Book Image

Nginx HTTP Server, Third Edition

By : Clement Nedelcu
Book Image

Nginx HTTP Server, Third Edition

By: Clement Nedelcu

Overview of this book

Nginx is a lightweight HTTP server designed for high-traffic websites, with network scalability as the primary objective. With the advent of high speed Internet access, short loading times and fast transfer rates have become a necessity. This free, open source solution will either come as a full replacement of other software such as Apache, or stand in front of your existing infrastructure to improve its overall speed. This book is a detailed guide to setting up Nginx in different ways that correspond to actual production situations: as a standalone server, as a reverse proxy, interacting with applications via FastCGI, and more. In addition, this complete directive reference will be your best friend at all stages of the configuration and maintenance processes. This book is the perfect companion for both Nginx beginners and experienced administrators. For beginners, it will take you through the complete process of setting up this lightweight HTTP server on your system and configuring its various modules so it does exactly what you need quickly and securely. For more experienced administrators, this book provides different approaches that can help you make the most of your current infrastructure. Nginx can be employed in many situations, whether you are looking to construct an entirely new web-serving architecture or simply want to integrate an efficient tool to optimize your site loading speeds.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Nginx HTTP Server Third Edition
About the Author
About the Reviewer

An introduction to FastCGI

Before we begin, you should know that, as the name suggests, FastCGI is actually a variation of CGI. Therefore, explaining CGI first is in order. The improvements introduced by FastCGI are detailed in the following sections.

Understanding the CGI mechanism

The original purpose of a web server was merely to respond to requests from clients by serving the files located on a storage device. The client sends a request to download a file, the server processes the request and sends the appropriate response: 200 OK if the file can be served normally, 404 if the file was not found, and other variants.

This mechanism has been in use since the beginning of the World Wide Web. However, as stated before, static websites are being progressively abandoned at the expense of dynamic ones that contain scripts which are processed by applications such as PHP and Python among others. The web-serving mechanism thus evolved into the following:

When a client attempts to visit a dynamic page...