Nginx (pronounced as Engine-x) is a high performance web server,reverse proxy, mail proxy server which was originally written by Igor Sysoev in 2005. Here we discuss about setting up a very basic nginx web server on your Linux server , capable of parsing php pages.

Installing Nginx on your Linux server

Installing nginx on your Linux server is very simple and even on the first try itself, you will not face any difficulties.

The steps that i have followed on my first nginx installation are given bellow (of course with the help of others tutorials and other resources available from net)

#(Change directory to /usr/local/src [ its a good practice to download and compile software's  from /usr/local/src ] )
cd /usr/local/src

#(download nginx source from "")

#(Extract the source file )
tar -xzf nginx-0.8.33.tar.gz
cd nginx-0.8.33

#Now configure Nginx , here we are using the 2 basic configuration options
[ --sbin-path=/usr/local/sbin #the nginx binary path ]
[ --with-http_ssl_module      #Enables https module ]

./configure --sbin-path=/usr/local/sbin --with-http_ssl_module

since you have included the –with-http_ssl_module there is a possibility of getting the following error ( at least i got this error on a fresh centos machine since no pcre libraries were pre-installed on the system)

checking for PCRE library in /usr/include/pcre/ ... not found

checking for PCRE library in /usr/pkg/ ... not found

checking for PCRE library in /opt/local/ ... not found

./configure: error: the HTTP rewrite module requires the PCRE library.

You can either disable the module by using --without-http_rewrite_module

option, or install the PCRE library into the system, or build the PCRE library

statically from the source with nginx by using --with-pcre=

If you get the above error while configuring nginx , please download pcre (Perl Compatible Regular Expressions) from “” and change the nginx configure command as given bellow

cd /usr/local/src

#(Download the pcre source file)

#(extract the file)
tar -xjf pcre-7.9.tar.bz2

cd /usr/local/src/nginx-0.8.33

Now configure nginx again with the following configuration options

./configure --sbin-path=/usr/local/sbin --with-http_ssl_module --with-pcre=/usr/local/src/pcre-7.9

The nginx configuration should now be completed with out any errors, now install nginx


make install

Nginx is now installed on your machine and you can start the nginx process using the

#[ usually nginx will be started automatically at this stage]

and to stop nginx , you can use the following command

pkill -9 nginx

If you want to use a daemon for starting and stopping nginx like we are doing in apache , please copy the following script and save this as “/etc/init.d/nginx


# nginx - this script starts and stops the nginx daemin

#chkconfig:   - 85 15
#description:  Nginx is an HTTP(S) server, HTTP(S) reverse \
              proxy and IMAP/POP3 proxy server
#processname: nginx
#config:      /usr/local/nginx/conf/nginx.conf
#pidfile:     /usr/local/nginx/logs/

#Source function library.
. /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions

#Source networking configuration.
. /etc/sysconfig/network

#Check that networking is up.
[ "$NETWORKING" = "no" ] && exit 0

prog=$(basename $nginx)



start() {
[ -x $nginx ] || exit 5
[ -f $NGINX_CONF_FILE ] || exit 6
echo -n $"Starting $prog: "
daemon $nginx -c $NGINX_CONF_FILE
[ $retval -eq 0 ] && touch $lockfile
return $retval

stop() {
echo -n $"Stopping $prog: "
killproc $prog -QUIT
[ $retval -eq 0 ] && rm -f $lockfile
return $retval

restart() {
configtest || return $?

reload() {
configtest || return $?
echo -n $"Reloading $prog: "
killproc $nginx -HUP

force_reload() {

configtest() {
$nginx -t -c $NGINX_CONF_FILE

rh_status() {
status $prog

rh_status_q() {
rh_status >/dev/null 2>&1

case "$1" in
rh_status_q && exit 0
rh_status_q || exit 0
rh_status_q || exit 7
rh_status_q || exit 0
echo $"Usage: $0
exit 2

You can also download the above script from our server using the following method

wget -O /etc/init.d/nginx

Which will download the file from our server and will save it to /etc/init.d/nginx

Change the file permission to 755

 chmod 755 /etc/init.d/nginx

Now you can use the downloaded nginx daemon script to start and stop nginx server

  /etc/init.d/nginx start ( To start the web server)

  /etc/init.d/nginx stop   ( To stop the web server)

Now if you enter your server ip on the browser , you will see a page, which is the default page for nginx

Now you need the nginx to parse php pages so that you can host your php pages on this nginx server ,for that we need to install a fastcgi process manager on our server



The typical nginx configuration involves using spawn-fcgi from the Lighttpd project to get nginx serving up PHP. There are a few issues with spawn-fcg like the spawn-fcgi hangs after a few hours. So here we will use the php-fpm (php fastcgi process manager) which is actually a set of patches to php for an alternative fastcgi-process manager which can be safely used in busy sites with out having the fear of hang issues or crash issues.

More details about php-fpm can be found on “”

Installing PHP-FPM



Download the php source from “”

 cd /usr/local/src

wget [here we are using php-5.2.8 , if you want to use higher versions of php , then you need to use the corresponding php-fpm version]

 tar -xjf php-5.2.8.tar.bz2

Download the php-fpm package from ""


 gzip -cd php-5.2.8-fpm-0.5.10.diff.gz | sudo patch -d php-5.2.8 -p1 ( patching the php
source )

cd php-5.2.8

configuring php

./configure --enable-fastcgi --enable-fpm --with-mcrypt --enable-mbstring --with-
mysql=/usr/include /mysql --with-mysql-sock=/tmp/mysql.sock --with-curl --with-sockets --with-gd --with-zlib --with-iconv --with-jpeg-dir=/usr/lib


make install

Now open the php-fpm.conf in your favourite text editior (here we use vi)

vi /usr/local/etc/php-fpm.conf

Search for “Unix group of processes” and ” Unix user of processes” and add the user nobody as given bellow [by default nobody will be the user and group given in the conf, and you will only be required to un comment the following lines on the conf]

Unix user of processes

Unix group of processes

please note that the nobody user is the nginx user mentioned in your nginx conf , please refer your nginx conf to verify this now go to your nginx default document root

 cd /usr/local/nginx/html

now please create a phpinfo( ) page and save it as index.php

now open the nginx.conf and add these lines to the configuration

location ~ \.php$ {
root          /usr/local/nginx/html; # The directory on which the php pages are placed
fastcgi_index  index.php;
fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  /usr/local/nginx/html$fastcgi_script_name;
include        fastcgi_params;

Usually the above lines will be present in the nginx conf by default itself, you just need to un comment the above lines from your nginx conf .Also if you get a “NO INPUT” message on the browser , please make sure that the path given in the nginx conf(/usr/local/nginx/html), are correct. That is on the following 2 lines

root          /usr/local/nginx/html;
fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  /usr/local/nginx/html$fastcgi_script_name

now restart nginx and start php-fpm

 /etc/init.d/nginx restart

php-fpm start

you can verify that your php-fpm is running by the following netstat command

netstat -pant |grep 9000  //the php-fpm runs on the port 9000 and from the nginx we transfer the request to this port internally

Now enter your ipaddres/index.php on your browser

please replace your-ip-address with your ip address

which will show the php info page like the one given bellow.

By following the above steps you will be able to setup a basic nginx web server that is capable of parsing php pages within few minutes

If you face any difficulties in setting up an nginx server using the above methods , please let us know that

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Installing Nginx with PHP-FPM on a Linux server, 9.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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