LAMP installations (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP/Perl/Python) are a popular setup for Ubuntu servers. There is a plethora of Open Source applications written using the LAMP application stack. Some popular LAMP applications are Wiki's, Content Management Systems, and Management Software such as phpMyAdmin.

One advantage of LAMP is the substantial flexibility for different database, web server, and scripting languages. Popular substitutes for MySQL include PostgreSQL and SQLite. Python, Perl, and Ruby are also frequently used instead of PHP. While Nginx, Cherokee and Lighttpd can replace Apache.

The fastest way to get started is to install LAMP using tasksel. Tasksel is a Debian/Ubuntu tool that installs multiple related packages as a co-ordinated "task" onto your system. To install a LAMP server:

  • At a terminal prompt enter the following command:

    sudo tasksel install lamp-server

After installing it you'll be able to install most LAMP applications in this way:

  • Download an archive containing the application source files.

  • Unpack the archive, usually in a directory accessible to a web server.

  • Depending on where the source was extracted, configure a web server to serve the files.

  • Configure the application to connect to the database.

  • Run a script, or browse to a page of the application, to install the database needed by the application.

  • Once the steps above, or similar steps, are completed you are ready to begin using the application.

A disadvantage of using this approach is that the application files are not placed in the file system in a standard way, which can cause confusion as to where the application is installed. Another larger disadvantage is updating the application. When a new version is released, the same process used to install the application is needed to apply updates.

Fortunately, a number of LAMP applications are already packaged for Ubuntu, and are available for installation in the same way as non-LAMP applications. Depending on the application some extra configuration and setup steps may be needed, however.

This section covers how to install some LAMP applications.