How to Configure Nginx to host a Laravel application

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Laravel is a powerful PHP framework for building modern web applications. When hosting a Laravel application, proper configuration of the web server, in this case, Nginx, is crucial for optimal performance. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to configure Nginx to host a Laravel application with a database.


Before starting, ensure you have:

  • Nginx is installed on your server.
  • PHP installed and configured with required extensions.
  • Composer installed for managing Laravel dependencies.
  • A database server (MySQL or MariaDB) ready for use.

Step 1: Install Laravel

Let’s first install Composer before we install Laravel:

sudo apt-get install composer

The above command assumes you are using a Debian-based distribution like Ubuntu. If you are using a different Linux distribution, the package manager and command might vary. Adjust the command accordingly based on your system.

Now, let’s navigate to your web root directory and install Laravel using Composer:

composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel mylaravelapp

Replace mylaravelapp with your desired project name.

Step 2: Configure Laravel Environment

Navigate to your Laravel application directory and copy the .env.example file to .env:

cd mylaravelapp
cp .env.example .env

Open the .env file and configure the database connection settings:

nano .env

Paste the following lines in the .env file:


Save and exit the file.

Step 3: Configure Database

To create the database for your Laravel application, you need to have MySQL or MariaDB installed. In this example, we’re installing the MSQL database server:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Log in to your MySQL or MariaDB server with the following command:

mysql -u root -p

You will be prompted to enter the root password for MySQL or MariaDB.

Create a Database and User

Create a new database and a user for your Laravel application. Replace mylaravelapp_db, mylaravelapp_user, and your_password with your desired values. Paste the command commands one by one on the terminal:

CREATE DATABASE mylaravelapp_db;
CREATE USER 'mylaravelapp_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mylaravelapp_db.* TO 'mylaravelapp_user'@'localhost';

These commands do the following:

  • CREATE DATABASE mylaravelapp_db;: Creates a new database named mylaravelapp_db.
  • CREATE USER 'mylaravelapp_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password';: Creates a new user named mylaravelapp_user with the password your_password.
  • GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mylaravelapp_db.* TO 'mylaravelapp_user'@'localhost';: Grants all privileges on the mylaravelapp_db database to the mylaravelapp_user user.
  • FLUSH PRIVILEGES;: Reloads the privileges to apply the changes.

Exit the MySQL or MariaDB prompt:


These steps should create a database and user for your Laravel application. Make sure to update the .env file in your Laravel application directory with the database connection details:

nano /path/to/mylaravelapp/.env

Update the following lines:


Save the changes and proceed with configuring your Laravel application.

Step 4: Set Permissions

Ensure the appropriate permissions are set for Laravel directories:

chmod -R 755 storage
chmod -R 755 bootstrap/cache

Step 5: Create Nginx Server Block

If you haven’t installed Nginx, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install nginx

You can check the Nginx status by using this command:

sudo systemctl status nginx


Install and configure PHP for Nginx

Since Laravel is a PHP framework, we need to also install the php-fpm module on the server

sudo apt-get install php php-fpm php-mysql

This command is necessary to install PHP, the PHP FastCGI Process Manager, and the MySQL extension for PHP.

We also need you to configure and set up PHP to work with the Nginx server. This can be achieved by editing the php-fpm configuration file, which you can access using this command:

sudo nano /etc/php/8.1/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

Now, let’s update the settings as follows:

user = www-data
group = www-data
listen = /run/php/php8.1-fpm.sock

These settings configure PHP to run under the same user and group as Nginx while listening on the correct socket.

Now, save the changes to the file and then restart PHP-FPM to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart php8.1-fpm

Create the Nginx Configuration file

Create an Nginx server block configuration file for your Laravel application:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/mylaravelapp

Add the following configuration:

server {
    listen 80;
    root /path/to/mylaravelapp/public;

    index index.php index.html index.htm;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

    location ~ \.php$ {
        include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        include fastcgi_params;

    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny all;

Replace /path/to/mylaravelapp with the actual path to your Laravel application directory.

Step 6: Enable Server Block

Create a symbolic link to enable the server block:

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

Step 7: Test Configuration and Reload Nginx

Test the Nginx configuration for syntax errors:

sudo nginx -t

If the test is successful, reload Nginx to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl reload nginx

Step 8: Access Your Laravel Application

Open your web browser and navigate to You should see the Laravel welcome page.


Configuring Nginx to host a Laravel application involves setting up a server block, configuring PHP-FPM, and ensuring proper permissions. Following these steps will enable you to efficiently host and deploy your Laravel applications, providing a scalable and performant web hosting solution.

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