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Nginx is a lightweight Web server that powers about 33% of Web servers across all domains. Unless you have specific requirements that demand a heavy Web server like Apache, you are much better off using Nginx.

Below are instructions on how to get Joomla! running with PHP FastCGI Example.

Install Nginx[edit]

For Ubuntu, run aptitude install Nginx. For other distributions, run the corresponding package manager or see the Nginx Install page.

Install PHP FastCGI[edit]

For Ubuntu, read PHP FastCGI Example.

For Gentoo, PHP will run as a FastCGI service (FPM), so the Nginx server will run PHP as a separate process:

# echo "dev-lang/php gd gd2 curl simplexml tokenizer dom tidy sqlite xml fpm cgi" >> /etc/portage/package.use
# emerge php

The default settings of PHP-FPM are good for most servers. For special configurations, visit the PHP FPM site.

Configure Nginx[edit]

Nginx configuration files reside in:

  • /etc/nginx/sites-available/ on Ubuntu (for sites running on that Nginx instance)
  • /etc/nginx/nginx.conf on Gentoo and Raspbian (Debian optimized for Raspberry Pi)

Here is an sample Nginx configuration file, joomla.conf, that you can reuse over all your Nginx enabled-sites.

server {
  listen 80;
    server_name YOUR_DOMAIN;
    server_name_in_redirect off;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/localhost.access_log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/localhost.error_log info;

    root PATH_ON_SERVER;
    index index.php index.html index.htm default.html default.htm;

    # Support API
    location /api/ {
	try_files $uri $uri/ /api/index.php?$args;

    # Support Clean (aka Search Engine Friendly) URLs
    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;

    # add global x-content-type-options header
    add_header X-Content-Type-Options nosniff;

    # deny running scripts inside writable directories
    location ~* /(images|cache|media|logs|tmp)/.*\.(php|pl|py|jsp|asp|sh|cgi)$ {
        return 403;
        error_page 403 /403_error.html;

    location ~ \.php$ {
      fastcgi_index index.php;
      include fastcgi_params;
      fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
      include /etc/nginx/fastcgi.conf;

    # caching of files 
    location ~* \.(ico|pdf|flv)$ {
        expires 1y;

    location ~* \.(js|css|png|jpg|jpeg|gif|swf|xml|txt)$ {
        expires 14d;


Pay attention to a few things:

  1. The parameter fastcgi_pass is set to, corresponding to the port that FPM is configured to listen to. This means you can run the PHP processes on separate servers. On Gentoo, you can find this configuration in the /etc/php/fpm-php5.3/php-fpm.conf/ file.
  2. Don't forget to replace YOUR_DOMAIN & PATH_ON_SERVER above depending on your domain and the path of Joomla on your server.

GZip Support[edit]

If you need GZip compression support, add the following section to the http section of the main Nginx configuration file:

gzip on;
gzip_http_version 1.1;
gzip_comp_level 6;
gzip_min_length 1100;
gzip_buffers 4 8k;
gzip_types text/plain application/xhtml+xml text/css application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript application/javascript application/x-javascript
gzip_proxied any;
gzip_disable "MSIE [1-6]\.";