Tutorial: Install a LAMP server on AL1 - Amazon Linux 1

Tutorial: Install a LAMP server on AL1


Amazon Linux 1 (AL1, formerly Amazon Linux AMI) is no longer supported. This guide is available only for reference purposes.

The following procedures help you install an Apache web server with PHP and MySQL support on your AL1 instance (sometimes called a LAMP web server or LAMP stack). You can use this server to host a static website or deploy a dynamic PHP application that reads and writes information to a database.


If you are trying to set up a LAMP web server on a different distribution, such as Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, this tutorial will not work. For AL2, see Tutorial: Install a LAMP server on AL2. For Ubuntu, see the following Ubuntu community documentation ApacheMySQLPHP. For other distributions, see their specific documentation.

Option: Complete this tutorial using automation

To complete this tutorial using AWS Systems Manager Automation instead of the following tasks, run the AWSDocs-InstallALAMPServer-AL Automation document.

Step 1: Prepare the LAMP server


This tutorial assumes that you have already launched a new instance using the Amazon Linux AMI, with a public DNS name that is reachable from the internet. For more information, see Launch an instance in the Amazon EC2 User Guide. You must also have configured your security group to allow SSH (port 22), HTTP (port 80), and HTTPS (port 443) connections. For more information about these prerequisites, see Security group rules in the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

To install and start the LAMP web server with the Amazon Linux AMI
  1. Connect to your instance.

  2. To ensure that all of your software packages are up to date, perform a quick software update on your instance. This process may take a few minutes, but it is important to make sure that you have the latest security updates and bug fixes.

    The -y option installs the updates without asking for confirmation. If you would like to examine the updates before installing, you can omit this option.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum update -y
  3. Now that your instance is current, you can install the Apache web server, MySQL, and PHP software packages.


    Some applications may not be compatible with the following recommended software environment. Before installing these packages, check whether your LAMP applications are compatible with them. If there is a problem, you may need to install an alternative environment. For more information, see The application software I want to run on my server is incompatible with the installed PHP version or other software

    Use the yum install command to install multiple software packages and all related dependencies at the same time.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum install -y httpd24 php72 mysql57-server php72-mysqlnd

    If you receive the error No package package-name available, then your instance was not launched with the Amazon Linux AMI (perhaps you are using AL2 instead). You can view your version of Amazon Linux with the following command.

    cat /etc/system-release
  4. Start the Apache web server.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo service httpd start Starting httpd: [ OK ]
  5. Use the chkconfig command to configure the Apache web server to start at each system boot.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo chkconfig httpd on

    The chkconfig command does not provide any confirmation message when you successfully use it to enable a service.

    You can verify that httpd is on by running the following command:

    [ec2-user ~]$ chkconfig --list httpd httpd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

    Here, httpd is on in runlevels 2, 3, 4, and 5 (which is what you want to see).

  6. Add a security rule to allow inbound HTTP (port 80) connections to your instance if you have not already done so. By default, a launch-wizard-N security group was set up for your instance during initialization. This group contains a single rule to allow SSH connections.

    1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

    2. Choose Instances and select your instance.

    3. On the Security tab, view the inbound rules. You should see the following rule:

      Port range Protocol Source 22 tcp

      Using allows all IPv4 addresses to access your instance using SSH. This is acceptable for a short time in a test environment, but it's unsafe for production environments. In production, you authorize only a specific IP address or range of addresses to access your instance.

    4. Choose the link for the security group. Using the procedures in Add rules to a security group, add a new inbound security rule with the following values:

      • Type: HTTP

      • Protocol: TCP

      • Port Range: 80

      • Source: Custom

  7. Test your web server. In a web browser, type the public DNS address (or the public IP address) of your instance. You can get the public DNS address for your instance using the Amazon EC2 console. If there is no content in /var/www/html, you should see the Apache test page. When you add content to the document root, your content appears at the public DNS address of your instance instead of the test page.

    Verify that the security group for the instance contains a rule to allow HTTP traffic on port 80. For more information, see Add rules to a security group/>.

    If you are not using Amazon Linux, you may also need to configure the firewall on your instance to allow these connections. For more information about how to configure the firewall, see the documentation for your specific distribution.

Apache httpd serves files that are kept in a directory called the Apache document root. The Amazon Linux Apache document root is /var/www/html, which by default is owned by root.

[ec2-user ~]$ ls -l /var/www total 16 drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jul 12 01:00 cgi-bin drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Aug 7 00:02 error drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Jan 6 2012 html drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Aug 7 00:02 icons drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 21:17 noindex

To allow the ec2-user account to manipulate files in this directory, you must modify the ownership and permissions of the directory. There are many ways to accomplish this task. In this tutorial, you add ec2-user to the apache group, to give the apache group ownership of the /var/www directory and assign write permissions to the group.

