What is Nginx?

Nginx (engine-x) is a HTTP and reverse proxy server, which is very similar to Apache. It directs traffic to the correct location on the server based on its configuration files. Using/Installing this software does require root access to your server. Throughout this series we will go over how to install Nginx and remove Apache from your server (if it is installed by default, like our servers) as well as how to use Nginx in advanced situations, such as including Varnish.

How is Nginx different from Apache?

Nginx is an event-based web server that handles the traffic as it comes in with one process. Apache on the other hand will spawn a new process for every instance it needs to perform the same job. Also unlike Apache, Nginx will cache static content throughout your website to provide a quicker load time for your visitors.

System Requirements for Nginx

Currently Nginx is available and runs great on the following operating systems:

  • FreeBSD 9.3, 10.0 (amd64)
  • RedHat 5.9, 6.5, 7 (i386, x86_64)
  • CentOS 5.9, 6.5, 7 (i386, x86_64)
  • Debian 6, 7 (i386, x86_64)
  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, 14.10 (i386, x86_64)
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (AArch64/ARM64)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3, 12 (x86_64)
  • Amazon EC2
  • Microsoft Azure

In the next guide we will go over how to install Nginx on a VPS or Dedicated server.

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