Installing phpmyadmin on Ubuntu can be a bit difficult for someone that doesn’t know how to configure apache (like me till now). I just executed the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

and expected that when I navigate to http://localhost/phpmyadmin it would simply work. Actually, what I got was page not found :(

Proper way to configure apache

After a bit of googling here’s what I found out:

  • with the above 2 commands I just installed phpmyadmin,
  • what this means is that I only have the phpmyadmin files on my server,
  • I need to configure apache to tell it about the new phpmyadmin site location.

Apache has multiple ways of accomplishing this:

  • use the conf.d directory,
  • use the apache2.conf,
  • use the httpd.conf,
  • use the sites-available directory and a2ensite,
  • use the sites-enabled directory.

Not knowing what is the proper way of doing this I began looking for “best practices”. It seems that the conf.d directory is used for global apache configuration, the apache2.conf and httpd.conf provide defaults and they shouldn’t be normally touched and the sites-enabled directory should contain only symbolic links to files from the sites-available directory.

Activating phpmyadmin in apache

Ok, so now that we’ve eliminated all the “wrong” ways to do it only one way remains: using the sites-available and the a2ensite command.

But first: phpmyadmin already comes with an apache configuration and we need to just use it. This configuration is available in:


Now we need to put it in:


To do this we’ll create a symbolic link:

sudo ln -s /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/phpmyadmin.conf

The next step is to activate this new site using:

sudo a2ensite phpmyadmin.conf

This command will actually create a link from the sites-available to the sites-enabled directory.

The final step is to restart apache with the following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Navigate to http://localhost/phpmyadmin and enjoy!

Quick commands

sudo ln -s /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf
sudo a2ensite phpmyadmin.conf
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Vagrant and puppet

If you need a phpmyadmin server just execute these commands:

git clone
vagrant up

In a few moments you’ll have a phpmyadmin server running on:

Here’s the puppet script that accomplishes what this post describes:

Exec { path => [ '/bin', '/sbin', '/usr/bin', '/usr/sbin', ] }

exec { 'system-update':
  command => 'sudo apt-get update',

Exec['system-update'] -> Package <| |>

package { 'phpmyadmin':
  ensure => present,

# linux way: ln -s /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/phpmyadmin.conf
file { '/etc/apache2/sites-available/phpmyadmin.conf':
  ensure => link,
  target => '/etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf',
  require => Package['phpmyadmin'],

exec { 'enable-phpmyadmin':
  command => 'sudo a2ensite phpmyadmin.conf',
  require => File['/etc/apache2/sites-available/phpmyadmin.conf'],

exec { 'restart-apache':
  command => 'sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart',
  require => Exec['enable-phpmyadmin'],


I found these links very helpful in my research: