Installing LEMP (Nginx, PHP, MySQL with MariaDB engine and PhpMyAdmin) in Arch Linux

Due to its Rolling Release model which embrace cutting age software Arch Linux was not designed and developed to run as a server to provide reliable network services because it requires extra time for maintenance, constants upgrades and sensible file configurations.

Install LEMP in Arch-Linux

Install LEMP in Arch-Linux

But, still, because Arch Linux comes with a CD core installation with minimal software pre-installed, it can represent a solid base start up point to install most of the popular network services this days, this including LEMP or LAMP, Apache Web Server, Nginx, PHP, SQL databases, Samba, FTP servers, BIND and others, many of them being provided from Arch Linux official repositories and others from AUR.

This tutorial will guide through installing and configuring LEMP stack (Nginx, PHP , MySQL with MariaDB engine and PhpMyAdmin) from a remotely using SSH, which can provide a strong foundation to build Web Server Applications.


Previous Arch Linux Installation guide, excepting last part on networking with DHCP.

Step 1: Assign Static IP on Network Interface

1. After minimal Arch Linux core installation reboot your server, login with root account or equivalent administrative sudo account, and identify your system NICs device names using ip link command.

# ip link
Check Network Interfaces Names

Check Network Interfaces Names

2. To assign static network configurations we are going to use Netctl package to manage network connections. After you have successfully identified your Network Interfaces names copy ethernet-static file template to netctl system path and change its name to a descriptive naming scheme ( try use “static” string combined with NIC’s name), by issuing the following command.

# cp /etc/netctl/examples/ethenet-static  /etc/netctl/static.ens33

3. The next step is to edit this new template file by changing file’s directives and providing your actually network settings ( Interface, IP/Netmask, Gateway, Broadcast, DNS) like in the below excerpt.

# nano  /etc/netctl/static.ens33
Add Network Details

Add Network Details

Description='A basic static ethernet connection for ens33'
DNS=('' '')

4. The next step is to start your network connection through netctl system tool and verify your system connectivity by issuing the following commands.

# netctl start static.ens33
# netctl status static.ens33
Start Network Service

Start Network Service

5. If you get an active green exit status you have successfully configured your Network Interface and it’s time to automatically enable it on system wide services. Also test your network by running a ping command against a domain name and also, install net-tools package (the most well-known feature of this package is ifconfig command which Arch developers considered to be kind of deprecated and replaced it with iproute2).

Enable system wide NIC’s configurations
# netctl enable static.ens33
Install net-tools package
# pacman -S net-tools

6. Now you can run ifconfig command to verify your Network Interfaces settings and check if everything is correctly displayed, then reboot your system to make sure everything is in place and properly configured.

# ping
Verify Network Connectivity

Verify Network Connectivity

Step 2: Install LEMP Software

As pointed in this article introduction LEMP stands for Linux+Nginx+PHP/PhpMyAdmin+MySQL/MariaDB which is one of the most widely spread web application platforms today after LAMP (the same stack with Apache in equation).

7. Before actually install LEMP stack we need to update system and then gain remote control to Arch Linux server. As you probably know OpenSSH is the main candidate for this job so go ahead and install it, start SSH daemon and enable it system wide.

$ sudo pacman -Syu
$ sudo pacman –S openssh
Install SSH in Arch Linux

Install Open SSH Service

$ sudo systemctl start sshd
$ sudo systemctl status sshd
$ sudo systemctl enable sshd
Start SSH in Arch Linux

Start Open SSH Service

Now is time to proceed with LEMP installation. Because this tutorial is meant to be as a comprehensive guide I’ll will divide LEMP stack installation into small pieces, step by step.

8. First install Nginx Web Server, then start it and verify its status by issuing the following commands.

$ sudo pacman -S nginx
$ sudo systemctl start nginx
$ sudo systemctl status nginx
Install Nginx in Arch Linux

Install Nginx Web Server

Start Nginx Web Server

Start Nginx Web Server

9. The next service to be installed is MySQL database. Issue the following command to install MySQL database server and choose MariaDB engine, then start and verify daemon status.

$ sudo pacman -S mysql
$ sudo systemctl start mysqld
$ sudo systemctl status mysqld
Install MySQL in Arch Linux

Install MySQL Database

Start MySQL Database

Start MySQL Database

10. The next step is to provide a highly safe environment for MySQL databases by providing a password for MySQL root account, remove anonymous user account, remove test database and root accounts that are accessible from outside localhost. Run the following command to improve MySQL security, press [Enter] for current root account password, then answer Yes to all questions ( also setup your root account password).

$ sudo mysql_secure_installation
Secure MySQL Installation

Secure MySQL Installation

Configure MySQL Settings

Configure MySQL Settings

Note: By any means do not confuse MySQL root account with Linux system root account – they are two different things – not so different but they run on different levels.

To verify MySQL security login to database using mysql -u root -p command syntax, provide your root password then leave database with exit; command.

