Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12


In this guide, we are going to learn how to install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12. phpMyAdmin is a free and opensource application written in PHP that facilitates the administration and management of MySQL and MariaDB over the Web.

Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

What are the common Uses of phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin allows administrators to;

  • browse through databases and tables;
  • create, copy, rename, alter and drop databases;
  • create, copy, rename, alter and drop tables;
  • perform table maintenance;
  • add, edit and drop fields;
  • execute any SQL-statement, even multiple queries;
  • create, alter and drop indexes;
  • load text files into tables;
  • create and read dumps of tables or databases;
  • export data to SQL, CSV, XML, Word, Excel, PDF and LaTeX formats;
  • administer multiple servers;
  • manage MySQL users and privileges;
  • check server settings and runtime information with configuration hints;
  • check referential integrity in MyISAM tables;
  • create complex queries using Query-by-example (QBE), automatically
    connecting required tables;
  • create PDF graphics of database layout;
  • search globally in a database or a subset of it;
  • transform stored data into any format using a set of predefined
    functions, such as displaying BLOB-data as image or download-link;
  • manage InnoDB tables and foreign keys;

Prerequisites: Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

Since phpMyAdmin is a web based tool for administering MySQL or MariaDB, and is written on PHP, the most basic requirement that you need is either a LAMP or LEMP Stack. This demo uses the former.

Install LAMP Stack on Debian 12

We have describe extensively how to install LAMP stack on Debian 12 in our previous guide whose link is provided below;

Install Required PHP Modules

Install other required PHP modules for phpMyAdmin;

apt install php8.2-{bz2,mbstring,zip,gd,curl,xml,common,opcache,imagick}

See list of requirements on phpMyAdmin requirements page.

Similarly, ensure Apache PHP modules are installed;

apt install libapache2-mod-php

Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

Install phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin 5.2.1, which is the current latest stable release version as of this writing, is available on the default Debian 12 repos. You can install it as follows;

apt update
apt install phpmyadmin

Select Web Server for phpMyAdmin

When prompted to choose a web server to use, you can select Apache or whichever you want.

Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

Configuring Database for phpMyAdmin

So, there are two options here;

  • If you have created the phpMyAdmin database and database credentials manually, choose No on the prompt.
  • To configure phpMyAdmin database credentials with dbconfig-common tool, select Yes on the prompt and proceed.
Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

Next, create the phpMyAdmin database account password and proceed with installation.

Apache VirtualHost for phpMyAdmin

The installer automatically creates and enable Apache virtual host configuration file for phpMyAdmin as shown below;

cat /etc/apache2/conf-available/phpmyadmin.conf

# phpMyAdmin default Apache configuration

Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin

<Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin>
    Options SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
    DirectoryIndex index.php

    # limit libapache2-mod-php to files and directories necessary by pma
    <IfModule mod_php7.c>
        php_admin_value upload_tmp_dir /var/lib/phpmyadmin/tmp
        php_admin_value open_basedir /usr/share/phpmyadmin/:/usr/share/doc/phpmyadmin/:/etc/phpmyadmin/:/var/lib/phpmyadmin/:/usr/share/php/:/usr/share/javascript/

    # PHP 8+
    <IfModule mod_php.c>
        php_admin_value upload_tmp_dir /var/lib/phpmyadmin/tmp
        php_admin_value open_basedir /usr/share/phpmyadmin/:/usr/share/doc/phpmyadmin/:/etc/phpmyadmin/:/var/lib/phpmyadmin/:/usr/share/php/:/usr/share/javascript/


# Disallow web access to directories that don't need it
<Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/templates>
    Require all denied
<Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries>
    Require all denied

phpMyAdmin Database Details

If you used phpMyAdmin dbconfig-common tool to create the database, you should be able to get these details on the MariaDB database server.

Thus, login and check;

mysql -u root -p
show databases;

| Database           |
| information_schema |
| mysql              |
| performance_schema |
| phpmyadmin         |
| sys                |
5 rows in set (0.000 sec)

Check tables;

use phpmyadmin;
show tables;

| Tables_in_phpmyadmin   |
| pma__bookmark          |
| pma__central_columns   |
| pma__column_info       |
| pma__designer_settings |
| pma__export_templates  |
| pma__favorite          |
| pma__history           |
| pma__navigationhiding  |
| pma__pdf_pages         |
| pma__recent            |
| pma__relation          |
| pma__savedsearches     |
| pma__table_coords      |
| pma__table_info        |
| pma__table_uiprefs     |
| pma__tracking          |
| pma__userconfig        |
| pma__usergroups        |
| pma__users             |
19 rows in set (0.001 sec)

You can get the credentials in the file /etc/phpmyadmin/config-db.php;

cat /etc/phpmyadmin/config-db.php

## database access settings in php format
## automatically generated from /etc/dbconfig-common/phpmyadmin.conf
## by /usr/sbin/dbconfig-generate-include
## by default this file is managed via ucf, so you shouldn't have to
## worry about manual changes being silently discarded.  *however*,
## you'll probably also want to edit the configuration file mentioned
## above too.

