How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10

How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10

To learn more about the most popular content management system on the internet, we show you How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10. It allows you to easily set up flexible blogs and websites on top of a MariaDB backend with PHP processing. WordPress has seen incredible adoption and is a great choice for getting a website up and running quickly. After setup, almost all administration can be done through the web frontend.



The tutorial may be more useful if you consider:

  • a non-root user with sudo privileges
  • To set up, follow our Initial server setup on Debian 10.
  • Install a LAMP stack: WordPress will need a web server, a database, and PHP in order to correctly function. Setting up a LAMP stack fulfills all of these requirements. Follow this guide to install and configure this software.
  • Secure your site with SSL: WordPress serves dynamic content and handles user authentication and authorization. TLS/SSL is the technology that allows you to encrypt the traffic from your site so that your connection is secure. The way you set up SSL will depend on whether you have a domain name for your site.
    • If you have a domain name the easiest way to secure your site is with Let’s Encrypt, which provides free, trusted certificates.
    • If you do not have a domain and you are just using this configuration for testing or personal use, you can use a self-signed certificate instead. This provides the same type of encryption, but without the domain validation.
Recommended Article: How to install Joomla on CentOS 8

You may also be interested to read:

How to install WordPress with Apache in Ubuntu 20.04

How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10

Join us with this guide to show you How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10. So if you finished the prerequisites points, let’s start it.


1- Creating a MariaDB Database and User for WordPress

You will start with a preparatory one. WordPress requires a MySQL-based database to store and manage site and user information. You have MariaDB — a drop-in replacement for MySQL — installed already, but we need to make a database and a user for WordPress to use.

So, to get started, open up the MariaDB prompt as the root account:

sudo mariadb

Please consider that in case you set up another account with administrative privileges when you installed and set up MariaDB, you can also log in as that user. You will need to do so with the following command:

mariadb -u username -p

After issuing this command, MariaDB will prompt you for the password you set for that account.

Now, use the command below to create the database for WordPress.

mysql> CREATE DATABASE wordpress DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;

Please be aware that every MySQL statement must end in a semi-colon (;). Check to make sure this is present if you are running into any issues.

Then, create a separate MySQL user account that you will use exclusively to operate on your new database. Creating single-function databases and accounts is a good idea from a management and security standpoint. You will use the name wordpress_user in this guide, but feel free to change this if you’d like.

Create this account, set a password, and grant the user access to the database you just created with the following command. Remember to choose a strong password for your database user:

mariadb [(none) ]> GRANT ALL ON wordpress.* TO 'wordpress_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

You now have a database and user account, each made specifically for WordPress. Run the following command to reload the grant tables so that the current instance of MariaDB knows about the changes you’ve made:

mariadb [(none) ]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

And to exit out of MariaDB:

mariadb [(none) ]> Exit;  


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2- Installing Additional PHP Extensions

When setting up our LAMP stack, we only required a very minimal set of extensions in order to get PHP to communicate with MariaDB. WordPress and many of its plugins leverage additional PHP extensions.

Run the following command to download and install some of the most popular PHP extensions for use with WordPress.

sudo apt update  sudo apt install php-curl php-gd php-mbstring php-xml php-xmlrpc php-soap php-intl php-zip  

Since you will restart Apache to load these new extensions in the next section, restart Apache if you are returning here to install additional plugins, restart Apache now by typing:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

3- Adjusting Apache’s Configuration to Allow for .htaccess Overrides and Rewrites

While you installed the additional PHP extensions and made it ready for use, the next thing to do is to make a few changes to your Apache configuration. Based on the prerequisite tutorials, you should have a configuration file for your site in the /etc/apache2/sites-available/ directory. We’ll use /etc/apache2/sites-available/wordpress.conf as an example here, but you should substitute the path to your configuration file where appropriate.

Additionally, you will use /var/www/wordpress it as the root directory of your WordPress install. You should use the webroot specified in your configuration.

Point: in order to use the 000-default.conf default configuration (with /var/www/html as your webroot). This is fine to use if you’re only going to host one website on this server. If not, it’s best to split the necessary configuration into logical chunks, one file per site.

Currently, the use of .htaccess files is disabled. WordPress and many WordPress plugins use these files extensively for in-directory tweaks to the web server’s behavior.

Open the Apache configuration file for your website. Note that if you have an existing Apache configuration file for your website, this file’s name will be different:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/wordpress.conf

And then, to allow .htaccess files, you’ll need to add a Directory block pointing to your document root with an AllowOverride directive within it. Add the following block of text inside the VirtualHost block in your configuration file, being sure to use the correct web root directory:

<Directory /var/www/wordpress/>      AllowOverride All  </Directory>

You can save and close the file now.

To enable the rewrite module in order to utilize the WordPress permalink feature:

sudo a2enmod rewrite

To make sure that you haven’t made any syntax errors, run the command below before implementing the changes you’ve made.

sudo apache2ctl configtest
Syntax OK

But if you face any errors via command reports go back and check that you haven’t made any syntax errors in your configuration file. Otherwise, restart Apache to implement the changes:

sudo systemctl restart apache2


4- Downloading WordPress

in this step, you can download and set up WordPress as your server software is configured, For security reasons, in particular, it is always recommended to get the latest version of WordPress directly from their site.

