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Install PHP-FPM on Debian

by Pierre-Yves Landuré last modified Nov 11, 2017 09:40

PHP-FPM is an greatly enhanced FastCGI mecanism for PHP. Its use allow to greatly raise the performances of hosted sites. It is a recommended software to optimize the hosting of sites with heavy traffic. This howto help you to setup this software on Debian, by using the packages provided by

This howto is tested on:

  • Debian 6.0 Squeeze
  • Debian 7.0 Wheezy
  • Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander


This howto needs

On Debian 6.0 Squeeze, this howto needs:


      FPM setup

      Install the software package:

      command apt-get install php5-fpm php5

      Install the suhosin extension if available:

      if [ -n "$(command apt-cache pkgnames php5-suhosin)" ]; then
        command apt-get -y install php5-suhosin

      Backup the php-fpm configuration template:

      command dpkg-divert --divert '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf-dist' \
      --rename '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf'

      Create php-fpm configuration file:

      command test -e '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf' \
          || command cp '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf-dist' '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf'

      Setup php-fpm to listen for connections on a Unix socket and to allow PHP execution duration up to 600 seconds :

      if [ -e '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf' ]; then
      command sed -i \
      -e 's|^listen =.*$|listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock|' \
      -e 's|^;*request_terminate_timeout.*|request_terminate_timeout = 605|' \
      -e 's|^;*pm.status_path.*|pm.status_path = /php-fpm-status|' \
      -e 's|^;*ping.path.*|ping.path = /php-fpm-ping|' \

      Important: from now, load newly installed PHP extensions with:

      if [ -n "$(command find '/etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/' -name '*.conf')" ]; then
      command service php5-fpm restart

      Setup the log rotation:

      if [ ! -e '/etc/logrotate.d/php5-fpm' ]; then
      command echo -e "/var/log/php5-fpm.log {
      \trotate 12
      \t\tinvoke-rc.d php5-fpm force-reload > /dev/null
      }" \
        > '/etc/logrotate.d/php5-fpm'


      This howto recommends :

      HTTP server configuration

      Apache 2 configuration

      Install Apache 2 FastCGI module :

      if [ -d '/etc/apache2' ]; then
      command apt-get install libapache2-mod-fastcgi

      Download Apache 2 configuration to connect PHP-FPM and FastCGI module :

      if [ -d '/etc/apache2' ]; then
      command wget '' \
      --quiet --no-check-certificate --output-document='/etc/apache2/mods-available/php5-fpm.load'
      command wget '' \
      --quiet --no-check-certificate --output-document='/etc/apache2/mods-available/php5-fpm.conf'

      Enable the php-fpm dummy module for Apache 2 :

      if [ -d '/etc/apache2' ]; then
      command a2dismod php5
      command a2enmod php5-fpm fastcgi actions

      Reload Apache 2 configuration :

      [[ -x '/etc/init.d/apache2' ]] && command service 'apache2' 'force-reload'

      If the configuration work, install apache2-mpm-worker :

      if [ -d '/etc/apache2' ]; then
      command apt-get install apache2-mpm-worker

      Lighttpd configuration

      Setup Lighttpd to use PHP-FPM :

      if [ -d '/etc/lighttpd' ]; then
      echo '# /usr/share/doc/lighttpd-doc/fastcgi.txt.gz

      ## Start an FastCGI server for php (needs the php5-cgi package)
      fastcgi.server += ( ".php" =>
      "socket" => "/var/run/php5-fpm.sock"
      )' \
          > '/etc/lighttpd/conf-available/15-fastcgi-php-fpm.conf'

      Enable the new configuration :

      if [ -x '/usr/sbin/lighty-enable-mod' ]; then
      command lighty-disable-mod fastcgi-php
      command lighty-enable-mod fastcgi-php-fpm

      Reload Lighttpd configuration :

      [[ -x '/etc/init.d/lighttpd' ]] && command service 'lighttpd' 'force-reload'

      Solving issues

      .htaccess: Invalid command 'php_flag'

      If Apache 2 error log shows this error :

      .htaccess: Invalid command 'php_flag', perhaps misspelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration

      One of the howted site use "php_flag" rule in a .htaccess file. This rule is provided by php5 Apache 2 module (aka. mod_php5), and is not working with FastCGI or PHP-FPM.

      To fix the error, comment the faulty lines in the .htaccess file, and create the equivalent ini file in /etc/php5/conf.d/.

      FastCGI: comm with server aborted : idle timeout

      If Apache 2 error log shows this error :

      FastCGI: comm with server "/var/lib/apache2/fastcgi/php5.fastcgi" aborted: idle timeout (610 sec)

      The execution time of a PHP page is over 610s. It can happen, for example, during the upgrade of a Web application.

      To fix the error, raise the -idle-timeout option in /etc/apache2/mods-available/php5-fpm.conf:

      FastCGIExternalServer /var/lib/apache2/fastcgi/php5.fastcgi -socket /var/run/php5-fpm.sock -idle-timeout 910

      Raise the request_terminate_timeout option in /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf (its value need to be slightly less than the idle-timout value (see above) :

      request_terminate_timeout = 905

      This two values must be greater than the PHP max_execution_time value.

      ERROR: failed to ptrace(PEEKDATA) pid XXXXX : Input/output error (5)

      If PHP-FPM log (/var/log/php5-fpm.log) shows:

      ERROR: failed to ptrace(PEEKDATA) pid 25478: Input/output error (5)

      This error appears when the "request_slowlog_timeout" option is enabled. It is due to a failure to create the error trace. This can trigger a server indisponibility because:

      1. After php-fpm stops the process to trace it, the process fails to resume because of the error tracing it
      2. The process is resuming but continues to run forever.

      To solve this problem, disable the "request_slowlog_timeout" option:

      command sed -i \
          -e 's/^request_slowlog_timeout/;request_slowlog_timeout/' \

      Reload the PHP-FPM configuration:

      command service 'php5-fpm' 'force-reload'