Configure phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

The installer creates a phpMyAdmin configuration with the content below;

cat /etc/phpmyadmin/

 * Debian local configuration file
 * This file overrides the settings made by phpMyAdmin interactive setup
 * utility.
 * For example configuration see
 *   /usr/share/doc/phpmyadmin/examples/
 * or
 *   /usr/share/doc/phpmyadmin/examples/
 * NOTE: do not add security sensitive data to this file (like passwords)
 * unless you really know what you're doing. If you do, any user that can
 * run PHP or CGI on your webserver will be able to read them. If you still
 * want to do this, make sure to properly secure the access to this file
 * (also on the filesystem level).

if (!function_exists('check_file_access')) {
    function check_file_access(string $path): bool
        if (is_readable($path)) {
            return true;

        if (! file_exists($path)) {
            return false;

            'phpmyadmin: Failed to load ' . $path
            . ' Check group www-data has read access and open_basedir restrictions.'
        return false;

// Load secret generated on postinst
if (check_file_access('/var/lib/phpmyadmin/')) {

 * Server(s) configuration
$i = 0;
// The $cfg['Servers'] array starts with $cfg['Servers'][1].  Do not use $cfg['Servers'][0].
// You can disable a server config entry by setting host to ''.

 * Read configuration from dbconfig-common
 * You can regenerate it using: dpkg-reconfigure -plow phpmyadmin
if (check_file_access('/etc/phpmyadmin/config-db.php')) {

/* Configure according to dbconfig-common if enabled */
if (!empty($dbname)) {
    /* Authentication type */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_type'] = 'cookie';
    /* Server parameters */
    if (empty($dbserver)) $dbserver = 'localhost';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = $dbserver;

    if (!empty($dbport) || $dbserver != 'localhost') {
        $cfg['Servers'][$i]['connect_type'] = 'tcp';
        $cfg['Servers'][$i]['port'] = $dbport;
    //$cfg['Servers'][$i]['compress'] = false;
    /* Optional: User for advanced features */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = $dbuser;
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlpass'] = $dbpass;
    /* Optional: Advanced phpMyAdmin features */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pmadb'] = $dbname;
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['bookmarktable'] = 'pma__bookmark';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['relation'] = 'pma__relation';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_info'] = 'pma__table_info';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_coords'] = 'pma__table_coords';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pdf_pages'] = 'pma__pdf_pages';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['column_info'] = 'pma__column_info';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['history'] = 'pma__history';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_uiprefs'] = 'pma__table_uiprefs';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['tracking'] = 'pma__tracking';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['userconfig'] = 'pma__userconfig';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['recent'] = 'pma__recent';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['favorite'] = 'pma__favorite';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['users'] = 'pma__users';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['usergroups'] = 'pma__usergroups';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['navigationhiding'] = 'pma__navigationhiding';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['savedsearches'] = 'pma__savedsearches';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['central_columns'] = 'pma__central_columns';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['designer_settings'] = 'pma__designer_settings';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['export_templates'] = 'pma__export_templates';

    /* Uncomment the following to enable logging in to passwordless accounts,
     * after taking note of the associated security risks. */
    // $cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = TRUE;

    /* Advance to next server for rest of config */

/* Authentication type */
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_type'] = 'cookie';
/* Server parameters */
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = 'localhost';
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['connect_type'] = 'tcp';
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['compress'] = false;
/* Uncomment the following to enable logging in to passwordless accounts,
 * after taking note of the associated security risks. */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = TRUE;

 * phpMyAdmin configuration storage settings.

/* User used to manipulate with storage */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlhost'] = '';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlport'] = '';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = 'pma';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlpass'] = 'pmapass';

/* Storage database and tables */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pmadb'] = 'phpmyadmin';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['bookmarktable'] = 'pma__bookmark';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['relation'] = 'pma__relation';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_info'] = 'pma__table_info';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_coords'] = 'pma__table_coords';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pdf_pages'] = 'pma__pdf_pages';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['column_info'] = 'pma__column_info';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['history'] = 'pma__history';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_uiprefs'] = 'pma__table_uiprefs';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['tracking'] = 'pma__tracking';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['userconfig'] = 'pma__userconfig';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['recent'] = 'pma__recent';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['favorite'] = 'pma__favorite';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['users'] = 'pma__users';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['usergroups'] = 'pma__usergroups';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['navigationhiding'] = 'pma__navigationhiding';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['savedsearches'] = 'pma__savedsearches';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['central_columns'] = 'pma__central_columns';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['designer_settings'] = 'pma__designer_settings';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['export_templates'] = 'pma__export_templates';

 * End of servers configuration

 * Directories for saving/loading files from server
$cfg['UploadDir'] = '';
$cfg['SaveDir'] = '';

/* Support additional configurations */
foreach (glob('/etc/phpmyadmin/conf.d/*.php') as $filename)

Open HTTP/HTTPS port on Firewall

Allow Apache on UFW for external access.

ufw allow "WWW Full"

Accessing phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

You can now access phpMyAdmin from the browser using the address, http://server-host-name_or_IP/phpmyadmin.

Login using your database root user credentials or the user with access to only specific databases.

Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

Upon successful login, you get to phpMyAdmin dashboard.

Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 12

You have successfully installed and setup phpMyAdmin on Debian 12. You can now be able to administer your MySQL or MariaDB from web.

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Linux Certified Engineer, with a passion for open-source technology and a strong understanding of Linux systems. With experience in system administration, troubleshooting, and automation, I am skilled in maintaining and optimizing Linux infrastructure.

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