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Nginx (pronounced "engine X") written by Igor Sysoev (Russia) in 2005, is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3 proxy server. According to the May 2010 Web Server Survey, Nginx now hosts nearly 6.55% of all domains worldwide, while lighttpd hosts about 0.91%. Nginx is now well known for its stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption.


The nginx package is now in the [community] repository, the latest stable version is nginx-0.7.67:

 # pacman -S nginx

Or, you can compile and install the latest development version with ABS.

Starting service

Check that /etc/rc.d/nginx has this line correct:


Then, run:

 # /etc/rc.d/nginx start

To start the service, Nginx server should now be running.

The default served (i.e. the page served at page is:


(The Nginx package does not install a default index.html, you must create this one yourself if you wish).

After creating a /srv/http/nginx/index.html webpage, you can use this URL: to test if Nginx is working.

To enable service by default at startup just add "nginx" to the DAEMONS in the /etc/rc.conf:

DAEMONS=(syslog-ng hal .. nginx)


You can modify the configurations by editing the files in /etc/nginx/conf. (/etc/nginx/conf/nginx.conf being the main config file).

More details can be referred from Nginx Configuration Examples.

Use PHP/Python with Nginx

FastCGI technology is introduced into Nginx to work with many external tools and servers, i.e: PHP and Python. So, you cannot use PHP or Python service unless FastCGI server has been started.

PHP and Python can be run as FastCGI application and can process FastCGI requests from nginx.

FastCGI is usually faster than implementations in e.g. Apache where PHP is loaded each time, with FastCGI the script is simply passed to the PHP deamon, and the appropriate value is returned and used by Nginx.

Step 1: Start the FastCGI server

There are two different ways to run FastCGI server. It is recommended to use NginX#Method_two_.28Third-party-wrapper.29.

New method (As of PHP 5.3.3)

PHP now contains a FastCGI server spawner that takes care of everything for you.

To get started:

 $ sudo pacman -S php-fpm
 $ sudo /etc/rc.d/php-fpm start
Note: You can configure the number of servers in the pool and tweak other configuration options by editing the file Template:Filename. More details on php-fpm can be found on the php-fpm website

Old method (PHP's built-in)

Directly running PHP’s built-in FastCGI server - this method does not require any third party tools.

Archlinux's php package in the [extra] repository has already enabled FastCGI support.

For example:

 $ sudo pacman -S php php-cgi
 $ php-cgi -b &

This command sets up the local machine as a FastCGI server using port 9000.

Note: Since NginX 0.7.62, the default internal $document_root is /etc/nginx/html which is moved outside the default NginX directory and symlinked to /srv/http/nginx in the Arch package. For PHP to work with NginX 0.7.62 the open_basedir in /etc/php/php.ini has to contain the directory Filename

Below is a daemon script to be used in Template:Filename on boot to start PHP-cgi. save it as Template:Filename and add "fastcgi" to your DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf

 . /etc/rc.conf
 . /etc/rc.d/functions
 case "$1" in
 	stat_busy 'Starting Fastcgi Server'
 	if /usr/bin/php-cgi -b &
 		add_daemon fastcgi
 		stat_fail	fi
 	stat_busy 'Stopping Fastcgi Server'
 	[ -e /var/run/daemons/fastcgi ] && kill $(pidof php-cgi) &> /dev/null;
 	if [ $? -gt 0 ]; then 
 		rm_daemon fastcgi
 	$0 stop
 	$0 start
 	echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"

Method two (Third-party-wrapper)

This can be more comfortable than the first method because of increased flexibility.

