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How To Install WordPress with nginx on Ubuntu 12.04

Tutorials LEMP Nginx Ubuntu WordPress
Status: Deprecated>

Status: Deprecated #

This article covers a version of Ubuntu that is no longer supported. If you are currently operate a server running Ubuntu 12.04, we highly recommend upgrading or migrating to a supported version of Ubuntu:

Upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04.
Upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04
Migrate the server data to a supported version

Ubuntu 12.04 reached end of life (EOL) on April 28, 2017 and no longer receives security patches or updates. This guide is no longer maintained.
See Instead:
This guide might still be useful as a reference, but may not work on other Ubuntu releases. If available, we strongly recommend using a guide written for the version of Ubuntu you are using. You can use the search functionality at the top of the page to find a more recent version.

About WordPress>

About WordPress #

WordPress is a free and open source website and blogging tool that uses php and MySQL. It was created in 2003 and has since then expanded to manage 22% of all the new websites created and has over 20,000 plugins to customize its functionality.

Step One—Prerequisites!>

Step One—Prerequisites! #

This tutorial covers installing WordPress. Before you go through it, make sure your server is ready for WordPress.
You need root privileges (check out steps 3 and 4 for details):
Initial Server Setup
You need to have nginx, MySQL, and PHP-FPM installed on your server:
LEMP tutorial
Only once you have the user and required software should you proceed to install wordpress!

Step Two—Download WordPress>

Step Two—Download WordPress #

We can download WordPress straight from their website:


This command will download the zipped wordpress package straight to your user’s home directory. You can unzip it the the next line:

tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz 
Step Three—Create the WordPress Database and User>

Step Three—Create the WordPress Database and User #

After we unzip the wordpress files, they will be in a directory called wordpress in the home directory on the virtual private server.
Now we need to switch gears for a moment and create a new MySQL directory for wordpress.
Go ahead and log into the MySQL Shell:

mysql -u root -p

Login using your MySQL root password, and then we need to create a wordpress database, a user in that database, and give that user a new password. Keep in mind that all MySQL commands must end with semi-colon.
First, let’s make the database (I’m calling mine wordpress for simplicity’s sake; feel free to give it whatever name you choose):

Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

Then we need to create the new user. You can replace the database, name, and password, with whatever you prefer:

CREATE USER wordpressuser@localhost;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Set the password for your new user:

SET PASSWORD FOR wordpressuser@localhost= PASSWORD("password");
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Finish up by granting all privileges to the new user. Without this command, the wordpress installer will not be able to start up:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wordpress.* TO wordpressuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Then refresh MySQL:

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Exit out of the MySQL shell:

Step Four—Setup the WordPress Configuration>

Step Four—Setup the WordPress Configuration #

The first step to is to copy the sample WordPress configuration file, located in the WordPress directory, into a new file which we will edit, creating a new usable WordPress config:

cp ~/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php ~/wordpress/wp-config.php

Then open the wordpress config:

sudo nano ~/wordpress/wp-config.php

Find the section that contains the field below and substitute in the correct name for your database, username, and password:

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

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'wordpressuser');

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

Save and Exit.

Step Five—Copy the Files>

Step Five—Copy the Files #

We are almost done uploading WordPress to the server.
We need to create the directory where we will keep the wordpress files:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www

Transfer the unzipped WordPress files to the website’s root directory.

sudo cp -r ~/wordpress/* /var/www

We can modify the permissions of /var/www to allow future automatic updating of WordPress plugins and file editing with SFTP. If these steps aren’t taken, you may get a “To perform the requested action, connection information is required” error message when attempting either task.
First, switch in to the web directory:

cd /var/www/

Give ownership of the directory to the nginx user, replacing the “username” with the name of your server user.

sudo chown www-data:www-data * -R 
sudo usermod -a -G www-data username
Step Six—Set Up Nginx Server Blocks>

Step Six—Set Up Nginx Server Blocks #

Now we need to set up the WordPress virtual host.
Create a new file for the for WordPress host, copying the format from the default configuration:

sudo cp /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress

Open the WordPress virtual host:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress

The configuration should include the changes below (the details of the changes are under the config information):

server {
        listen   80;

        root /var/www;
        index index.php index.html index.htm;


        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri&$args;

        error_page 404 /404.html;

        error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html;
        location = /50x.html {
              root /usr/share/nginx/www;

        # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
        location ~ .php$ {
                try_files $uri =404;
                # With php5-fpm:
                fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
                fastcgi_index index.php;
                include fastcgi_params;


Here are the details of the changes:
Change the root to /var/www/
Add index.php to the index line.
Change the server_name from local host to your domain name or IP address (replace the in the configuration)
Change the “try_files $uri $uri/ /index.html;” line to “try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri&$args;” to enable WordPress Permalinks with nginx
Uncomment the correct lines in “location ~ .php$ {“ section
Save and Exit that file.

Step Seven—Activate the Server Block>

Step Seven—Activate the Server Block #

Although all the configuration for worpress has been completed, we still need to activate the server block by creating a symbolic link:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/wordpress /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/wordpress

Additionally, delete the default nginx server block.

sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

Install php5-mysql:

sudo apt-get install php5-mysql

Then, as always, restart nginx and php-fpm:

sudo service nginx restart
sudo service php5-fpm restart
Step Eight—RESULTS: Access the WordPress Installation>

Step Eight—RESULTS: Access the WordPress Installation #

Once that is all done, the wordpress online installation page is up and waiting for you:
Access the page by visiting your site’s domain or IP address (eg. and fill out the short online form (it should look like this).

See More>

See More #

Once WordPress is installed, you have a strong base for building your site.
If you want to encrypt the information on your site, you can Install an SSL Certificate
By Etel Sverdlov