# mysql -u root -p
Connect to MySQL Database

Connect to MySQL Database

11. Now it’s time to install PHP server-side scripting language to be able to develop and run complex dynamic web applications, not just serve HTML/CSS code.

Because we are using Nginx as a web server we need to install PHP-FPM backed module to communicate through Fast Common Gateway and change dynamic content generated by PHP scripts.

Issue the following command line to install PHP-FPM service, then start daemon and verify status.

$ sudo pacman –S php php-fpm
$ sudo systemctl start php-fpm
$ sudo systemctl status php-fpm
Install PHP in Arch Linux

Install PHP and PHP-FPM

Start PHP-FPM Service

Start PHP-FPM Service

To list all available PHP module issue the following commands.

$ sudo pacman –S php[TAB]
$ sudo pacman –Ss | grep php
List All PHP Modules

List All PHP Modules

Verify All PHP Modules

Verify All PHP Modules

12. One of the last steps is to install PhpMyAdmin Web Interface for MySQL database. Issue the following command to install PhpMyAdmin along with its PHP needed module then create a symbolic link for PhpMyaAdmin system path to Nginx default root path.

$ pacman -S phpmyadmin php-mcrypt
$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/webapps/phpMyAdmin   /usr/share/nginx/html
Install PhpMyAdmin in Arch Linux

Install PhpMyAdmin

13. Then configure php.ini file to include necessary extensions needed by PhpMyAdmin application.

$ sudo nano /etc/php/php.ini

Locate with [CTRL+W] keys and uncomment (remove ; at the line beginning) the following lines.
mysqli.allow_local_infile = On

On same file locate and edit open_basedir directive to resemble with the following included directories.

open_basedir= /srv/http/:/home/:/tmp/:/usr/share/pear/:/usr/share/webapps/:/etc/webapps/
Configure php.ini Extensions

Configure php.ini Extensions

Enable MySQL PHP Extensions

Enable MySQL PHP Extensions

14. The next step is to enable PHP-FPM FastCGI on localhost Nginx directive. Issue the next command to backup nginx.conf web server file configuration then replace it with the following content.

$ sudo mv /etc/nginx/nginx.conf /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.bak
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Add the whole following content on nginx.conf.

#user html;
worker_processes  2;

#error_log  logs/error.log;
#error_log  logs/error.log  notice;
#error_log  logs/error.log  info;

#pid        logs/;

events {
    worker_connections  1024;

http {
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;
    sendfile        on;
    #tcp_nopush     on;
    #keepalive_timeout  0;
    keepalive_timeout  65;
    gzip  on;

    server {
        listen       80;
        server_name  localhost;
            root   /usr/share/nginx/html;
        charset koi8-r;
        location / {
        index  index.php index.html index.htm;
                                autoindex on;
                                autoindex_exact_size off;
                                autoindex_localtime on;

                                location /phpmyadmin {
        rewrite ^/* /phpMyAdmin last;

 error_page  404              /404.html;

        # redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html

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

    location ~ \.php$ {
        #fastcgi_pass; (depending on your php-fpm socket configuration)
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_index index.php;
        include fastcgi.conf;

        location ~ /\.ht {
            deny  all;
Enable PHP-FPM FastCGI

Enable PHP-FPM FastCGI

15. After all file configurations had been made, all you need to do is to restart Nginx and PHP-FPM services and point your browser to http://localhost/phpmyadmin URL from local node or http://arch_IP/phpmyadmin form another computer.

$ sudo systemctl restart php-fpm
$ sudo systemctl restart nginx
Access Nginx Web Server

Access Nginx Web Server

PhpMyAdmin Login

PhpMyAdmin Login

PhpMyAdmin Dashboard

PhpMyAdmin Dashboard

16. If everything runs as intended the final step is to enable LEMP system wide with the following commands.

$ sudo systemctl enable php-fpm
$ sudo systemctl enable nginx
$ sudo systemctl enable mysqld
Enable LEMP System Wide

Enable LEMP System Wide

Congratulations! You have installed and configured LEMP on Arch Linux and, now, you have a full dynamic interface to begin and develop web applications.

Although Arch Linux is not the most very-best suited system to run on production servers due to its community orientated rolling release model it can be a very fast and reliable source for small non-critical production environments.

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Matei Cezar

I'am a computer addicted guy, a fan of open source and linux based system software, have about 4 years experience with Linux distributions desktop, servers and bash scripting.

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5 Responses

  1. Loyalty says:

    Thanks a lot man!
    But what’s the main different between apache server and nginx server?

  2. B15HOP says:

    This is a whopping tutorial. I love it!!
    But one problem mcrypt is now an AUR package. Even worse, it doesn’t quite work. MyPhpAdmin is broken somehow. Probably because it needs that package to work. I don’t know specifically what to do. Otherwise this tutorial is brilliant!

  3. Shankar says:

    hi ,
    Thank u for the awesome tutorial.

    I wud like to suggest a small change: is deprecated now so can u change it to

  4. EV says:

    Thanks for this excellent guide!

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