Configuring nginx server on unix systems hosted on Digitalocean

<strong>Digitalocean</strong> offers several virtual machines we can use. Most popular and user-friendly one is Ubuntu, and is especially preferred by developers who are used to work with it. On another hand, it is important to note that <strong>nginx</strong> can achieve its best performance only on unix-based systems, due to memory optimization and kernel architecture. Our challenge is to solve the configuration of a nginx server on Digitalocean, while noting the diferences between Apache and nginx configuration.
1 answer

Configuration solution for nginx on ubuntu

First, we need to select the Ubuntu as the image on our server.
After installing Ubuntu, we need to configure DNS on out domain. In case our domain is, we need to point it's DNS settings to Digitalocean's server. At our domain registrar, we point our domain to:

    • After configuring the DNS, we need to connect to our server with SSH command in terminal
    • ssh -p definedport
    • After we are asked for the password, we will access our remote server.
      When connected to the remote server, first thing we need to do is aces superuser privilege and instal nginx. We do it with the following command:

    • sudo apt-get install nginx
    • After this step, nginx will be installed but not running. In order to start the nginx service, we type into the terminal

    • sudo service nginx start
    • Our nginx is now up and running. Now we need to create a virtual host and a folder which will contain our file. We do it wit the command

    • sudo mkdir -p /var/www/
    • We need to change the permissions, so that everyone can read our files, but only root use can modify them. We do it with chmod command:

    • sudo chmod 755 /var/www
    • Nginx by default looks for the index.html file which we need to create, and put some content in it:

    • sudo nano /var/www/
    • Now we need to create our virtual host file in nginx's site-available folder

    • sudo cp /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-available/
    • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/
    • Now we have our configuration opened in a tex editor, with some default values. Our new server requires the following configuration:

      server {
      listen 80; ## this is default HTTP port

      root /var/www/;
      index index.html index.htm index.php; ##this is the list of files nginx will search for

      # Make site accessible from http://localhost/

      Now we save it and exit. We need to draw a parallel from available to enabled sites, so we do it with

    • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
    • In the final step, we need to restart our nginx server to apply changes. We do it with

    • sudo service nginx restart
    • .
      At this point, our site should be up and running.
      From what is seen here, configuring nginx is even easier in the beginning than configuring Apache.
      For sites with a lot of workload and if we pay attention to our resources, it is a much better choice than Apache.