Lighttpd Web Server Installation on Debian 12

This tutorial intends to teach you Lighttpd Web Server Installation and Configuration on Debian 12 Bookworm From Command Line. Lighttpd or Lighty is a free, open-source, lightweight, high-speed, and secure web server. It is an alternative webserver to Apache. Also, it is often an excellent option for high-traffic sites. Also, you can read on Top 5 Alternatives To Apache HTTP Server on Linux.

Now you can follow the steps below to Install Lighttpd Web Server with MariaDB and PHP on Debian 12 Bookworm.

Steps To Lighttpd Web Server Installation on Debian 12 From Command Line

To complete this guide, you must have access to your server as a non-root user with sudo privileges. For this purpose, you can visit this guide on Initial Server Setup with Debian 12 Bookworm.

Also, you need a domain name that is pointed to your server’s IP address.

Step 1 – Install Lighttpd Web Server on Debian 12 Bookworm

Debian 12 ships with Lighttpd 1.4.69. To install it, run the system update first:

sudo apt update

Then, use the following command to install Lighty on Debian 12:

sudo apt install lighttpd -y

To check which Lighttpd version is installed on your Debian server, run the following command:

lighttpd -v
Output
lighttpd/1.4.69 (ssl) - a light and fast webserver

Step 2 – Start and Enable Lighttpd Service on Debian12

At this point, you need to start your Lighttpd by using the following command:

sudo systemctl start lighttpd

Then, enable your service to start on boot by using the command below:

sudo systemctl enable lighttpd

Verify that Lighttpd is active and running on Debian 12:

sudo systemctl status lighttpd

In your output you will see:

Output
● lighttpd.service - Lighttpd Daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lighttpd.service; enabled; preset: ena>
     Active: active (running) since Sun 2023-06-18 05:23:59 EDT; 2min 44s ago
   Main PID: 3379 (lighttpd)
      Tasks: 1 (limit: 4653)
     Memory: 808.0K
        CPU: 362ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/lighttpd.service

Step 3 – Install MariaDB Support for Lighttpd on Debian 12

At this point, you can install MariaDB for your Lightttpd. To do this, run the command below:

sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client -y

Verify your MariaDB installation on Debian 12 by checking its version:

mariadb --version
Output
mariadb  Ver 15.1 Distrib 10.11.3-MariaDB, for debian-linux-gnu (x86_64) using  EditLine wrapper

Now you need to start and enable your MariaDB service to start on boot with the following commands:

# sudo systemctl start mariadb
# sudo systemctl enable mariadb

Confirm that your MariaDB is active and running on Debian 12:

sudo systemctl status mariadb
Output
● mariadb.service - MariaDB 10.11.3 database server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service; enabled; preset: enab>
     Active: active (running) since Sun 2023-06-18 05:30:52 EDT; 47s ago
       Docs: man:mariadbd(8)
             https://mariadb.com/kb/en/library/systemd/
   Main PID: 5083 (mariadbd)
     Status: "Taking your SQL requests now..."
      Tasks: 14 (limit: 4653)
     Memory: 174.9M
        CPU: 769ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/mariadb.service

At this point that you have MariaDB installed on your server you need to secure your MariaDB by running a security script:

sudo mysql_secure_installation
Output
Enter current password for root (enter for none): 
You already have your root account protected, so you can safely answer 'n'. 
Switch to unix_socket authentication [Y/n] n
You already have your root account protected, so you can safely answer 'n'. 
Change the root password? [Y/n] Y
New password: 
Re-enter new password: 
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y

All done! If you've completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MariaDB!

Now you can use the command below to access your MariaDB shell on Debian 12:

sudo mysql -u root -p
Output
Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 39
Server version: 10.11.3-MariaDB-1 Debian 12

Copyright (c) 2000, 2018, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

MariaDB [(none)]>

Once you have finished, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 4 – Install PHP and PHP-FPM with FastCGI on Debian 12

To enable PHP-FPM with FastCGI support, first, you need to install PHP along with the necessary extensions. To do this, you can use the command below:

sudo apt install php php-cgi php-fpm php-mysql -y

Then, verify your PHP installation by checking its version:

php --version
Output
PHP 8.2.7 (cli) (built: Jun  9 2023 19:37:27) (NTS)
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v4.2.7, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v8.2.7, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

Next, you need to edit the php.ini file and set cgi.fix_pathinfo to 1. Open the file with your favorite text editor like nano editor or vi editor:

sudo vi /etc/php/8.2/fpm/php.ini

Find the following line uncomment it and change it to 1 as shown below:

cgi.fix_pathinfo=1

When you are done, save and close the file.

By default, PHP points to the UNIX socket /var/run/php/php8.2-fpm.sock. So, you will need to configure the PHP-FPM pool to set PHP to listen to the TCP socket.

You can do this by editing /etc/php/8.2/fpm/pool.d/www.conf file:

sudo vi /etc/php/8.2/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

Find the following line:

listen = /run/php/php8.2-fpm.sock

And replace it with the following line:

listen = 127.0.0.1:9000

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Then, restart the PHP-FPM service to apply the Lighttpd configuration changes on Debian 12:

sudo systemctl restart php8.2-fpm

Next, you will need to modify the 15-fastcgi-php.conf file:

sudo vi /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/15-fastcgi-php.conf

Find the following lines in the file:

fastcgi.server += ( ".php" =>
((
"bin-path" => "/usr/bin/php-cgi",
"socket" => "/run/lighttpd/php.socket",
...
))
)

And replace them with the following:

"host" => "127.0.0.1",
"port" => "9000",

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Then, enable both FastCGI and FastCGI-PHP modules with the following commands:

# lighty-enable-mod fastcgi
# lighty-enable-mod fastcgi-php

Finally, restart the Lighttpd service to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart lighttpd

Step 5 – Create Lighttpd Virtual Host on Debian 12

At this point, you need to create a new virtual host file to test PHP with Lighttpd. Create and open the file with your favorite text editor:

sudo vi /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/example.com.conf

Add the following content to the file:

$HTTP["host"] == "www.example.com" {
    server.document-root = "/var/www/html/"
    server.errorlog      = "/var/log/lighttpd/example.com-error.log"
}

When you are done, save and close the file.

Then, enable the Virtual host with the following command:

sudo ln -s /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/example.com.conf /etc/lighttpd/conf-enabled/

Next, create a sample index.php file in the Lighttpd document root directory with the following command:

sudo vi /var/www/html/index.php

Add the following line:

<?php 
phpinfo(); 
?>

Save and close the file.

Now you must change the ownership of the Lighttpd document root directory to www-data with the following command:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/

Finally, restart the Lighttpd service to apply all the configuration changes on Debian 12:

sudo systemctl restart lighttpd

Step 6 – Test Lighttpd Installation and Configuration

At this point, Lighttpd is installed and configured with PHP and PHP-FPM support. Now, it’s time to test it.

In your web browser type your domain name or server’s IP address:

http://domain-name
Or
http://server-ip

From there, you will see working information on PHPPHP-FPM, and MySQL with lots of other modules that are already enabled.

PHP info and modules Lighttpd

For more information, you can visit the Lighttpd Documentation page.

Conclusion

At this point, you have learned Lighttpd web server Installation and Configuration with MariaDB support and enabled PHP-FPM with FastCGI support, on Debian 12 Bookworm. Also, you have learned to create a Lighttpd virtual host file to test your PHP.

Hope you enjoy it. You may be interested in these articles on the Orcacore website:

Secure Nginx Web Server Let’s Encrypt on Debian 12

Install Nessus Scanner on Centos 7

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