php-fpm7.4)
    Status: "Processes active: 0, idle: 2, Requests: 0, slow: 0, Traffic: 0req/sec"
     Tasks: 3 (limit: 669)
    CGroup: /system.slice/php7.4-fpm.service
            ├─15920 php-fpm: master process (/etc/php/7.4/fpm/php-fpm.conf)
            ├─15938 php-fpm: pool www
            └─15939 php-fpm: pool www

Install Apache

Once you have your PHP-FPM up and running you can install Apache web server.

sudo apt install apache2

Configure Apache with PHP-FPM

By default Apache will use mod_php so now you can configure Apache to use PHP-FPM.

Disable the default Apache vhost configuration.

sudo a2dissite 000-default

Enable proxy_fcgi module.

sudo a2enmod proxy_fcgi

Create a new Apache vhost configuration.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/cloudbooklet.conf

Paste the below configuration in the file.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerName External_IP_Address
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html

     <Directory /var/www/html>
          Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
         AllowOverride All
         Require all granted

     <FilesMatch ".php$"> 
         SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/"          
      ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
      CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined  

Hit CTRL + X followed by Y and Enter to save and exit the file.

Now you can enable the new Apache configuration.

sudo a2ensite cloudbooklet.conf

Restart Apache.

sudo service apache2 restart

Test PHP-FPM with Apache

Here we have configured /var/www/html as the webroot in the Apache configuration. So now you can navigate into that directory and create a phpinfo file to check the setup.

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

Paste the following.

<?php phpinfo;

Hit CTRL + X followed by Y and Enter to save and exit the file.

Now go your browser and point it to your server IP address or domain name followed by the info.php. So your address will look like this http://IP_Address/info.php

You will see the PHP info page and confirm PHP-FPM is used with Apache.

PHP-FPM Configuration

PHP INI: /etc/php/7.4/fpm/php.ini

Pool config: /etc/php/7.4/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

Create New PHP-FPM Pool with different user

By default Nginx and Apache runs as www-data user. PHP-FPM www.conf is also configured to run as www-data user. If you have multiple websites and wish to keep them isolated with chrooted setup and run them with their own user. You can create multiple PHP-FPM pools with different users.

Create a new PHP-FPM pool configuration.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.4/fpm/pool.d/user1.conf

Paste the following.

user = user1
group = group1

listen = /run/php/php7.4-fpm-user1.sock

listen.owner = www-data = www-data

pm = dynamic
pm.max_children = 5
pm.start_servers = 2
pm.min_spare_servers = 1
pm.max_spare_servers = 3

Now create a new Apache vhost configuration file and set the handler to the new pool you have created.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/site1.conf
<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/site1

     <Directory /var/www/html/site1>
          Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
         AllowOverride All
         Require all granted

     <FilesMatch ".php$"> 
         SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm-user1.sock|fcgi://localhost/"          
      ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
      CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined  

Enable new site.

sudo a2ensite site1.conf

Make sure the new site webroot is owned by the user specified in the pool configuration and inside the specified group.

Restart Services

Once the configuration is completed you need to restart PHP-FPM and Apache for the changes to take effect.

sudo php-fpm7.4 -t
sudo service php7.4-fpm restart
sudo service apache2 restart

You can create as many pools you like using the above mentioned setup with PHP-FPM. These are the flexibility available with PHP-FPM.


Now you have learned how to install PHP 7.4-FPM with Apache and configure Apache. You have also learned to setup PHP-FPM pools for multiple users.

How to reduce PHP-FPM (php5-fpm) RAM usage by about 50%

I became aware of what an alternative configuration would do after reading an article titled A better way to run PHP-FPM. It was written about a year ago, so it’s kinda disappointing that I came across it while searching for a related topic just last night. If you run your own server and use PHP with PHP-FPM, you need to read that article.