Point: Since you need curl to download WordPress, install it because this program may not be installed by default on your Debian server.

sudo apt install curl

And run the following command to change into a writable directory and then download the compressed release.

cd /tmp  curl -O

Next, extract the compressed file to create the WordPress directory structure:

tar xzvf latest.tar.gz

You need to move these files into our document root momentarily. Before we do, though, add a dummy .htaccess file so that this will be available for WordPress to use later.

so, to create the file:

touch /tmp/wordpress/.htaccess

Now copy over the sample configuration file to the filename that WordPress actually reads:

cp /tmp/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php /tmp/wordpress/wp-config.php

And also, create the upgrade directory so that WordPress won’t run into permissions issues when trying to do this on its own following an update to its software:

mkdir /tmp/wordpress/wp-content/upgrade

So it is time to copy the entire contents of the directory into your document root. Notice that the following command includes a dot at the end of the source directory to indicate that everything within the directory should be copied, including hidden files (like the .htaccess file you created)

sudo cp -a /tmp/wordpress/. /var/www/wordpress

With that, you’ve successfully installed WordPress onto your web server and performed some of the initial configuration steps.

5- Configuring the WordPress Directory

You need to adjust some items in our WordPress directory before you go through the web-based setup process for WordPress.

Start by giving ownership of all the files to the www-data user and group. This is the user that the Apache webserver runs as, and Apache will need to be able to read and write WordPress files in order to serve the website and perform automatic updates.

So, to update the ownership:

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

Then, set the correct permissions on the WordPress directories and files:

sudo find /var/www/wordpress/ -type d -exec chmod 750 {} \;  sudo find /var/www/wordpress/ -type f -exec chmod 640 {} \;

Since these should be reasonable permission set to start with, some plugins and procedures might require additional tweaks.

In conclusion,  you will need to make some changes to the main WordPress configuration file.

When you open the file, your first objective will be to adjust some secret keys to provide some security for your installation. WordPress provides a secure generator for these values so that you do not have to try to come up with good values on your own. These are only used internally, so it won’t hurt usability to have complex, secure values here.

To grab secure values from the WordPress secret key generator:

curl -s

You will get back unique values that look something like this:

define('AUTH_KEY',         '1jl/vqfs<XhdXoAPz9 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES c_j{iwqD^<+c9.k<J@4H');  define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'E2N-h2]Dcvp+aS/p7X DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES {Ka(f;rv?Pxf})CgLi-3');  define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'W(50,{W^,OPB%PB<JF DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 2;y&,2m%3]R6DUth[;88');  define('NONCE_KEY',        'll,4UC)7ua+8<!4VM+ DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES #`DXF+[$atzM7 o^-C7g');  define('AUTH_SALT',        'koMrurzOA+|L_lG}kf DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES  07VC*Lj*lD&?3w!BT#-');  define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'p32*p,]z%LZ+pAu:VY DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES C-?y+K0DK_+F|0h{!_xY');  define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'i^/G2W7!-1H2OQ+t$3 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES t6**bRVFSD[Hi])-qS`|');  define('NONCE_SALT',       'Q6]U:K?j4L%Z]}h^q7 DO NOT COPY THESE VALUES 1% ^qUswWgn+6&xqHN&%');  


Very Important Point: Remember to request unique values each time. Do NOT copy the values shown above.

Also, read

Install WordPress with LEMP on Ubuntu 18.04

How to install LEMP stack on Ubuntu 20.04

Install LAMP stack on CentOS 8



These are configuration lines that you will paste directly into your configuration file to set secure keys. Copy the output you received to your clipboard, and then open the WordPress configuration file located in your document root:

sudo nano /var/www/wordpress/wp-config.php

Also, find the section that contains the dummy values for those settings. It will look something like this:

. . .    define('AUTH_KEY',         'put your unique phrase here');  define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'put your unique phrase here');  define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'put your unique phrase here');  define('NONCE_KEY',        'put your unique phrase here');  define('AUTH_SALT',        'put your unique phrase here');  define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');  define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'put your unique phrase here');  define('NONCE_SALT',       'put your unique phrase here');  

. . .

And then, delete these lines and paste in the values you copied from the command line:


From now on, modify the database connection settings at the top of the file. You need to adjust the database name, the database user, and the associated password that you’ve configured within MariaDB.

The other change you must make is to set the method that WordPress should use to write to the filesystem. Since we’ve given the web server permission to write where it needs to, we can explicitly set the filesystem method to “direct”. Failure to set this with our current settings would result in WordPress prompting for FTP credentials when you perform certain actions.

As you see this setting can be added below the database connection settings, or anywhere else in the file:

. . .    define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress');    /** MySQL database username */  define('DB_USER', 'wordpress_user');    /** MySQL database password */  define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password');    . . .    define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

Now you can save and close the file when you are finished.

Finally, you can finish installing and configuring WordPress by accessing it through your web browser.

6- Completing the Installation Through the Web Interface

You can complete the installation through the web interface as the server configuration is complete

In your web browser, navigate to your server’s domain name or public IP address:


Next, you can select the language you would like to use:

select the language of wordpress

In the following, you will come to the main setup page. Select a name for your WordPress site and choose a username (it is recommended not to choose something like “admin” for security purposes). A strong password is generated automatically. Save this password or select an alternative strong password.

Enter your email address and select whether you want to discourage search engines from indexing your site:

The setup installation

When ready, click the Install WordPress button to be taken to a page that prompts you to log in:

Ask to login to wordpress

And finally, you will be taken to the WordPress administration dashboard, when you are log in.

The screen of admin

From the dashboard, you can begin making changes to your site’s theme and publishing content.

Recommended Article: How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10

Good job! By reaching here, you are an expert on How to install WordPress with LAMP on Debian 10. WordPress should be installed and ready to use. Some common next steps are to choose the permalinks setting for your posts (can be found in Settings > Permalinks) or to select a new theme (in Appearance > Themes). If this is your first time using WordPress, explore the interface a bit to get acquainted with your new CMS, or check the First Steps with WordPress guide on their official documentation.

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Marilyn Bisson
Content Writer
Eldernode Writer
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