Install and Configure Nginx on CentOS

Aug 16 2011

Nginx CentOS

Instructions on how to install and configure Nginx on CentOS.

Install EPEL Repository

If we want to use yum to install Nginx we will need to include the EPEL repository.

$ rpm -Uvh

Keep in mind, at the time of this writing, the latest EPEL release was 5-4. If you are getting any errors getting this repository, just navigate to:

in your browser and do a search for epel to find the latest version.

Install Nginx

Now install Nginx using yum

$ yum install nginx

You may be asked to install the EPEL gpg-key, if so just select the y, yes option.

warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 217521f6
Importing GPG key 0x217521F6 "Fedora EPEL <>" from /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL
Is this ok [y/N]:

Nginx Init Scripts

Once installed we will need to set up Nginx so that it automatically starts on boot.

$ chkconfig --level 2345 nginx on

You can control Nginx with the following commands

$ /etc/init.d/nginx start
$ /etc/init.d/nginx stop
$ /etc/init.d/nginx reload
$ /etc/init.d/nginx restart

You can also check current configuration with these commands:

$ /etc/init.d/nginx status
$ /etc/init.d/nginx configtest

Installing Nginx From Source

I had an issue where I had to install Nginx from source due to the kernel lacking eventfd() support. This was done quite simply. First grab the latest stable Nginx release from the main site:

Then simply run the three commands as listed on the site as well.

$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install

If you have issues running ./configure it may be because you are missing some needed packages. If you get any errors about pcre or zlib, run the following command:

$ yum install -y httpd-devel pcre perl pcre-devel zlib zlib-devel GeoIP GeoIP-devel

Then rerun the configure/make/make commands.

Now if you have already installed Nginx you may need to update the init scripts to point to the proper nginx location.

$ vi /etc/init.d/nginx

Change the nginx variable from /usr/sbin/nginx to /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx

Basic Nginx Configuration

For the most part you wont need to touch the main Nginx configuration which should be found under:

$ more /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

There is a file already created for you where you can edit your virtual host configurations.

$ vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/virtual.conf

You should see an example there that you can follow that looks something like this:

server {
     listen       8080;

     location / {
          root   html;
          index  index.html index.htm;

Keep in mind, I'm just using 8080 here because I already have Apache running on port 80, this port can be changed to anything including the standard HTTP port 80. Now just make sure your server is running:

$ service nginx start

And navigate to, where you should see your site up and running.


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