Provision a LEMP server using Vagrant

This quick tutorial will show you how to provision a LEMP server running Ubuntu 16, Nginx, MySQL and PHP7.1 using three GIT commands.


  • VirtualBox
  • Vagrant
  • GIT (alternatively you can download the files from the repository)

Setting up Virtualbox and Vagrant

If you don't already have these configured, check out the previous article Getting Started with Virtualisation using Vagrant.

LEMP configuration

The configuration files will provide you with the following setup:

  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • Nginx
  • MySQL (login credentials root / root)
  • PHP 7.1

Install Instructions

git clone
cd vagrant-lemp
vagrant up

Alternatively you can go to the repository, download the files and then just run the 'vagrant up' command from the downloaded directory.

Roll your own

Here's a basic vagrant file, and the full provision file if you want to create your own:


Vagrant.configure("2") do |config| = "ubuntu/xenial64"
  config.vm.provision :shell, path: ""

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Turn off front end prompts during installation.
export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive

# Map /var/www to shared /vagrant/sites directory
if ! [ -L /var/www ]; then
    rm -rf /var/www
    ln -fs /vagrant /var/www

# Update the package lists for upgrades
apt-get update

# Install nginx -y for auto-yes
apt-get install -y nginx

# Install MySQL, prepopulate password to 'root'
echo "mysql-server mysql-server/root_password password root" | debconf-set-selections
echo "mysql-server mysql-server/root_password_again password root" | debconf-set-selections
apt-get install -y mysql-server mysql-client

# Update the repositories for PHP7 (not required after Ubuntu 16.10)
add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
apt-get update

# Install PHP and MySQL helper packagemysql 
apt-get install -yq php7.1-fpm php7.1-mysql

# Configure the host file
cat >> /etc/nginx/sites-available/default <<'EOF'
server {
	# Server listening port
	listen 80;

	# Server domain or IP
	server_name localhost;

	# Root and index files
	root /vagrant/default/public;
	index index.php index.html index.htm;	

	# Urls to attempt
	location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

	# Configure PHP FPM
	location ~* \.php$ {
		fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.1-fpm.sock;
		fastcgi_index index.php;
		fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(.*)$;
		fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
		include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;

	# Debugging
	access_log /var/log/nginx/localhost_access.log;
	error_log /var/log/nginx/localhost_error.log;
	rewrite_log on;

# Restart
service nginx restart
service php7.1-fpm restart
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NEXT: Getting started with virtualisation using vagrant

In this tutorial we'll take a look at virtualisation for beginners, run through the benefits and how to set up your first virtual machine using Virtualbox and Vagrant.

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