Getting Started with the Ubuntu LEMP Vultr Marketplace App

Updated on May 25, 2022
Getting Started with the Ubuntu LEMP Vultr Marketplace App header image


Vultr's One-Click LEMP application is a Linux web development stack consisting of Nginx, MariaDB/MySQL, and PHP on your choice of Ubuntu or CentOS. This article explains the initial setup steps, default paths, and other configuration details.

The examples in this guide use IP address and the domain name, which you should replace with your instance's actual address and domain name.

After deployment, you can access the server's default webpage via HTTP at or HTTPS at When first deployed, the server has a self-signed SSL certificate which requires bypassing the HTTPS warning.

To install a Let's Encrypt SSL certificate, you'll need to create a DNS "A" record for your server. Then, use the instructions from your domain registrar, or follow this guide if you use Vultr DNS.

Connect to the Server

SSH to the server as root using the IP address and password shown on the server information page.

Create a Non-Root sudo User

  1. Create a new user account.

     # adduser exampleuser

    > Assign the user a strong password, and fill in the required information.

  2. Add the user to the sudo group.

     # adduser exampleuser sudo
  3. Switch to the new user.

     # su exampleuser
  4. Verify that the user has sudo access.

     $ sudo whoami


    [sudo] password for exampleuser:

Continue the rest of this guide as the sudo user.

Nginx Configuration

  • The default Nginx web root (web files) directory is /usr/share/nginx/html.
  • The Nginx configuration file directories are /etc/nginx, and /etc/nginx/conf.d.

To set up Nginx, backup all default configuration files.

  1. Switch to the /etc/nginx/conf.d directory.

     $ cd /etc/nginx/conf.d/
  2. Back up the configuration files.

     $ sudo mv default.conf default.BAK
     $ sudo mv http.conf http.BAK
     $ sudo mv https.conf https.BAK
  3. Create a new Nginx configuration file.

     $ sudo touch /etc/nginx/conf.d/
  4. Using a text editor, open and edit the file.

     $ sudo nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/
  5. Add the following contents to the file. Replace with your actual domain name.

     server {
         listen 80 default_server;
         listen [::]:80 default_server;
         # Webroot directory and files
         root /usr/share/nginx/;
         index index.php index.html;
         # Handle PHP Files
         location ~ \.php$
             try_files      $uri =404;
             fastcgi_index  index.php;
             fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
             include        fastcgi_params;
         # Deny access to .htaccess files.
         location ~ /\.ht {
             deny  all;

    Save and close the file.

    This configuration file uses /usr/nginx/share/ as the website root directory. To use a different directory such as /var/www/, edit the root directory directive to match your directory name.

    If you do not have a domain name, you can use _ in the server_name directive as a catch-all server name. See Nginx Server Name Syntax for more information.

  6. Create the domain document root (files) directory.

     $ sudo mkdir /usr/share/nginx/
  7. Create an index PHP file.

     $ sudo nano /usr/share/nginx/
  8. Add the following contents to the file.

     <? php
     echo "Hello World! Your One-Click configuration works";
  9. Save and close the file.

  10. Grant Nginx read and write permissions to the directory.

     $ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /usr/share/nginx/
  11. Test Nginx for configuration errors.

     $ sudo nginx -t
  12. Restart Nginx to load changes.

     $ sudo systemctl restart nginx
  13. Test the configuration by visiting your domain.

Install SSL Certificates

You need a DNS "A" record pointing to your server's IP address to use a Let's Encrypt SSL certificate.

To install a Let's Encrypt certificate, follow the Nginx instructions in our guide: Install Let's Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu


MariaDB is the drop-in replacement for MySQL installed on the Vultr One-Click server. It uses the same syntax and database commands.

  1. View and copy the root user password.

     $ sudo cat /root/.my.cnf

    The output should look similar to the following:

  2. Log in to MySQL as root.

     $ sudo mysql -u root -p

    Paste the root user password from the previous step into the prompt.

  3. Change the default root password. Replace strong-password with your own password.

     MariaDB [(none)]>  UPDATE mysql.user SET authentication_string=PASSWORD('strong-password') WHERE USER='root';
  4. Refresh MySQL privileges.

     MariaDB [(none)]> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
  5. Exit the MySQL console.

     MariaDB [(none)]> EXIT
  6. Test your new password by re-accessing the MySQL console as root.

     $ sudo mysql -u root -p

    Enter your new password.

See more resources to manage MySQL:


  1. Verify the PHP version installed on the server.

     $ php -v


     PHP 7.4.23 (cli) (built: Aug 26 2021 15:51:37) ( NTS )
     Copyright (c) The PHP Group
     Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
     with Zend OPcache v7.4.23, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies
     with Xdebug v3.0.4, Copyright (c) 2002-2021, by Derick Rethans
  2. To access a list of installed PHP extensions, create a PHP script in your document root (website files) directory.

     $ sudo nano /usr/share/nginx/
  3. Add the following contents to the file.


    Save and close the file.

  4. Visit your domain and load the test.php file through a web browser.

    One-Click LEMP PHP Extensions

  5. The most common PHP extensions are pre-installed on the server. To install other extensions, use your package manager. For example:

     $ sudo apt install php-tokenizer php-bcmath php-sodium

For more information on using PHP, refer to the following resources.

Next Steps

You have successfully deployed Vultr's One-Click LEMP application and configured installed services. Next, fine-tune your server with the following resources according to your web development needs.