PHP failing on an NGinX/Apache localhost setup

Without it you are flying blind.
You need to see what’s going wrong with PHP, this will tell you.
At the very least set PHP to display errors during development (only).

Yes, I’m changing settings in php.ini right now, but anyway I’ll install this Xdebug as well.

Well, I’ve just had a fairly active chat about this on another forum. Bottom line - I don’t think I’m going to get to the bottom of what’s going on here, because it must be something obscure and weird, so I’m going to try setting things up on another VM, with just Apache, to avoid complications. And I guess maybe I’ll have a go with Nginx on another VM at some other time, but not now! It’s summer, after all.

This is what @rpkamp has been saying. Using Apache and Nginx together is an unnecessary complication.
It’s much better to choose one or the other for any given project.
It doesn’t mean you can’t use the other on different project. I use both, but never together.

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Yeah, OK, massive overkill. I get it! Anyway, I’ve learned a lot these last two weeks, so no worries. And now I have things working OK with Apache and PHP, on a slightly more up to date VM. Of course I’ve got more questions now. One specific one that I haven’t figured out yet. I guess I’ll post about it.