How to Install phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu

How to Install phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu

The MySQL database system is the most popular, open-source, relational database. Many other projects, including WordPress, are backed by a MySQL database and rely on its extensive feature list and simple setup. For beginners, or those that are lazy, there is the phpMyAdmin tool to help us with the maintenance and interface of MySQL.

Accessed from your web browser, phpMyAdmin is a PHP-based frontend control panel that allows you to easily manage your MySQL databases and users, review SQL activity, import and export database backups, run searches, and more.

In this guide, we’ll cover the recommended method to install phpMyAdmin from the Ubuntu packages, and how to secure phpMyAdmin. We’ll also go over installing phpMyAdmin from source, although this is not recommended in a production environment.

Requirements for Installing phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu

Before installing phpMyAdmin, we need to meet some basic requirements:

  • A LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) installed
  • PHP 5.2.0 or newer
  • The PHP mysql or mysqli extensions
  • MySQL 5.0.1 or newer

Install phpMyAdmin from Ubuntu Packages

The default Ubuntu repositories stay up-to-date with the latest stable releases of phpMyAdmin, and this is the recommended installation process for a production environment.

Step 1: Update Package Index

First, we need to make sure our local server is pulling the latest updates.

Step 2: Install phpMyAdmin Package

Now we can install the latest version of phpMyAdmin.

Step 3: Configure phpMyAdmin Package

After installing phpMyAdmin, you will be presented with the package configuration screen.

Press the SPACE bar to place an “*” beside “apache2.”

Press TAB to highlight “OK,” then hit ENTER.

phpMyAdmin Package Configuration Select Apache2

Select “apache2” and hit OK.

The installation process will continue until you’re back at another package configuration screen.

Select “Yes” and then hit ENTER at the dbconfig-common screen:

phpMyAdmin Package Configuration dbconfig-common Select Yes

Select “Yes” and hit ENTER.

You will be prompted for your database administrator’s password.

Type it in, hit TAB to highlight “OK,” and then press ENTER.

phpMyAdmin Package Configuration Enter DB Admin Password

Enter your DB administrator’s password.

Next, enter a password for the phpMyAdmin application itself.

phpMyAdmin Package Configuration Enter phpMyAdmin Password

Enter the password you’d like to use to access the phpMyAdmin interface.

Confirm the phpMyAdmin application password.

phpMyAdmin Package Configuration Confirm phpMyAdmin Password

Confirm your phpMyAdmin password.

After the installation process completes, it adds the phpMyAdin configuration file here:

/etc/apache2/conf-enabled/phpmyadmin.conf

Enable PHP mcrypt Module

Check if the PHP mcrypt module is already in use:

If you don’t get any results, install the PHP mcrypt module with:

Now when we check, you should see mcrypt enabled:

Restart Apache

Now we should restart the Apache web server for changes to take affect:

Access phpMyAdmin for the First Time

Now you can log in to phpMyAdmin by going to your server followed by /phpmyadmin.

You can just use http://YOUR_SERVER_IP/phpmyadmin if you don’t have domains set up yet.

Log in with the root user and the password you set for the phpMyAdmin application.

phpMyAdmin Login as root User

Log in to phpMyAdmin as the root user.

Now you’ll see the phpMyAdmin dashboard.

phpMyAdmin Dashboard

You should now see the phpMyAdmin dashboard.

Secure and Lock Down phpMyAdmin Interface

Naturally, because phpMyAdmin is such a common application installed on many web servers, it is a popular target for unauthorized access attempts. We can easily secure our phpMyAdmin installation by using Apache’s built-in .htaccess authentication.

Step 1: Edit phpMyAdmin’s Apache Config

We want to edit the phpMyAdmin Apache config that was created earlier:

Add AllowOverride “ALL” directive below the DirectoryIndex:

Step 2: Restart Apache to Accept Config Changes

Restart Apache so our changes take affect:

Step 3: Create an .htaccess File

Now that we’ve enabled overrides for our phpMyAdmin application from Apache, we need to actually create an override with an .htaccess file.

Add this text:

Step 4: Create an .htpasswd File for Authentication

First we need the htpasswd utility. If you don’t already have this installed, use the following:

Now we can create a secure user for our phpMyAdmin application with the command:

If for some reason you wanted to give others access to the phpMyAdmin login screen but didn’t want them using your .htaccess credentials, you can create additional secure users with:

Now if you try to access the phpMyAdmin login, you’ll get the .htaccess password prompt first.

phpMyAdmin Login htaccess Password Prompt

You should now see the .htaccess password prompt we created

Install phpMyAdmin from Source

While it’s not recommended for production servers, because you have to manually ensure your install of phpMyAdmin is kept up-to-date, you can also install phpMyAdmin from source.

Step 1: Identify Apache’s DocumentRoot

We need to find Apache’s DocumentRoot so we know where to place our phpMyAdmin files:

In this case, we’ll need to put the phpMyAdmin files in /var/www/html.

Step 2: Download Latest Version of phpMyAdmin

The stable version of phpMyAdmin at the time this article was written: phpMyAdmin 4.3.11.1 (released 3/4/2015).

Visit the phpMyAdmin download page to grab the latest version of phpMyAdmin.

I ended up with a phpMyAdmin-4.3.11.1-english.tar.gz file in my /var/www/html directory.

Step 3: Unpack phpMyAdmin Files

Now rename the phpMyAdmin-4.3.11.1-english directory:

Remove the phpMyAdmin files:

Step 4: Secure /phpmyadmin Directory

We want to set up a specific user for our phpMyAdmin install.

Step 5: Update phpMyAdmin config.inc With Install Wizard

To use the phpMyAdmin install wizard, we first need to set up the config.inc file.

Step 6: Run phpMyAdmin Install Wizard

To begin the installation of phpMyAdmin, access the installation URL at:

http://example.com/phpmyadmin/setup/index.php

Under the “Servers” section, click on “New Server.”

phpMyAdmin Install from Source Click New Server

Under the “Servers” section, click on “New Server.”

Under the “Authentication” tab, type in your MySQL root password in the “Password for Config Auth” box and then click “Apply.”

phpMyAdmin Install from Source Authentication Tab Enter root Password

In the “Password for Config Auth” box, type in your MySQL root password.

Remove the phpMyAdmin /config directory for security.

Final Thoughts on phpMyAdmin

Now that you’ve successfully installed phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu, you can start playing around with some of its more advanced features.

One thing we recommend taking a look at is the “Status” tab, which will display any current MySQL queries that are running on the server, as well as server uptime and the number of connections to the MySQL server.

Check out the official phpMyadmin documentation for more using phpMyAdmin.

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