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NGINX(8) System Manager's Manual NGINX(8)

nginxHTTP and reverse proxy server, mail proxy server

nginx [-?hqtuVv] [-c file] [-g directives] [-p prefix] [-s signal]

nginx (pronounced “engine x”) is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, as well as a mail proxy server. It is known for its high performance, stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption.

The options are as follows:

Print help.
Use an alternative configuration file.
Set global configuration directives. See EXAMPLES for details.
Set the prefix path. The default value is /var/www.
Suppress non-error messages during configuration testing.
Send a signal to the master process. The argument signal can be one of: stop, quit, reopen, reload. The following table shows the corresponding system signals.

Don't run, just test the configuration file. nginx checks the configuration file syntax and then tries to open any files referred to in the configuration file.
By default nginx will chroot(2) to the home directory of the user running the daemon, typically “www”, or to the home directory of user in nginx.conf. The -u option disables this behaviour, and returns nginx to the original "unsecure" behaviour.
Print the nginx version, compiler version, and configure script parameters.
Print the nginx version.

The master process of nginx can handle the following signals.

Shut down quickly.
Reload configuration, start the new worker process with a new configuration, and gracefully shut down old worker processes.
Shut down gracefully.
Reopen log files.
Upgrade the nginx executable on the fly.
Shut down worker processes gracefully.

While there's no need to explicitly control worker processes normally, they support some signals too:

Shut down quickly.
Shut down gracefully.
Reopen log files.

To enable a debugging log, reconfigure nginx to build with debugging:

./configure --with-debug ...

and then set the debug level of the error_log:

error_log /path/to/log debug;

It is also possible to enable the debugging for a particular IP address:

events {

Contains the process ID of nginx. The contents of this file are not sensitive, so it can be world-readable.
The main configuration file.
Error log file.

The nginx utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

Test configuration file ~/mynginx.conf with global directives for PID and quantity of worker processes:

nginx -t -c ~/mynginx.conf \
	-g "pid /var/run/; worker_processes 2;"


Documentation at For questions and technical support, please refer to

Development of nginx started in 2002, with the first public release on October 4, 2004.

Igor Sysoev <>.

This manual page was written by Sergey A. Osokin <> as a result of compiling many nginx documents from all over the world.

January 27, 2014 OpenBSD-5.6