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Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (20 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849510865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849510868
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Clement Nedelcu


Clement Nedelcu was born and raised in France, and studied in U.K., French, and Chinese universities. He is now a computer science teacher at Jiangsu University of Science and Technology in Zhenjiang, a southwestern city of China. He also works as technology consultant in France, specialized in web and Microsoft .NET development as well as Linux server administration. Since 2005, he has been administering a major network of websites in his spare time. This eventually led him to discover Nginx: it made such a difference that he started his own blog about it. One thing leading to another...


The author's blog contains articles about Nginx and other web development topics.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan Lenton on 2 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nginx (pronounced as 'Engine X') is a lean, mean and fast web server. It's open source, and designed to serve pages fast. We use it as work, and, while it is not as well known as Apache, and maybe not as comprehensive, you don't need a Ph.D. in chaos theory to understand and write its configuration files!

This book is an excellent, and thorough, introduction to how to set up and use the server. Nginx is a modular server and the core modules, together with the rewrite module, the server-side include module, and the SSL module are covered in sufficient depth that anyone with a reasonable level of sysadmin knowledge would be able to set up the modules properly and safely. Other 'standard' modules are covered briefly, but third party modules are not covered at all. At first I thought that was an unfortunate omission, but on reflection, given the speed with which third party modules are developing and changing, that was probably a wise decision.

Once the author has covered all the basics there are a number of interesting and useful chapters covering other related topics. One of them covers using Fast-CGI both with Python and PHP. This is excellent, and includes a basic explanation of what CGI is and how to interface and use Nginx with the PHP-FPM and python based Django frameworks. Another chapter teaches you how to use Nginx as a reverse proxy along with Apache, and a third chapter covers the tricky business of moving your web site from Apache to Nginx.

The only weird thing about this book is the first chapter, which appears to be a potted newbie's guide to Linux system administration. I've no idea why it's there, perhaps the author's contract with the publisher specified that the book had to be over 300 pages long?
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Format: Paperback
Nginx HTTP Server was such an amazing read I can't stop singing it's praises. This book is a must read for any and all perspective users of Linux based web servers not just Nginx.

The introduction of this book gives you a bit of background on Linux server administration although it does not go into details. After reading this you will know enough to run a Linux server with no problems. It moves on giving you as much detail as possible for the installation process and getting it set up for basic use.

The book covers everything you need to know about the http and other modules you might want to use from SSI to ssl and others.

The later chapters cover all the information you might need when setting up a web server to use Fast-CGI with PHP or python. It even covers a small section of setting up Nginx to work with Django.

The final chapters cover the use of Apache and Nginx together if you are used to a current Apache architecture and you feel you are more comfortable with it.

Even the appendices have great information in them, giving you a nice and complete summery of all the directives and modules for reference and even a troubleshooting section.

In all I can recommend this book to anyone that is planning on managing a web server and I would say this is a must read for anyone that is looking into managing a high traffic site or are looking to upgrade a current high traffic site.
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By Marcus on 13 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clement has written an excellent user guide for Nginx. I am a bit of a newcomer, but I find the book very well structured and presented, and abundant in detail. I am still working through it, but I feel anybody sitting on the fence should probably give this book serious consideration.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The only book I have seen on the topic 14 Aug. 2010
By M. Helmke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I started using Nginx as my primary web server a little over 18 months ago. At the time, I was using an underpowered server with low memory, and I wanted to replace Apache with something lighter. Even though I still love Apache for its power, configurability, and contributions to the open source world, there are times when other options are called for.

Nginx is an http server written in Russia intended for high traffic websites with a mind toward network scalability. It also works great as a lightweight replacement for Apache on my little server with 256MB RAM and one processor (that has since been upgraded, but I didn't switch back). Even the day I had a post on the front page of of a popular social networking website, my little server withstood the onslaught without crashing.

The hard part of making the switch was finding documentation. As Nginx was birthed in Russia, I presume good documentation may be found in Russian, but since I don't know the language that doesn't help me. Finding documentation in English was a chore. Simple things were available at the main Nginx website and wiki (which have also grown and improved over time), but I had a difficult time finding detailed information about specific things I needed, such as translating Apache 301 rewrite rules into a format that would work in Nginx so that I could continue to use WordPress with pretty URLs.

