Nginx is a free, open-source,Â high-performance HTTP server and reverseÂ proxy, as well as an IMAP/POP3Â proxy server.Â Igor Sysoev started development ofÂ Nginx in 2002, with the first public release in 2004.Â Nginx now hosts nearlyÂ 6.55% (13.5M) of all domains worldwide.
Nginx is known for itsÂ high performance, stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption.
Nginx is one of a handful of servers written to address theÂ C10K problem. Unlike traditional servers,Nginx doesnâ€™t rely on threads to handle requests. Instead it uses a much more scalable event-driven (asynchronous) architecture. This architecture uses small, but more importantly,Â predictable amounts of memory under load.
Even if you donâ€™t expect to handle thousands of simultaneous requests, you can still benefit from Nginxâ€™sÂ high-performance and small memory footprint.Â Nginx scales in all directions: from the smallest VPS all the way up to clusters of servers.Â Nginx powers severalÂ high-visibility sites, such Â as WordPress , Hulu, Github,Â Ohloh,Â SourceForgeÂ andTorrentReactor.
Basic HTTP features
- Serving static and index files, and autoindexing; open file descriptor cache;
- Accelerated reverse proxying with caching; simple load balancing and fault tolerance;
- Accelerated support with caching of remote FastCGI servers; simple load balancing and fault tolerance;
- Modular architecture. Filters include gzipping, byte ranges, chunked responses, XSLT, SSI, and image resizing filter. Multiple SSI inclusions within a single page can be processed in parallel if they are handled by FastCGI or proxied servers.
- SSL and TLS SNI support.
Other HTTP features
- Name-based and IP-based virtual servers;
- Keep-alive and pipelined connections support;
- Flexible configuration;
- Reconfiguration and online upgrade without interruption of the client processing;
- Access log formats, bufferred log writing, and quick log rotation;
- 3xx-5xx error codes redirection;
- The rewrite module;
- Access control based on client IP address and HTTP Basic authentication;
- The PUT, DELETE, MKCOL, COPY and MOVE methods;
- FLV streaming;
- Speed limitation;
- Limitation of simultaneous connections or requests from one address.
- Embedded perl.
MailÂ proxy server features
- User redirection to IMAP/POP3 backend using an external HTTP authentication server;
- User authentication using an external HTTP authentication server and connection redirection to internal SMTP backend;
- 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.