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How to Install PHP-FPM with Apache on Ubuntu 18.04 – Google Cloud

How to install PHP 7.4-FPM with Apache on Ubuntu 18.04 in Google Cloud Platform. There are two distinct options to run PHP using the web server. One is using the PHP’s CGI and the other one is FPM.

FPM is a process manager to manage the FastCGI in PHP. Apache ships with mod_php by default and works with all major web servers. With mod_php there is a little performance issue because it locks out the process.

You can also configure PHP-FPM pools to run as the different user that owns the website if you are hosting multiple websites on your server in a chroot environment setup.

In this guide you are learn how to setup PHP 7.4-FPM and configure it with Apache and also setup PHP 7.4-FPM pools.

This setup can also be done on other VPS or dedicated or cloud VM’s. This setup is tested on Google Compute Engine but it works on any Ubuntu or Debian Linux distributions.

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Getting Started

Make sure your Ubuntu server is having the latest packages by running the following command.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This will update the package index and update the installed packages to the latest version.

Add PPA for PHP 7.4

Add the ondrej/php which has PHP 7.4 package and other required PHP extensions.

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update

Once you have added the PPA you can install PHP 7.4.

Install PHP 7.4 FPM

Now we shall install PHP 7.4-FPM and some common modules to run a PHP application like WordPress.

sudo apt install php7.4-fpm php7.4-common php7.4-mysql php7.4-xml php7.4-xmlrpc php7.4-curl php7.4-gd php7.4-imagick php7.4-cli php7.4-dev php7.4-imap php7.4-mbstring php7.4-soap php7.4-zip php7.4-bcmath -y

Wait for the installation to complete.

Once the installation is complete verify the installation using the following command.

sudo service php7.4-fpm status

You will receive an output similar to the one below.

● php7.4-fpm.service - The PHP 7.4 FastCGI Process Manager
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/php7.4-fpm.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
    Active: active (running) since Thu 2020-01-09 08:36:51 UTC; 1min 48s ago
      Docs: man:php-fpm7.4(8)
  Main PID: 15920 (php-fpm7.4)
    Status: "Processes active: 0, idle: 2, Requests: 0, slow: 0, Traffic: 0req/sec"
     Tasks: 3 (limit: 669)
    CGroup: /system.slice/php7.4-fpm.service
            ├─15920 php-fpm: master process (/etc/php/7.4/fpm/php-fpm.conf)
            ├─15938 php-fpm: pool www
            └─15939 php-fpm: pool www

Install Apache

Once you have your PHP-FPM up and running you can install Apache web server.

sudo apt install apache2

Configure Apache with PHP-FPM

By default Apache will use mod_php so now you can configure Apache to use PHP-FPM.

Disable the default Apache vhost configuration.

sudo a2dissite 000-default

Enable proxy_fcgi module.

sudo a2enmod proxy_fcgi

Create a new Apache vhost configuration.

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

Paste the below configuration in the file.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerName External_IP_Address
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html

     <Directory /var/www/html>
          Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
         AllowOverride All
         Require all granted

     <FilesMatch ".php$"> 
         SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock|fcgi://localhost/"          
      ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
      CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined  

Hit CTRL + X followed by Y and Enter to save and exit the file.

Now you can enable the new Apache configuration.

sudo a2ensite cloudbooklet.conf

Restart Apache.

sudo service apache2 restart

Test PHP-FPM with Apache

Here we have configured /var/www/html as the webroot in the Apache configuration. So now you can navigate into that directory and create a phpinfo file to check the setup.

cd /var/www/html
sudo nano info.php

Paste the following.

<?php phpinfo;

Hit CTRL + X followed by Y and Enter to save and exit the file.

Now go your browser and point it to your server IP address or domain name followed by the info.php. So your address will look like this http://IP_Address/info.php

You will see the PHP info page and confirm PHP-FPM is used with Apache.

PHP-FPM Configuration

PHP INI: /etc/php/7.4/fpm/php.ini

Pool config: /etc/php/7.4/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

Create New PHP-FPM Pool with different user

By default Nginx and Apache runs as www-data user. PHP-FPM www.conf is also configured to run as www-data user. If you have multiple websites and wish to keep them isolated with chrooted setup and run them with their own user. You can create multiple PHP-FPM pools with different users.

Create a new PHP-FPM pool configuration.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.4/fpm/pool.d/user1.conf

Paste the following.

user = user1
group = group1

listen = /run/php/php7.4-fpm-user1.sock

listen.owner = www-data = www-data

pm = dynamic
pm.max_children = 5
pm.start_servers = 2
pm.min_spare_servers = 1
pm.max_spare_servers = 3

Now create a new Apache vhost configuration file and set the handler to the new pool you have created.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/site1.conf
<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/site1

     <Directory /var/www/html/site1>
          Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
         AllowOverride All
         Require all granted

     <FilesMatch ".php$"> 
         SetHandler "proxy:unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm-user1.sock|fcgi://localhost/"          
      ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
      CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined  

Enable new site.

sudo a2ensite site1.conf

Make sure the new site webroot is owned by the user specified in the pool configuration and inside the specified group.

Restart Services

Once the configuration is completed you need to restart PHP-FPM and Apache for the changes to take effect.

sudo php-fpm7.4 -t
sudo service php7.4-fpm restart
sudo service apache2 restart

You can create as many pools you like using the above mentioned setup with PHP-FPM. These are the flexibility available with PHP-FPM.

Become a Linux System Administrator and maintain virtual servers in a multi-user environment.


Now you have learned how to install PHP 7.4-FPM with Apache and configure Apache. You have also learned to setup PHP-FPM pools for multiple users.

Cloudbooklet builds a large collection of Linux based guides and tutorials on Cloud platforms like Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, DigitalOcean and more


  1. Jim S Smith Reply

    Thank you so much for this!

    Your’s was the only example I could get to work on my home server. I have tried several others’ suggestions and could get nowhere. This method makes it so simple.

    The only problem I have with running PHP-FPM w/ the mod_proxy_fcgi, my .htaccess overrides of PHP ini values/flags no longer work as they were only available under mod_php. Therefore, found another good “How-To” that explained “.user.ini” files’ role in per user settings.

    Other than that,

    It’s nice to take my website security up another few notches!

    – Jim S.

  2. Hi,

    How would I get this to work with the webn directory in the user’s home folder, e.g.


    I am getting “Service Unavailable”

  3. Don’t worry, me dumb – I skipped restarting php-fpm.

    Thanks for this tutorial, I spent hours trying to get this to work before finding it.

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