Nginx HTTP Server is the first English book I have seen that compiles quality documentation and instruction for using Nginx. I'm glad it exists. The information is current, detailed, and clear.

Some of the topics in the book seem to me to be a bit odd for a text on the topic. There is a whole chapter dedicated to basic Linux shell commands and administration. Perhaps this will be useful for some, but I would imagine most people interested in Nginx will already know the topic. The second chapter discusses downloading source code, configuring, and installing the traditional way along with writing up a SysV init script for the service. I think that is good information to include. Strangely missing is information about installing Nginx from Linux distribution repositories, which is far easier, especially for the presumed newbies who needed the first chapter on shell commands.

The real value of this book is in chapters 3 - 8. Here we dive deep into configuration options, file syntax, modules, variables and more. We learn how to set up PHP and Python with Nginx, which will make hosting most popular website software like WordPress, vBulletin, or anything built with Django fairly simple. Also discussed are similar methods of enabling other languages and platforms like Perl or Ruby on Rails.

The last two chapters are great for people coming over from Apache. One discusses how to use Nginx as a front end proxy to speed up a website running Apache. The other discusses how to make a full switch. Both include great comparisons and honest discussions of the strengths and differences between Apache and Nginx, including some good advice about when one may be a better choice than the other.

I have a lot of good things to say about this book, and I'm glad it exists. It will remain on my shelf as a useful reference for specific modules and configuration details that are not committed to memory. Comparing its contents to what I already know of Nginx, I believe the book to be technically accurate and current.

The book does have one glaring weakness, though. The quality of the writing is inconsistent. Most of the time, the text is adequately clear and communicates well. However, there is an annoying tendency throughout the book toward awkward grammar and odd phrasing, perhaps as often as one occurrence every two or three pages. This tells me two things: the book was probably written by someone who is not a native English speaker, which is not a big deal at all, and that the copy editing and proofreading was weak, which is a major failing. The initial cringe-worthy portion occurs in the very first paragraph of the Preface:

"...for the past few month the same reports reveal the rise of a new competitor: Nginx, a lightweight HTTP server originating from Russia--pronounced "engine X". There have been many interrogations surrounding the pronounced newborn. Why has the blogosphere become so effervescent about it?"

Packt Publishing generally releases books on technology that are current and contain accurate information. The company focuses their efforts on very narrow, niche topics that they alone offer, and I like that. They also have a disappointing habit of being filled with this sort of writing. This book is no exception. Since, like many of their offerings, this is the only book on a topic that is interesting and useful to a specific group of people, I can't help but recommend that people using or wanting to use Nginx take a look at the book. Still, I would love to see the language of their books rise to the level of their technical content. This would allow me a clearer conscience in recommending their products.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Missing some key details 20 Aug. 2010
By DBanks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because it is the only reference book I could find that is dedicated to nginx. The first two chapters (about 1/4 of the pages) are dedicated to general operating system-related content. While I'm sure that some readers will appreciate the ability to start at the ground floor and build up to a working nginx installation, I would have preferred to have those extra pages dedicated to nginx-specific issues.

One of the features of nginx is its extensibility via add-in modules. Many modules come with the nginx package, and others are available from 3rd parties. I was disappointed at how brief the content was in relation to modules that are included in the base package. I'd be understanding if the book lightly touched on 3rd party modules, but there are significant feature additions that are covered in less than 1/2 page each.

Also, details on nginx configuration directives were sparse in some instances. A one sentence description of a directive may suffice for someone that has a basic working knowledge of a subject, but more details would be a great addition for a book that claims to address both beginners and experienced users.

Overall, the book answered some of my questions, but leaves me with many unanswered ones. Alas, the reason I purchased the book was because online reference materials were somewhat disjointed and brief. I had hoped for the book to be superior to the information I could find online. Instead, the book is on-par with the info that I could find myself. While it's nice to have it all in one place, it's not worth ~$40 for that convenience, in my opinion.

