How to Install PHP 7 on Ubuntu 18.04

Prerequisites

  • Access to an Ubuntu user account with sudo privileges
  • Access to a command line/terminal window (Ctrl-Alt-T)
  • A running web server (Apache or Nginx)

Installing PHP 7 on Ubuntu

Like many developer tools, PHP has several different release versions.
By default, PHP 7.2 is included in Ubuntu 18.04. At the time of writing, PHP 7.3.1 was released. It was tagged as a release of a “stable” version of the software. A stable release is well-tested and is designed to be used and supported for a longer period

How to Install PHP 7.2 with Apache on Ubuntu

Update Ubuntu

Ensure you are using the latest Ubuntu updates by entering the following command into a terminal window:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install PHP 7.2

1. To install PHP 7.2, enter the following command:

sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php

Confirm the installation by hitting Enter. The system will download and install PHP from the software repositories. This command also installs dependencies and modules for use with Apache.

installing PHP dependencies and modules for use with Apache

2. Verify PHP was installed, with the command:

php -v
verification PHP 7.2 was installed successfully on Ubuntu

3. Restart the Apache service to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

How to Install PHP 7.2 with Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04

Update Ubuntu to Latest Version

Entering the following command into a terminal window to ensure you are using the latest software:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install PHP 7.2 with Nginx

1. To install PHP for Nginx, enter the following command:

sudo apt install php-fpm

The system will reach out to download and install the package and its dependencies.

install screen of php on nginx

2. Once installation finishes, restart the service by entering:

sudo systemctl restart nginx

This will apply any changes.
3. If you are using Nginx, you must be familiar with configuring server blocks.
First, add the following code to your server block file for Nginx to make use of PHP:
server {

# . . . existing configuration
location ~ \.php$ {
include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
}
}

4. Save the file and exit. Then, restart Nginx on Ubuntu with:

sudo systemctl restart nginx

How to Install PHP 7.3 on Ubuntu 18.04

Update Ubuntu Server

The Ubuntu repositories still point at PHP 7.2.
However, a stable release of PHP 7.3 is available from the developers.
Update the Ubuntu server with the command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Add the PHP repository

1. To add this repository, you’ll need to add software-properties-common:

sudo apt install software-properties-common

2. Next, add the new ondrej repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

The system will ask for confirmation – hit enter, and allow the process to complete.
3. Update your package list:

sudo apt update

Install PHP 7.3

Now, you can install PHP 7.3 software (and dependencies) by entering the command:

sudo apt install php7.3 php7.3-common php7.3-opcache 
php7.3-cli php7.3-gd php7.3-curl php7.3-mysql

To verify installation and check the version of your local PHP use:

php -v
php 7.3 use of v command to check status on Ubuntu system

Conclusion

You should now understand how to install PHP on Ubuntu.