To set file permissions
  1. Add your user (in this case, ec2-user) to the apache group.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo usermod -a -G apache ec2-user
  2. Log out and then log back in again to pick up the new group, and then verify your membership.

    1. Log out (use the exit command or close the terminal window):

      [ec2-user ~]$ exit
    2. To verify your membership in the apache group, reconnect to your instance, and then run the following command:

      [ec2-user ~]$ groups ec2-user wheel apache
  3. Change the group ownership of /var/www and its contents to the apache group.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo chown -R ec2-user:apache /var/www
  4. To add group write permissions and to set the group ID on future subdirectories, change the directory permissions of /var/www and its subdirectories.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo chmod 2775 /var/www [ec2-user ~]$ find /var/www -type d -exec sudo chmod 2775 {} \;
  5. To add group write permissions, recursively change the file permissions of /var/www and its subdirectories:

    [ec2-user ~]$ find /var/www -type f -exec sudo chmod 0664 {} \;

Now, ec2-user (and any future members of the apache group) can add, delete, and edit files in the Apache document root, enabling you to add content, such as a static website or a PHP application.

(Optional) Secure your web server

A web server running the HTTP protocol provides no transport security for the data that it sends or receives. When you connect to an HTTP server using a web browser, the URLs that you visit, the content of webpages that you receive, and the contents (including passwords) of any HTML forms that you submit are all visible to eavesdroppers anywhere along the network pathway. The best practice for securing your web server is to install support for HTTPS (HTTP Secure), which protects your data with SSL/TLS encryption.

For information about enabling HTTPS on your server, see Tutorial: Configure SSL/TLS on Amazon Linux AMI.

Step 2: Test your LAMP server

If your server is installed and running, and your file permissions are set correctly, your ec2-user account should be able to create a PHP file in the /var/www/html directory that is available from the internet.

To test your LAMP web server
  1. Create a PHP file in the Apache document root.

    [ec2-user ~]$ echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" > /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

    If you get a "Permission denied" error when trying to run this command, try logging out and logging back in again to pick up the proper group permissions that you configured in Step 1: Prepare the LAMP server.

  2. In a web browser, type the URL of the file that you just created. This URL is the public DNS address of your instance followed by a forward slash and the file name. For example:


    You should see the PHP information page:

    Test of LAMP server shows the PHP information page.

    If you do not see this page, verify that the /var/www/html/phpinfo.php file was created properly in the previous step. You can also verify that all of the required packages were installed with the following command. The package versions in the second column do not need to match this example output.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum list installed httpd24 php72 mysql57-server php72-mysqlnd Loaded plugins: priorities, update-motd, upgrade-helper Installed Packages httpd24.x86_64 2.4.25-1.68.amzn1 @amzn-updates mysql56-server.x86_64 5.6.35-1.23.amzn1 @amzn-updates php70.x86_64 7.0.14-1.20.amzn1 @amzn-updates php70-mysqlnd.x86_64 7.0.14-1.20.amzn1 @amzn-updates

    If any of the required packages are not listed in your output, install them using the sudo yum install package command.

  3. Delete the phpinfo.php file. Although this can be useful information, it should not be broadcast to the internet for security reasons.

    [ec2-user ~]$ rm /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Step 3: Secure the database server

The default installation of the MySQL server has several features that are great for testing and development, but they should be disabled or removed for production servers. The mysql_secure_installation command walks you through the process of setting a root password and removing the insecure features from your installation. Even if you are not planning on using the MySQL server, we recommend performing this procedure.

To secure the database server
  1. Start the MySQL server.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo service mysqld start Initializing MySQL database: ... PLEASE REMEMBER TO SET A PASSWORD FOR THE MySQL root USER ! ... Starting mysqld: [ OK ]
  2. Run mysql_secure_installation.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo mysql_secure_installation
    1. When prompted, type a password for the root account.

      1. Type the current root password. By default, the root account does not have a password set. Press Enter.

      2. Type Y to set a password, and type a secure password twice. For more information about creating a secure password, see https://identitysafe.norton.com/password-generator/. Make sure to store this password in a safe place.

        Setting a root password for MySQL is only the most basic measure for securing your database. When you build or install a database-driven application, you typically create a database service user for that application and avoid using the root account for anything but database administration.

    2. Type Y to remove the anonymous user accounts.

    3. Type Y to disable the remote root login.

    4. Type Y to remove the test database.

    5. Type Y to reload the privilege tables and save your changes.

  3. (Optional) If you do not plan to use the MySQL server right away, stop it. You can restart it when you need it again.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo service mysqld stop Stopping mysqld: [ OK ]
  4. (Optional) If you want the MySQL server to start at every boot, type the following command.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo chkconfig mysqld on

You should now have a fully functional LAMP web server. If you add content to the Apache document root at /var/www/html, you should be able to view that content at the public DNS address for your instance.

