Running ProcessWire On Nginx (LEMP) On Debian Wheezy/Ubuntu 13.04

Running ProcessWire On Nginx (LEMP) On Debian Wheezy/Ubuntu 13.04

This tutorial shows how you can install and run ProcessWire on a Debian Wheezy or Ubuntu 13.04 system that has nginx installed instead of Apache (LEMP = Linux + nginx (pronounced “engine x”) + MySQL + PHP). nginx is a HTTP server that uses much less resources than Apache and delivers pages a lot of faster, especially static files.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!if(typeof __ez_fad_position != ‘undefined’){__ez_fad_position(‘div-gpt-ad-howtoforge_com-medrectangle-3-0’)};


1 Preliminary Note

I want to install ProcessWire in a vhost called here with the document root /var/www/

You should have a working LEMP installation, as shown in this tutorial:

  • Installing Nginx With PHP5 (And PHP-FPM) And MySQL Support (LEMP) On Debian Wheezy

A note for Ubuntu users:

Because we must run all the steps from this tutorial with root privileges, we can either prepend all commands in this tutorial with the string sudo, or we become root right now by typing

sudo su


2 Installing APC

APC is a free and open PHP opcode cacher for caching and optimizing PHP intermediate code. It’s similar to other PHP opcode cachers, such as eAccelerator and XCache. It is strongly recommended to have one of these installed to speed up your PHP page.

APC can be installed as follows:if(typeof __ez_fad_position != ‘undefined’){__ez_fad_position(‘div-gpt-ad-howtoforge_com-medrectangle-4-0’)};

apt-get install php-apc

Reload PHP-FPM as follows:

/etc/init.d/php5-fpm reload


3 Installing ProcessWire

The document root of my web site is /var/www/ – if it doesn’t exist, create it as follows:

mkdir -p /var/www/

Next download ProcessWire from the ProcessWire web site, uncompress it and place it in your document root:

mkdir /tmp/processwire
cd /tmp/processwire
rm -f
cd ProcessWire-master
mv * /var/www/

It is recommended to make the document root and the ProcessWire files in it writable by the nginx daemon which is running as user www-data and group www-data:

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

If you haven’t already created a MySQL database for processwire (including a MySQL ProcessWire user), you can do that as follows (I name the database pw in this example, and the user is called pw_admin, and his password is pw_admin_password):

mysqladmin -u root -p create pw 
mysql -u root -p

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON pw.* TO ‘pw_admin’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘pw_admin_password’;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON pw.* TO ‘pw_admin’@’localhost.localdomain’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘pw_admin_password’;


Next we create an nginx vhost configuration for our vhost in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/ directory as follows:

vi /etc/nginx/sites-available/
server {
       listen 80;
       root /var/www/;

       if ($http_host != "") {
                 rewrite ^$request_uri permanent;

       index index.php index.html;

       location = /favicon.ico {
                log_not_found off;
                access_log off;

       location = /robots.txt {
                allow all;
                log_not_found off;
                access_log off;

       # Deny all attempts to access hidden files such as .htaccess, .htpasswd, .DS_Store (Mac).
       location ~ /\. {
                deny all;
                access_log off;
                log_not_found off;

       client_max_body_size 100M;

       location ~ /(COPYRIGHT|LICENSE|README|htaccess)\.txt {
                deny  all;
       location ~ ^/site(-[^/]+)?/assets/(.*\.php|backups|cache|config|install|logs|sessions) {
                deny  all;
       location ~ ^/site(-[^/]+)?/install {
                deny  all;
       location ~ ^/(site(-[^/]+)?|wire)/(config(-dev)?|index\.config)\.php {
                deny  all;
       location ~ ^/((site(-[^/]+)?|wire)/modules|wire/core)/.*\.(inc|module|php|tpl) {
                deny  all;
       location ~ ^/(site(-[^/]+)?|wire)/templates(-admin)?/.*\.(inc|html?|php|tpl) {
                deny  all;

       location / {
                try_files  $uri  $uri/  /index.php?it=$uri&$args;

       location ~ \.php$ {
                try_files $uri =404;
                include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
                fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
                fastcgi_index index.php;
                fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
                fastcgi_intercept_errors on;

To enable the vhost, we create a symlink to it from the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ directory:

cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/

Reload nginx for the changes to take effect:

/etc/init.d/nginx reload

Now we can launch the web-based ProcessWire installer by going to – click on Get Started:

The installer checks if all prerequisites are fulfilled. When you scroll down…

… you will see a warning regarding Apache mod_rewrite. Since we are not using Apache, you can ignore this warning and click on Continue to Next Step:

In the next step, fill in the MySQL database details, …

… then scroll down and click on Continue (the default directory and file permissions are ok):

On the next page, fill in a username, password, and email address for the ProcessWire administrator. The default admin login URL should be ok. Click on Create Account afterwards:

After successful installation, you should see the following screen:

Now write-protect the configuration file and delete the installer:

cd /var/www/
chmod 444 site/config.php
rm -f install.php
rm -fr site/install/

You can now browse the ProcessWire example site by going to

The backend can be accessed under (unless you have specified another admin login URL during installation):

This is how the backend looks:


  • ProcessWire:
  • nginx:
  • nginx Wiki:
  • Debian:
  • Ubuntu:
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