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High Performance HTTP and Reverse Proxy Server

Nginx (pronounced “engine x”) is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server. Written by Igor Sysoev in 2005, Nginx now hosts between 1% and 4% of all domains worldwide (sources: 1, 2). Although still in beta, Nginx is known for its stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption.


People generally use Nginx:

  • As an Apache replacement that gracefully handles many concurrent connections: Nginx is especially popular among web hosting providers. 50,000 simultaneous connections have been reported, thanks to Nginx’s use of epoll and kqueue.

  • As a load-balancing proxy server: Nginx is a popular front-end to Rails and PHP applications, either via FastCGI or HTTP. Written in C, it consumes about a quarter of the CPU that Perlbal uses.

  • As a mail proxy server: more of a niche application, but reports great success.

  • As a server with a simple installation process, a clean configuration file, and few bugs: Nginx is easy to get running, and it almost never needs restarting. You can even upgrade the binary with zero downtime.

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