Step 4: (Optional) Install phpMyAdmin

To install phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a web-based database management tool that you can use to view and edit the MySQL databases on your EC2 instance. Follow the steps below to install and configure phpMyAdmin on your Amazon Linux instance.


We do not recommend using phpMyAdmin to access a LAMP server unless you have enabled SSL/TLS in Apache; otherwise, your database administrator password and other data are transmitted insecurely across the internet. For security recommendations from the developers, see Securing your phpMyAdmin installation.


The Amazon Linux package management system does not currently support the automatic installation of phpMyAdmin in a PHP 7 environment. This tutorial describes how to install phpMyAdmin manually.

  1. Log in to your EC2 instance using SSH.

  2. Install the required dependencies.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum install php72-mbstring.x86_64 -y
  3. Restart Apache.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo service httpd restart Stopping httpd: [ OK ] Starting httpd: [ OK ]
  4. Navigate to the Apache document root at /var/www/html.

    [ec2-user ~]$ cd /var/www/html [ec2-user html]$
  5. Select a source package for the latest phpMyAdmin release from https://www.phpmyadmin.net/downloads. To download the file directly to your instance, copy the link and paste it into a wget command, as in this example:

    [ec2-user html]$ wget https://www.phpmyadmin.net/downloads/phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.tar.gz
  6. Create a phpMyAdmin folder and extract the package into it using the following command.

    [ec2-user html]$ mkdir phpMyAdmin && tar -xvzf phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.tar.gz -C phpMyAdmin --strip-components 1
  7. Delete the phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.tar.gz tarball.

    [ec2-user html]$ rm phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.tar.gz
  8. (Optional) If the MySQL server is not running, start it now.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo service mysqld start Starting mysqld: [ OK ]
  9. In a web browser, type the URL of your phpMyAdmin installation. This URL is the public DNS address (or the public IP address) of your instance followed by a forward slash and the name of your installation directory. For example:


    You should see the phpMyAdmin login page:

    Result of typing the URL of your phpMyAdmin installation is the phpMyAdmin login screen.
  10. Log in to your phpMyAdmin installation with the root user name and the MySQL root password you created earlier.

    Your installation must still be configured before you put it into service. To configure phpMyAdmin, you can manually create a configuration file, use the setup console, or combine both approaches.

    For information about using phpMyAdmin, see the phpMyAdmin User Guide.


This section offers suggestions for resolving common problems you may encounter while setting up a new LAMP server.

I can't connect to my server using a web browser.

Perform the following checks to see if your Apache web server is running and accessible.

  • Is the web server running?

    You can verify that httpd is on by running the following command:

    [ec2-user ~]$ chkconfig --list httpd httpd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

    Here, httpd is on in runlevels 2, 3, 4, and 5 (which is what you want to see).

    If the httpd process is not running, repeat the steps described in Step 1: Prepare the LAMP server.

  • Is the firewall correctly configured?

    Verify that the security group for the instance contains a rule to allow HTTP traffic on port 80. For more information, see Add rules to a security group/>.

The application software I want to run on my server is incompatible with the installed PHP version or other software

This tutorial recommends installing the most up-to-date versions of Apache HTTP Server, PHP, and MySQL. Before installing an additional LAMP application, check its requirements to confirm that it is compatible with your installed environment. If the latest version of PHP is not supported, it is possible (and entirely safe) to downgrade to an earlier supported configuration. You can also install more than one version of PHP in parallel, which solves certain compatibility problems with a minimum of effort. For information about configuring a preference among multiple installed PHP versions, see Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09 Release Notes.

How to downgrade

The well-tested previous version of this tutorial called for the following core LAMP packages:

  • httpd24

  • php56

  • mysql55-server

  • php56-mysqlnd

If you have already installed the latest packages as recommended at the start of this tutorial, you must first uninstall these packages and other dependencies as follows:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum remove -y httpd24 php72 mysql57-server php72-mysqlnd perl-DBD-MySQL57

Next, install the replacement environment:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum install -y httpd24 php56 mysql55-server php56-mysqlnd

If you decide later to upgrade to the recommended environment, you must first remove the customized packages and dependencies:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum remove -y httpd24 php56 mysql55-server php56-mysqlnd perl-DBD-MySQL56

Now you can install the latest packages, as described earlier.

Related topics

For more information about transferring files to your instance or installing a WordPress blog on your web server, see the following documentation:

For more information about the commands and software used in this tutorial, see the following webpages:

For more information about registering a domain name for your web server, or transferring an existing domain name to this host, see Using Amazon RouteĀ 53 as the DNS service for subdomains without migrating the parent domain in the Amazon RouteĀ 53 Developer Guide.