nginx

nginx


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Basic HTTP server features
Other HTTP server features
Mail proxy server features
Architecture and scalability
Tested OS and platforms

nginx [engine x] is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, as well as a mail proxy server, written by Igor Sysoev. For a long time, it has been running on many heavily loaded Russian sites including Yandex, Mail.Ru, VKontakte, and Rambler. According to Netcraft nginx served or proxied 17.82% busiest sites in April 2014. Here are some of the success stories: Netflix, Wordpress.com, FastMail.FM.

The sources and documentation are distributed under the 2-clause BSD-like license.

Basic HTTP server features

Other HTTP server features

Mail proxy server features

  • User redirection to IMAP or POP3 server using an external HTTP authentication server;
  • User authentication using an external HTTP authentication server and connection redirection to an internal SMTP server;
  • Authentication methods:
    • POP3: USER/PASS, APOP, AUTH LOGIN/PLAIN/CRAM-MD5;
    • IMAP: LOGIN, AUTH LOGIN/PLAIN/CRAM-MD5;
    • SMTP: AUTH LOGIN/PLAIN/CRAM-MD5;
  • SSL support;
  • STARTTLS and STLS support.

Architecture and scalability

  • One master and several worker processes; worker processes run under an unprivileged user;
  • Support for kqueue (FreeBSD 4.1+), epoll (Linux 2.6+), rt signals (Linux 2.2.19+), /dev/poll (Solaris 7 11/99+), event ports (Solaris 10), select, and poll;
  • The support of the various kqueue features including EV_CLEAR, EV_DISABLE (to temporarily disable events), NOTE_LOWAT, EV_EOF, number of available data, error codes;
  • sendfile (FreeBSD 3.1+, Linux 2.2+, Mac OS X 10.5+), sendfile64 (Linux 2.4.21+), and sendfilev (Solaris 8 7/01+) support;
  • File AIO (FreeBSD 4.3+, Linux 2.6.22+);
  • DIRECTIO (FreeBSD 4.4+, Linux 2.4+, Solaris 2.6+, Mac OS X);
  • Accept-filters (FreeBSD 4.1+, NetBSD 5.0+) and TCP_DEFER_ACCEPT (Linux 2.4+) support;
  • 10,000 inactive HTTP keep-alive connections take about 2.5M memory;
  • Data copy operations are kept to a minimum.

Tested OS and platforms

  • FreeBSD 3 — 10 / i386; FreeBSD 5 — 10 / amd64;
  • Linux 2.2 — 3 / i386; Linux 2.6 — 3 / amd64;
  • Solaris 9 / i386, sun4u; Solaris 10 / i386, amd64, sun4v;
  • AIX 7.1 / powerpc;
  • HP-UX 11.31 / ia64;
  • Mac OS X / ppc, i386;
  • Windows XP, Windows Server 2003.