Installing phpMyAdmin on Debian 7.5

To be able to administer a MySQL Server, a connection needs to be established to it. Several options are available, with the most frequently used being the command-line utilities in a shell. Another option is to make use of MySQL Workbench. However, this isn’t the preferred solution, since this would require firewall rules to be defined to allow only certain remote connections to our database server. We can also make use of phpMyAdmin, allowing us access to the database server through a web interface.

Installing phpMyAdmin

To install phpMyAdmin, we execute the following command in a “root” shell.

apt-get install phpmyadmin

During the installation, we are prompted whether a web server should be configured and if the database should be configured making use of dbconfig-common.

If we selected to configure apache2, a virtual path /phpmyadmin will be added to the primary web site.

Configuring phpMyAdmin

To configure phpMyAdmin, we will host it on a secure virtual host on Apache.

Virtual Host settings

The virtual host will use the IP address, using the certificate in /etc/ssl/CA/certs/sitename.cert and the private key in /etc/ssl/CA/private/sitename.key.nopass. Authentication will also be required using a htpasswd file in /etc/apache2/security/htpasswd.sitename.

To create this htpasswd file, we execute the following command in a “root” shell.

htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/security/htpasswd.sitename admin

We will then be prompted to enter a password for the user admin, and using these credentials we will be able to access the phpMyAdmin web interface.

Virtual Host Configuration

    RewriteEngine on
    ReWriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !^443$
    RewriteRule ^/(.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [NC,R,L]

    ServerName sitename
    ServerAdmin webmaster@domain

    SSLEngine On
    SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/CA/certs/sitename.cert
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/CA/private/sitename.key.nopass

    DocumentRoot /usr/share/phpmyadmin
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin>
        Options FollowSymLinks
        DirectoryIndex index.php
        <IfModule mod_php5.c>
            AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
            php_flag magic_quotes_gpc Off
            php_flag track_vars On
            php_flag register_globals Off
            php_admin_flag allow_url_fopen Off
            php_value include_path .
            php_admin_value upload_tmp_dir /var/lib/phpmyadmin/tmp
            php_admin_value open_basedir /usr/share/phpmyadmin/:/etc/phpmyadmin/:/var/lib/phpmyadmin/
        <IfModule mod_authn_file.c>
            AuthType Basic
            AuthName "MySQL Administration"
            AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/security/htpasswd.sitename
        Require valid-user
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/setup>
        Order Deny,Allow
        Deny from All
    <Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries>
        Order Deny,Allow
        Deny from All

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/sitename/error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/sitename/access.log combined

Enabling the Virtual Host

To enable the virtual host, we execute the following command in a “root” shell.

a2ensite sitename

To reload the configuration, we execute the following command in a “root” shell.

service apache2 reload

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