Nginx is a lightweight and high performance web server designed with the purpose of delivering large amounts of static content quickly and with efficient use of system resources. In contrast to the Apache HTTP server that uses a threaded or process-oriented approach to handling requests, nginx uses an asynchronous event-driven model which provides more predictable performance under load. This guide will help you get nginx up and running on your Debian-base Linux VM.
Because of the rapid development of the nginx web server and recent changes to the interface, many users of nginx compile their version of the software from sources provided by the nginx developers. Additional benefits include the ability to configure nginx to support additional third party modules and options which much be set at compile time.
Begin by ensuring that your system's package database and installed programs are up to date by issuing the following commands:
apt-get update apt-get upgrade --show-upgraded
You will also need to install several dependent packages before proceeding with nginx installation. Issue the following command:
apt-get install libpcre3-dev build-essential libssl-dev
The source files and binaries will be downloaded in the /opt/ directory of the file system in this example. Check the nginx download page for the URL of the latest stable release, and then issue the following commands to obtain it (substituting a newer link if necessary):
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cd /opt/ wget http://nginx.org/download/nginx-1.3.7.tar.gz tar -zxvf nginx* cd /opt/nginx*/
Now we can compile the nginx server. If you want to enable third-party modules, append options to ./configure at this juncture. Issue the following command to configure the build options:
./configure --prefix=/opt/nginx --user=nginx --group=nginx --with-http_ssl_module
When the configuration process completes successfully, you will see the following output:
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Configuration summary + using system PCRE library + using system OpenSSL library + md5: using OpenSSL library + sha1 library is not used + using system zlib library nginx path prefix: "/opt/nginx" nginx binary file: "/opt/nginx/sbin/nginx" nginx configuration prefix: "/opt/nginx/conf" nginx configuration file: "/opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf" nginx pid file: "/opt/nginx/logs/nginx.pid" nginx error log file: "/opt/nginx/logs/error.log" nginx http access log file: "/opt/nginx/logs/access.log" nginx http client request body temporary files: "client_body_temp" nginx http proxy temporary files: "proxy_temp" nginx http fastcgi temporary files: "fastcgi_temp"
To build and install nginx with the above configuration, use the following command sequence:
make make install
You will also need to create a user and group for nginx. Issue the following command to do so:
adduser --system --no-create-home --disabled-login --disabled-password --group nginx
Nginx is now installed in /opt/nginx.
When running software compiled or installed directly from sources provided by upstream developers, you are responsible for monitoring updates, bug fixes, and security issues. After becoming aware of releases and potential issues, update your software to resolve flaws and prevent possible system compromise. Monitoring releases and maintaining up to date versions of all software is crucial for the security and integrity of a system.
Please follow the announcements, lists, and RSS feeds on the following pages to ensure that you are aware of all updates to the software and can upgrade appropriately or apply patches and recompile as needed:
When upstream sources offer new releases, repeat the instructions for installing nginx, spawn-fcgi, and uWSGI, and recompile your software when needed. These practices are crucial for the ongoing security and functioning of your system.
Before we can begin to use the nginx server, we must create a means of controlling the daemon process. You can use our nginx init script to start, stop, or restart nginx. Issue the following commands to download the file, change the execution mode, and set the system to initialize nginx on boot:
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wget -O init-deb.sh http://library.linode.com/assets/1139-init-deb.sh mv init-deb.sh /etc/init.d/nginx chmod +x /etc/init.d/nginx /usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f nginx defaults
You can now start, stop, and restart nginx just like any other server daemon. For example, to start the server, issue the following command:
Congratulations! You now have a running and fully functional HTTP server powered by nginx. Continue reading our introduction to basic nginx configuration for more information about using and setting up the web server.