Nginx overview


Nginx (pronounced engine-x) is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server. It's known for its high performance, stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption.

Nginx powers several high-visibility sites, such as Netflix, Hulu, Pinterest, Cloudflare, Airbnb,, GitHub, SoundCloud, Zynga, Eventbrite, Zappos, Heroku, RightScale, Engine Yard, and MaxCDN

View the following article for further details:

Nginx is available on DreamHost VPS plans as an optional web server to run your sites.

Nginx at DreamHost

All DreamHost VPS plans use Apache by default instead of Nginx. This is because Apache supports a larger toolbox of things it can do immediately and is probably the most compatible across all web software out there today.

However, Nginx is a very good choice in cases where you have a site that gets large volumes of traffic and is running into performance/memory issues on a VPS. A server running Nginx serves your site faster while using less memory than Apache. This lets you handle a much larger amount of traffic more gracefully than Apache would. For a more detailed look at this, visit the Web Server Performance Comparison page:

Nginx version

To find the version of Nginx currently installed, run the following:

[server]$ /usr/sbin/nginx -v

Gzip compression

By default, gzip compression is enabled on your Nginx server. Follow these steps to disable gzip compression:

  1. View the Local configuration files article to create your local /nginx/ directory.
  2. Create a file named settings.conf in this /nginx/ directory.
  3. Add the following content:
    gzip off;
  4. Make sure to reload Nginx for the changes to take effect.

There are additional gzip compression options you can set that are all detailed at the following link:

Nginx configurations for common applications

Many web applications such as WordPress and MediaWiki are originally configured to work with Apache. Since .htaccess files are not supported with Nginx, there are some adjustments you must make in order to get your applications running properly.

See also

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