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Server admins cheat codes

This will install Nginx and PHP 7.x on Ubuntu 18.04 or later and perform basic configurations needed to get it up and running. This is used to create servers to serve static content as well as minor PHP scripts that need to run on it.

After we’ll set up SSL using LetsEncrypt and use it to transfer static and dynamic content over HTTPS.

Start by updating the server and installing Nginx as well as certbot:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install nginx nano python3-certbot-nginx

Then install PHP:

sudo apt install php-mysql php-gd php-imagick php-xmlrpc php-sqlite3 php-curl php-xml php-mbstring php-fpm

Edit PHP.ini file:

sudo nano /etc/php/7.*/fpm/php.ini

And add these at the bottom:

short_open_tag = On
display_errors = on
error_reporting = E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE & ~E_STRICT & ~E_DEPRECATED
error_log = error_log
output_buffering = Off
date.timezone = "Asia/Singapore"
upload_max_filesize = 50M
post_max_size = 50M
memory_limit = 128M

Edit the nginx configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf 

And add this line to increase file upload size:

http {
        client_max_body_size 50M;

And enable PHP in Nginx site config files for your domain (where is your domain)

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/
sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ 

And edit it to make it look like this:

server {
        root /var/www/;
        index index.php index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

        location ~ \.php$ {
                include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
                fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;

        location ~ /\.ht {
                deny all;

    listen 80;


Finally save and exit.

Now enable Nginx and PHP fpm to start on boot and run now.

sudo systemctl enable nginx php7.4-fpm
sudo systemctl restart php7.4-fpm
sudo systemctl restart nginx

Now lets get a certificate for the domain from certbot:

sudo certbot --nginx --redirect -d -d

Follow the steps and you’ll get a certificate.

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