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Nginx Quickstart

By Ajin Asokan in Blog . 6 min read
May 30, 2018

In my opinion Nginx is the most useful and configurable server engine. It feels very light but you can make it work like different server components - web server, proxy, load balancer etc. This is a quick start to setup Nginx in a linux machine.

Install

Just run:

sudo apt-get install nginx

And verify:

sudo nginx -v

Basic stuff

Starting:

sudo service nginx start

Restarting:

sudo service nginx reload

Checking status:

sudo service nginx status

Configuration

After installation you can find the server configuration in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.

A few important keys are:

worker_processes - No of Nginx workers. Usually this will be set as no of cores of CPU available.

worker_connections - No of connections a single worker should handle at a time.

server - Configuration for one host and port. It has following sub keys:

upstream - details about the remote servers Nginx might proxy to

Static file server

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name www.ajinasokan.com ajinasokan.com
    root /var/www/html/ajinasokan.com;
    index index.html

    location / {
        alias /var/www/html/ajinasokan.com;
        try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
    }
}

Proxy

upstream myremoteserver {
    server 10.10.20.130
}

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name www.ajinasokan.com ajinasokan.com
    root /var/www/html/ajinasokan.com;
    index index.html

    location / {
        proxy_set_header   Host             $host:$server_port;
        proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP        $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For  $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://myremoteserver/;
    }
}

Load balancing

upstream myremoteserver {
    server 10.10.20.130
    server 10.10.20.131
    server 10.10.20.132
    server 10.10.20.133
}

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name www.ajinasokan.com ajinasokan.com
    root /var/www/html/ajinasokan.com;
    index index.html

    location / {
        proxy_set_header   Host             $host:$server_port;
        proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP        $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For  $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://myremoteserver/;
    }
}

Troubleshooting

Nginx error logs can be found in: /var/log/nginx/nginx_error.log

And access logs can be found in: /var/log/nginx/nginx_access.log

If you are on Mac then logs are in: /usr/local/var/log/nginx