The editors pledge to answer questions not addressed by the book, so I've dropped them a note. I'll follow up when they respond.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great coverage 27 Oct. 2010
By Y. Maman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book a great companion to the nginx wiki. It's structured with starting small (getting to know the server) and building toward something great (running fastcgi applications like django, wordpress...) .

While I agree with the others that the first two chapters seemed disconnected in the sense that they were more intro to linux administration than they were specific to nginx, it was not a big deal. First, it was just those chapters and once we start with the nginx chapters, the content is rich there. Second, it was nice to see validation and some variation on how another fellow site admin does things.

I found the explanations of the various nginx directives to be great. I liked the format of context (where you can put them), explanation (what the directive does) and examples (various useful examples). The parts on the rewrite module were great to get the hang of how the redirects work and how to adapt rewrites from apache.

I also liked the authoritative stances that he takes. Like php-fpm (the fastcgi solution that became included with php 5.3.3) being "currently acknowledged to be the most efficient solution in terms of features and performance" (page 207). It gave me confidence to want to try it. Between the book's explanations and the wiki's recipes I was able to get an nginx based Drupal 6 install running off php-fpm on my Ubuntu box. A hint, if you're compiling your own nginx, include the separate 'echo' module so that you can see the values of the variables provided by nginx. See the nginx wiki for installing that module.

The writing is pretty clear and I heartily recommend this to anyone like me who's put off learning nginx until a good book has come out on it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great for all levels of experience 18 Mar. 2011
By Kevin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent for pretty much anyone who wants to learn how to setup and configure an Nginx server. At the time of this review, Nginx is still in "nerd territory", where it seems like providing coherent instructions and explanations of how to work with it are frowned upon ("No! If you tell everybody how to use it, it won't be cool anymore!"). It has a huge community, however, user-friendly documentation is severely lacking . This book single-handedly rectifies that.

I'm a computer science graduate who is proficient in several programming languages, but never was interested in setting up a server until now. This book literally walks you through all the steps necessary in order to be able to do that and configure it. The author was even nice enough to include a chapter on how to use the UNIX command line, so even if you've never dealt with anything but a GUI before, you'll be up to speed by the time it walks you through installing Nginx. By the time you finish the book, you'll more-or-less know most of what you need to know about Nginx (from it's design (and why it was designed that way), to simple setups, to advanced setups, to even suggested configurations for powerful machines).

As far as the actual writing, I thought the English in this book was fine (and this is coming from a grammar-Nazi). If something I'm reading does not make sense, I'll read it several times until it does, then note what an author could have done to phrase it better. I could count the number of times that I had to do that for this book on one hand. So not only do I not agree with the reviews criticizing the English, but I'll go as far to say that the writing style of the author was very clear, and beginner-friendly.

Right now, there are only two ways to learn Nginx. The first way is to scour the internet for all articles that contain the word "Nginx", subscribe to the mailing list (and hope somebody answers your "newbie" questions), and read the relatively weak wiki. The second way is to get this book, and I guarentee you it's the better way. An experienced server administrator did all of the "first way" 's work for you and compiled it in to a piece of work that you won't regret reading if you're interested in Nginx
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nginx and Webserver Introduction 19 Mar. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nginx HTTP Server was such an amazing read I can't stop singing it's praises. This book is a must read for any and all perspective users of Linux based web servers not just Nginx.

The introduction of this book gives you a bit of background on Linux server administration although it does not go into details. After reading this you will know enough to run a Linux server with no problems. It moves on giving you as much detail as possible for the installation process and getting it set up for basic use.

The book covers everything you need to know about the http and other modules you might want to use from SSI to ssl and others.

The later chapters cover all the information you might need when setting up a web server to use Fast-CGI with PHP or python. It even covers a small section of setting up Nginx to work with Django.

The final chapters cover the use of Apache and Nginx together if you are used to a current Apache architecture and you feel you are more comfortable with it.

Even the appendices have great information in them, giving you a nice and complete summery of all the directives and modules for reference and even a troubleshooting section.

In all I can recommend this book to anyone that is planning on managing a web server and I would say this is a must read for anyone that is looking into managing a high traffic site or are looking to upgrade a current high traffic site.
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