How to install Apache and PHP 7.2 on Windows Subsystem for Linux

There are a few tips and tricks I found for this installation. Here are the details.

Check Windows Version

First, here’s the entire Microsoft section on WSL. I highly recommend reading through it.

There are various differences between the latest Windows 10 updates, so this might not work for your version!

I’m on Windows 10 Pro, latest edition as of this writing (July, 2018).

Open a CMD and it will be at the top:

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.112]

My current Ubuntu version:

root@XXXXXXX:~#lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS
Release: 16.04
Codename: xenial

Check IIS is not running

Open Services and disable/stop World Wide Web Publishing Service unless you are going to configure Apache to run on a different port (not included here).

Update Ubuntu

I use the handy icon instead of CMD > Bash for command line. It should work the same.

sudo -i (I use this instead of typing sudo all the time)
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Add without new repos

apt-get install apache2
service apache2 start

Note: I am NOT having Apache autostart and I’d recommend against it if you are using both IIS and Apache.

Open a browser and go to http://localhost

You should see a page that looks like this:

Install PHP 7.2

Add whatever you need.

apt-get install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-mysql php7.2-mbstring php7.2-common php7.2-xml php7.2-json php7.2-curl php7.2-zip

Add new repos

This may or may not be needed.

add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/apache2
add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
apt-get update 
apt-get upgrade

Install PHP 7.2
Add whatever you need.

apt-get install apache2
apt-get install php7.2 libapache2-mod-php7.2 php7.2-mysql php7.2-mbstring php7.2-common php7.2-xml php7.2-json php7.2-curl php7.2-zip
apt-get update 
apt-get upgrade
service apache2 restart

Windows Hosts File

Make a local site (don’t forget: .dev is now a real TLD, so you can’t use it anymore). You will need Admin rights to edit this file. Make sure to save it.

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

127.0.0.1     site.local

Create Windows project folder

Create your project folder. You will creating the VHOST and pointing it to this folder in your Windows file system!

In my case it is:

c:\projects\site.local

which translates to

/mnt/c/projects/site.local/

Create Apache VHOST

Unlike in normal Ubuntu world, you need to specify your Windows folder in /etc/apache2.conf. Although you can create a symlink to /var/www, etc., the /var folder actually doesn’t exist.

Update apache2.conf

cd /etc/apache2/
nano apache2.conf

Add this to the bottom. If you don’t you will get a permissions error in your browser.

<Directory  /mnt/c/projects/site.local/>
       Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
       AllowOverride None
       Require all granted
</Directory>

Create your new VHOST

cd sites-available/
cp 000-default.conf site.local.conf
nano site.local.conf

Take a look at the configuration. It’s pretty standard. Modify it, or you can use mine below.

Sorry, formatting was lost, but here’s what I ended up with. Note that the default LogLevel has “SSL warn”. Make sure to remove that unless you’ve configured SSL. Also note you’re adding the DocumentRoot again.

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName noaa.local
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
DocumentRoot /mnt/c/projects/site.local
LogLevel info
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
<Directory />
Options FollowSymlinks
AllowOverride All
Order Allow,deny
Allow from all
</Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Enable the site

a2ensite site.local.conf
service apache2 restart

Add PHPInfo index.php file

Create an index.php in c:\projects\site.local\

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

Now open your browser and go to http://site.local

That’s it!

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