Install PHP 7.1 with Nginx on Ubuntu 16.04 VPS

PHP 7.1 comes with a lot of new features and improvements, as a result of which many developers use it for their projects. In this article, we are going to show you how to install PHP 7.1 with Nginx on an Ubuntu 16.04 VPS.

Step 1: enable PPA

First of all, connect to the Linux VPS via SSH and enable Ondrej’s PPA:

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

Step 2: Install PHP 7.1

After enabling the PPA, you can proceed and install PHP 7.1 using the following command:

sudo apt-get install php7.1

Step 3: Find and Install Specific PHP 7.1 Modules

You will also need to install the required dependencies too. However, if you want to install a custom PHP7.1 module, you can find it if available with the following command:

sudo apt-cache search php7.1

Step 4: Install the most commonly used modules

To install PHP7.1 including some of the most commonly used modules you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get install php7.1 php7.1-cli php7.1-common php7.1-json php7.1-opcache php7.1-mysql php7.1-mbstring php7.1-mcrypt php7.1-zip php7.1-fpm

Step 5: configuring php.ini file

After the installation is complete, you need to edit the file php.ini… Find the config file:

php --ini |grep Loaded
Loaded Configuration File: /etc/php/7.1/cli/php.ini

Edit the file with your favorite text editor:

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/cli/php.ini

Make the following changes:


Then restart the PHP-FPM service:

sudo systemctl restart php7.1-fpm.service

Step 6: Installing Nginx on Ubuntu 16.04

Installing Nginx on Ubuntu VPS is straightforward. Run the following command to install it:

sudo apt-get install nginx

Create a nginx virtual server block for a domain:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/

Paste the following content:

server {
        listen 80;
        root /var/www/;
        index index.php;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

        location ~ .php$ {
            fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.1-fpm.sock;
            include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
            fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

        location ~ /.ht {
                deny all;

You must of course replace to your domain name. Save and close the file. To enable server block in Nginx you need to create a symbolic link site-enabled… Use the following command to create a symbolic link:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Check if there are any errors in the configuration:

sudo nginx -t
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

If the syntax is ok and there are no errors, you can restart Nginx.

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Enabling Nginx and PHP-FPM at system boot:

sudo systemctl enable nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable php7.1-fpm.service

Further steps

Once you’ve installed PHP 7.1 and Nginx on your Linux VPS, you can follow our guide on how to secure your LEMP stack.