After I read it, I changed the pm options in the pool configuration file to these:

The major change was setting pm = ondemand instead of pm = dynamic. And the impact on resource usage was drastic. Here, for example, is the output of

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free mt after reloading php5-fpm:

Compared to the output before, that’s more than a 50% drop in RAM usage. And the reason became obvious when I viewed top again:

Did you notice that there are no child processes? What happened to them? That’s what setting pm = ondemand does. A child process is spawned only when needed. After it’s done its job, it remains idle for 10 seconds (pm.process_idle_timeout = 10s) and then dies.

So what I have is a simple modification to the default PHP-FPM settings that saved me more than 50% of RAM. Sure, the server hasn’t come under heavy traffic, but I think it can withstand a reasonably heavy traffic, considering that it only has 512 MB of RAM. And with Nginx microcaching configured, I think it will do very well. There are other aspects of PHP-FPM and Percona MySQL that I’ve not optimized yet, so stay tuned. This was just to pass on a little tip that I found useful.

How to Install Apache with PHP-FPM on Debian 10

PHP Installation

For the PHP installation we recommend to use Ondřej Surý‘s PPA, which provides latest PHP versions for Debian systems. Add this PPA to your Debian system using the following commands:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo echo "deb buster main" | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/php.list

After that, install the required PHP version. You can simply execute the following commands for the default PHP version installation with PHP-FPM packages.

apt update
sudo apt install php php-fpm
Note:- When you are using PHP-FPM. All the PHP modules configurations are residing under /etc/php/7.3/fpm/ directory. You can read more about enable/disable PHP modules.

After installing the above packages php7.3-fpm service will automatically be started. You can make sure by typing below command on terminal.

sudo systemctl status php7.3-fpm

● php7.3-fpm.service - The PHP 7.3 FastCGI Process Manager
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/php7.3-fpm.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2019-12-03 10:01:54 UTC; 24min ago
     Docs: man:php-fpm7.3(8)
 Main PID: 9883 (php-fpm7.3)
   Status: "Processes active: 0, idle: 2, Requests: 3, slow: 0, Traffic: 0req/sec"
    Tasks: 3 (limit: 3587)
   Memory: 14.2M
   CGroup: /system.slice/php7.3-fpm.service
           ├─9883 php-fpm: master process (/etc/php/7.3/fpm/php-fpm.conf)
           ├─9884 php-fpm: pool www
           └─9885 php-fpm: pool www
Dec 03 10:01:54 tecadmin-debian10 systemd[1]: Starting The PHP 7.3 FastCGI Process Manager...
Dec 03 10:01:54 tecadmin-debian10 systemd[1]: Started The PHP 7.3 FastCGI Process Manager.

WordpPress Kubernetes .htaccess configuration


This chart bootstraps a WordPress deployment on a Kubernetes cluster using the Helm package manager.

It also packages the Bitnami MariaDB chart which is required for bootstrapping a MariaDB deployment for the database requirements of the WordPress application.

Bitnami charts can be used with Kubeapps for deployment and management of Helm Charts in clusters. This chart has been tested to work with NGINX Ingress, cert-manager, fluentd and Prometheus on top of the BKPR.


Disabling .htaccess

For performance and security reasons, it is a good practice to configure Apache with AllowOverride None. Instead of using .htaccess files, Apache will load the same dircetives at boot time. These directives are located in /opt/bitnami/wordpress/wordpress-htaccess.conf. The container image includes by default these directives all of the default .htaccess files in WordPress (together with the default plugins). To enable this feature, install the chart with the following value:

helm install stable/wordpress --set allowOverrideNone=yes

However, some plugins may include .htaccess directives that will not be loaded when AllowOverride is set to None. A way to make them work would be to create your own wordpress-htaccess.conf file with all the required dircectives to make the plugin work. After creating it, then create a ConfigMap with it.

kubectl create cm custom-htaccess --from-file=/path/to/wordpress-htaccess.conf

Then, install the chart:

helm install stable/wordpress --set allowOverrideNone=yes --set customHTAccessCM=custom-htaccess


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