How to get Nginx Working With PHP Fastcgi in Debian Squeeze

First, you need to install the following.

sudo apt-get install php5-cgi nginx

Next, you need to edit the file /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params. It should look like this:

fastcgi_index  index.php;
fastcgi_param  QUERY_STRING       $query_string;
fastcgi_param  REQUEST_METHOD     $request_method;
fastcgi_param  CONTENT_TYPE       $content_type;
fastcgi_param  CONTENT_LENGTH     $content_length;

fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME        $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
fastcgi_param  REQUEST_URI        $request_uri;
fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_URI       $document_uri;
fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_ROOT      $document_root;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_PROTOCOL    $server_protocol;

fastcgi_param  GATEWAY_INTERFACE  CGI/1.1;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_SOFTWARE    nginx/$nginx_version;

fastcgi_param  REMOTE_ADDR        $remote_addr;
fastcgi_param  REMOTE_PORT        $remote_port;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_ADDR        $server_addr;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_PORT        $server_port;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_NAME        $server_name;

Now, you need to create a new site. Here is an example site that should work:

server {
	listen   *:80; ## listen for ipv4

	server_name  www.mysite.net mysite.net; # This is where you define your host headers.
        root   /var/www/html/;

	access_log  /var/log/nginx/localhost.access.log;
	location / {
		index  index.php index.html index.htm;
	}
	error_page  404  /index.php;
	location ~ \.php$ {
	  # Filter out arbitrary code execution
	  location ~ \..*/.*\.php$ {return 404;}
	  include fastcgi_params;
	  fastcgi_pass  127.0.0.1:9000;
	}
}

Take notice to the “root /var/www/html/;” line and how it is not inside the location tag. This is on purpose so that it is inherited by the other configuration blocks.

Now you just need to create a /etc/init.d/php-fastcgi file with the following content:

#!/bin/bash
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides:          php-fcgi
# Required-Start:    $nginx $network
# Required-Stop:     $nginx
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: starts php over fcgi
# Description:       starts php over fcgi
### END INIT INFO
 
(( EUID )) && echo ‘You need to have root priviliges.’ && exit 1
BIND=127.0.0.1:9000
USER=www-data
PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN=15
PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS=1000
 
PHP_CGI=/usr/bin/php-cgi
PHP_CGI_NAME=`basename $PHP_CGI`
PHP_CGI_ARGS="- USER=$USER PATH=/usr/bin PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN=$PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS=$PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS $PHP_CGI -b $BIND"
RETVAL=0
 
start() {
      echo -n "Starting PHP FastCGI: "
      start-stop-daemon --quiet --start --background --chuid "$USER" --exec /usr/bin/env -- $PHP_CGI_ARGS
      RETVAL=$?
      echo "$PHP_CGI_NAME."
}
stop() {
      echo -n "Stopping PHP FastCGI: "
      killall -q -w -u $USER $PHP_CGI
      RETVAL=$?
      echo "$PHP_CGI_NAME."
}
 
case "$1" in
    start)
      start
  ;;
    stop)
      stop
  ;;
    restart)
      stop
      start
  ;;
    *)
      echo "Usage: php-fastcgi {start|stop|restart}"
      exit 1
  ;;
esac
exit $RETVAL

Now, let’s make sure that the php-fastcgi script starts with the server:

sudo update-rc.d php-fastcgi defaults

And lastly, let’s start everything.

sudo service php-fastcgi start
sudo service nginx start

That’s it! Your site should work at this point.