How To Install LEMP on CentOS 6

Install LEMP on CentOS 6

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install LEMP on CentOS 6. For those of you who didn’t know, A LEMP software stack is a group of open-source software that is typically installed together to enable a server to host dynamic websites and web apps. This term is actually an acronym that represents the Linux operating system, with the Nginx webserver (which replaces the Apache component of a LAMP stack). The site data is stored in a MySQL database (using MariaDB), and dynamic content is processed by PHP.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple. I will show you the step-by-step installation of LEMP (Linux Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP) on the CentOS 6 server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: CentOS 6.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install LEMP on CentOS 6

Step 1. First, you need to enable the EPEL repository on your system and make sure that all packages are up to date.

## RHEL/CentOS 6 64-Bit ##
wget http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/x86_64/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
## RHEL/CentOS 6 32-Bit ##
wget http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

Step 2. Installing Nginx.

We will be installing Nginx with yum, with the following command:

yum update
yum install nginx

Start Nginx and add it to automatically start on your system start-up using:

service nginx start 
chkconfig nginx on

You can verify that Nginx is really running by opening your favorite web browser and entering the URL http://your-server’s-address and you need to open port 80 to make your web server accessible:

/sbin/iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
/etc/rc.d/init.d/iptables save
Install LEMP on CentOS 6
Nginx Default Page

Step 3. Configuring Nginx and Default Virtual Host.

Finally, we need to configure our Nginx virtual hosts. This is much simpler to configure than Apache. Take a look at the config below, it is slightly different from our default config, but I’ll explain the changes below:

nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf
# The default server
server {
    listen       80;
    server_name mydomain.com;
    location / {
        root   /var/www/html;
        index index.php  index.html index.htm;
    error_page  404              /404.html;
    location = /404.html {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;
    error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
    location = /50x.html {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;
    # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
    location ~ \.php$ {
        root           /var/www/html;
        fastcgi_index  index.php;
        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME   $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include        fastcgi_params;

Step 4. Installing MySQL.

Install MySQL with the following command to begin the installation:

yum install mysql mysql-server

After that add it to your system startup and start the MySQL server using the following commands:

chkconfig --levels 235 mysqld on
service mysqld start

By default, MySQL is not hardened. You can secure MySQL using the mysql_secure_installation script. you should read and below each step carefully which will set a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow remote root login, and remove the test database and access to secure MySQL:


To log in to MySQL, use the following command (note that it’s the same command you would use to log into a MySQL database):

mysql -u root -p

Step 5. Installing PHP.

Finally, run the commands below to install PHP along with other good-to-have modules:

yum install php php-common php-fpm php-mysql

You may want to install some other PHP extensions required by your applications. The following is a list of the available PHP modules:

php-bcmath          =>     A module for PHP applications using the bcmath library
php-cli             =>     Command-line interface for PHP
php-common          =>     Common files for PHP
php-dba             =>     A database abstraction layer module for PHP applications
php-devel           =>     Files needed for building PHP extensions
php-embedded        =>     PHP library for embedding in applications
php-enchant         =>     Human Language and Character Encoding Support
php-gd              =>     A module for PHP applications using the gd graphics library
php-imap            =>     A module for PHP applications that use IMAP
php-intl            =>     Internationalization extension for PHP applications
php-ldap            =>     A module for PHP applications that use LDAP
php-mbstring        =>     A module for PHP applications which need multi-byte string handling
php-mysql           =>     A module for PHP applications that use MySQL databases
php-odbc            =>     A module for PHP applications that use ODBC databases
php-pdo             =>     A database access abstraction module for PHP applications
php-pear.noarch     =>     PHP Extension and Application Repository framework
php-pecl-apc        =>     APC cache optimizing PHP intermediate code
php-pecl-memcache   =>     Extension to work with the Memcached caching daemon
php-pgsql           =>     A PostgreSQL database module for PHP
php-process         =>     Modules for PHP scripts using system process interfaces
php-pspell          =>     A module for PHP applications using pspell interfaces
php-recode          =>     A module for PHP applications using the recode library
php-snmp            =>     A module for PHP applications that query SNMP-managed devices
php-soap            =>     A module for PHP applications that use the SOAP protocol
php-tidy            =>     Standard PHP module provides tidy library support
php-xml             =>     A module for PHP applications which use XML
php-xmlrpc          =>     A module for PHP applications which use the XML-RPC protocol
php-zts             =>     Thread-safe PHP interpreter for use with the Apache HTTP Server

Configure PHP-FPM:

nano /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Replace the values of user and group with Nginx like below:

; Unix user/group of processes
; Note: The user is mandatory. If the group is not set, the default user's group
;       will be used.
; RPM: apache Choosed to be able to access some dir as httpd
user = nginx
; RPM: Keep a group allowed to write in log dir.
group = nginx

Restart Nginx so all the changes take effect:

service nginx restart
service php-fpm restart

To test PHP, create a test file named info.php with the content below. Save the file, then browse to it to see if PHP is working:

nano /var/www/html/info.php

Congratulations! You have successfully installed the LEMP stack. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing LAMP (Linux Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP) on CentOS 6 system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Nginx, MySQL, and PHP websites.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to idroot.us, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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