How To Install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Debian 11

Install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Debian 11

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, phpMyAdmin is a free, open-source, and web-based application used for managing MySQL databases, user accounts, and privileges, execute SQL statements, import and export data in a variety of data formats, and much more from the web interface.

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 and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of phpMyAdmin on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

Install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Debian 11 Bullseye

Step 1. Before we install any software, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing LEMP Stack.

If you don’t have a LEMP (Linux + Nginx+ MySQL/MariDB+ PHP) already installed on your server, you can follow our guide here.

Step 3. Configure MySQL.

Now we create a new superuser account just for phpMyAdmin:

sudo mysql -u root -p

This will prompt you for a password, so enter your MariaDB root password and hit Enter. Once you are logged in to your database server you need to create a database for phpMyAdmin installation:

MariaDB> CREATE USER 'app_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your-strong-password';
MariaDB> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON app_db.* TO 'app_user'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;
MariaDB> EXIT;

Step 4. Installing phpMyAdmin on Debian 11.

By default, phpMyAdmin is not available on Debian 11 Bullseye repository, so you’ll need to manually download the phpMyAdmin from the official page:


Next, extract the phpMyAdmin archive to your web server root directory:

tar xvf phpMyAdmin-5.1.1-all-languages.tar.gz
sudo mv phpMyAdmin-5.1.1-all-languages /usr/share/phpMyAdmin

Step 5. Configure phpMyAdmin.

Now we copy the sample phpMyAdmin configuration file and rename it as follows:

sudo cp -pr /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/ /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/

Next, edit the configuration file:

sudo nano /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/

Generate a blowfish secret and update the secret in the configuration file:

$cfg['blowfish_secret'] = 'eDjtEzAk8N3Rk}AFY.vBW}UtYL7VPbGo'; /* YOU MUST FILL IN THIS FOR COOKIE AUTH! */

Also, uncomment the phpMyAdmin storage settings:

* phpMyAdmin configuration storage settings.
/* User used to manipulate with storage */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlhost'] = 'localhost';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlport'] = '';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = 'pma';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlpass'] = 'pmapass';
/* Storage database and tables */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['pmadb'] = 'phpmyadmin';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['bookmarktable'] = 'pma__bookmark';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['relation'] = 'pma__relation';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_info'] = 'pma__table_info';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_coords'] = 'pma__table_coords';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['pdf_pages'] = 'pma__pdf_pages';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['column_info'] = 'pma__column_info';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['history'] = 'pma__history';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_uiprefs'] = 'pma__table_uiprefs';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['tracking'] = 'pma__tracking';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['userconfig'] = 'pma__userconfig';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['recent'] = 'pma__recent';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['favorite'] = 'pma__favorite';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['users'] = 'pma__users';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['usergroups'] = 'pma__usergroups';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['navigationhiding'] = 'pma__navigationhiding';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['savedsearches'] = 'pma__savedsearches';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['central_columns'] = 'pma__central_columns';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['designer_settings'] = 'pma__designer_settings';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['export_templates'] = 'pma__export_templates';

Step 6. Configure Database and User for phpMyAdmin.

Now we create the configuration storage database and tables by running the following command below:

sudo mysql < /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/sql/create_tables.sql -u root -p

Next, connect to the MariaDB shell with the following command:

sudo mysql -u root -p

Once you are connected, grant all necessary privileges to the phpMyAdmin database:

CREATE USER 'pma'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'pmapass';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON phpmyadmin.* TO 'pma'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Step 7. Configure Nginx for phpMyAdmin.

Now we create an Nginx virtual host configuration file for phpMyAdmin:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/phpMyAdmin.conf

Add the following file:

server {
   listen 80;
   root /usr/share/phpMyAdmin;

   location / {
      index index.php;

## Images and static content is treated different
   location ~* ^.+.(jpg|jpeg|gif|css|png|js|ico|xml)$ {
      access_log off;
      expires 30d;

   location ~ /\.ht {
      deny all;

   location ~ /(libraries|setup/frames|setup/libs) {
      deny all;
      return 404;

   location ~ \.php$ {
      include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
      fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
      fastcgi_index index.php;
      fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME /usr/share/phpMyAdmin$fastcgi_script_name;

Save and close, then create a tmp directory for phpMyAdmin and then change the permission:

sudo mkdir /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/tmp
sudo chmod 777 /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/tmp

Next, set proper ownership to the phpMyAdmin directory:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /usr/share/phpMyAdmin

Finally, restart Nginx and PHP-fpm services:

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

Step 8. Accessing phpMyAdmin Web Interface.

Once successfully installed, open your browser and surf to and your phpMyAdmin will ask you for the user and password of your MySQL installation, you can use root as user and the root MySQL password.

Install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Debian 11 Bullseye

Congratulations! You have successfully installed phpMyAdmin. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Debian 11 Bullseye. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official phpMyAdmin website.

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