There are currently three options for deploying PHP on NginX:

  • fcgi
    • Includes cgi-fcgi
  • lighttpd
    • Includes spawn-fcgi
  • PHP-FPM (Recommended: see above)

To spawn a process, issue one of the following commands (matching the package you installed):

 # cgi-fcgi -start -connect localhost:9000 /usr/bin/php-cgi
 # spawn-fcgi -a -p 9000 -C 9 -f /usr/bin/php-cgi
 # php --fpm -b
Note: You may need to edit Template:Filename at first. More details on php-fpm can be found at the php-fpm website
Note: Sometimes, you may encounter some permission issue when running some third party software to start PHP as FastCGI-server. See Nginx#Troubleshooting

Step 2: Edit /etc/nginx/conf/nginx.conf

  1. 1: Add index.php after index.htm in this line: (example below has index.php already added, you need to add it to your file manually)
location / {
      root    html;
      index   index.html index.htm index.php;
  1. 2: Un-comment these lines and edit in the file to be as follows:
 location ~ \.php$ {
      root           html;
      fastcgi_pass   unix:/var/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock;
      fastcgi_index  index.php; 
      fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  /srv/http/nginx/$fastcgi_script_name;
      include        fastcgi_params;
Note: If you are not using php-fpm, you may want to change the fastcgi_pass value to, or whichever IP and port to which your server is configured to respond. Don't forget the semicolon at the end of the line.

Step 3: Restart nginx

If NginX has been working, run:

 # /etc/rc.d/nginx restart

Edit Template:Filename,


Visit the URL: http://localhost/index.php with your browser, and you'll find PHP has worked well with NginX.

Ruby (Rack-based and Rails)

The Ruby on Rails wiki has tutorials on configuring Ruby for Nginx. It is not recommended to use FastCGI to make Nginx work with Ruby anymore, although very well possible. Nginx and Passenger are a great toolkit, and this setup is extremely easy to achieve on Arch Linux. It should be noted, however, that there are other alternatives, including Mongrel, Thin and Unicorn.

Setting up Nginx and Passenger

Install the Nginx Passenger package from AUR, and you are ready to go.

For further information on setting up Nginx with Ruby, read the Nginx part of this tutorial.

Note: With Passenger you are also able to run other Rack-based applications, including Sinatra. Note, however, that these requires a Template:Filename file in the source directory.

phpMyAdmin Setup

See the following wiki article: PhpMyAdmin#NGINX_Configuration.


  • Allow/deny visitors based on IP


  • HTTP authentication


  • HTTPS support



Accessing local IP redirects to localhost

Solution from forum.

Edit /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and locate the "server_name localhost" line without a # infront of it, and add below:

server_name_in_redirect off;

Default behavior is that nginx redirects any requests to the value given as server_name in the config.

Error: 403 (Permission error)

This is most likely a permission error. Are you sure whatever user configured in the Nginx configuration is able to read the correct files?

If the files are located within a home directory, (e.g. /home/arch/public/webapp) and you are sure the user running Nginx has the right permissions (you can temporarily chmod all the files to 777 in order to determent this), /home/arch might be chmod 750, simply chmod it to 751, and it should work.

Error: The page you are looking for is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

This is because the FastCGI server has not been started.

Error: No input file specified

Most Likely you don't have the SCRIPT_FILENAME containing the full path to you scripts. If the configuration of nginx (fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME) is all right, this kind of error means php fail to load the requestd script. Usually it's simply an permission issue, you can just run php-cgi as root

 # spawn-fcgi -a -p 9000 -f /usr/bin/php-cgi

or you should create some group and user to start the php-cgi. For instance :

 $ sudo groupadd www
 $ sudo useradd -g www www
 $ sudo chmod +w /srv/www/nginx/html
 $ sudo chown -R www:www /srv/www/nginx/html
 $ sudo spawn-fcgi -a -p 9000 -u www -g www -f /usr/bin/php-cgi

Another occasion is that, wrong "root" argument in the "location ~ \.php$" section in nginx.conf, make sure the "root" points to the same directory as it in "location /" in the same server. Or you may just set root as global, don't define it in any location section.

Also keep in mind that your php script path was defined as /srv/www/nginx/html by default using the variable "open_basedir" in /etc/php/php.ini, you can change them if you need.