Home Server Add nginx Web Server



07-Jan-2012: initial release.
14-Jan-2012: added gzip compression.
27-Feb-2012: added some php-fpm tuning information.
22-Aug-2012: updated to new configuration files.
04-Jan-2013: adjusted for Slackware.
19-Apr-2015: adjusted for LXC.



This article describes how to install virtual web servers using Nginx, PHP and MySQL. PHP and Nginx will be installed on this DMZ server, but MySQL should already be running on the Home Server host. When MySQL runs on the host, you can safely use phpmyadmin on the host because it won’t be available from the Internet, only from within your network. Using only one MySQL installation saves system resources. By mounting /var/run/mysql from the host we can use the MySQL server using the standard socket as if MySQL is running on the web server. And, this is a whole lot faster then connecting to the MySQL server using the network.

Virtual web hosting for IPv4 is name based only, in general you will have to share just one public IPv4 address. For IPv6 we have so many available IPv6 addresses that we will give each virtual server it’s own IPv6 address.



Install php from the standard Slackware distribution. Build and install the nginx package using Slackbuild scripts. The php-fpm manager is included in Slackware distributions since version 14.0. If you have an older release you need to rebuild the php package to enable php-fpm support. There already is an article about the nginx web server setup, so look there for the details.

In many examples you find on the Internet php-fpm listens to port 9000 on localhost, but it is better to use a socket connection. In /etc/php-fpm.conf set:

listen = /var/lib/php/php-fpm-www.sock


In /etc/nginx/nginx.conf set the upstream backend section to:

# Upstream to abstract backend connection(s) for PHP.
upstream php {
#   server;
    server          unix:/var/lib/php/php-fpm-www.sock;


Here are the changes in the configuration of /etc/php-fpm/php-fpm.conf:

root@nginx:/etc/php-fpm# diff -u php-fpm.conf php-fpm.conf.default 
--- php-fpm.conf 2014-12-19 19:10:36.000000000 +0100
+++ php-fpm.conf.default 2014-12-22 21:39:06.000000000 +0100
@@ -156,8 +156,7 @@
 ; specific port;
 ; '/path/to/unix/socket' - to listen on a unix socket.
 ; Note: This value is mandatory.
-;listen =
-listen = /var/lib/php/php-fpm-www.sock
+listen =
 ; Set listen(2) backlog.
 ; Default Value: 128 (-1 on FreeBSD and OpenBSD)
@@ -168,8 +167,8 @@
 ; BSD-derived systems allow connections regardless of permissions. 
 ; Default Values: user and group are set as the running user
 ; mode is set to 0660
-listen.owner = apache
-listen.group = apache
+;listen.owner = apache
+;listen.group = apache
 ;listen.mode = 0660
 ; List of ipv4 addresses of FastCGI clients which are allowed to connect.



CGI scripts.

If you have a site with static content and some CGI scripts, you need to build and install the fcgiwrap, fcgi and spawn-fcgi packages. In /etc/fcgiwrap.conf you can choose between a socket or a TCP connection to communicate between nginx and the fcgiwrap program.

To start fcgiwrap automatic at boot, use pkgtool to enable fcgiwrap.



Configure nginx.

All the configuration files are in the directory /etc/nginx/conf, you only need to edit nginx.conf:

# /etc/nginx/conf/nginx.conf at nginx.wpl.uk
worker_processes  1;

events {
    worker_connections  64;
    accept_mutex_delay  50ms;

http {
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;
    charset       utf-8;

    log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
                      '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                      '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    sendfile            on;
    keepalive_timeout   300 300;
    gzip                on;
    gzip_comp_level     1;
    gzip_min_length     100;
    gzip_vary           on;
    gzip_proxied        expired no-cache no-store private auth;
    gzip_types          text/plain text/css application/x-javascript text/xml ap
plication/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;
    gzip_disable        "MSIE [1-6]\.";

    # Upstream to abstract backend connection(s) for PHP.
    upstream php {
        server          unix:/var/lib/php/php-fpm-www.sock;
    upstream cgi {

    # Virtual host server www is a simple static server.
    server {
        listen default_server;
        listen          [2001:1af8:fecf:7ea2::200]:80;
        server_name     www.wpl.uk;
        root            /srv/http/www;
        access_log      logs/www_access.log;
        error_log       logs/www_error.log;

        location / {
            index       index.html;

    # Virtual host server 2 is a SSI site with CGI includes.
    server {
        listen          [2001:1af8:fecf:7ea2::201]:80;
        server_name     server2.wpl.uk;
        root            /srv/http/server2;
        access_log      logs/server2_access.log;
        error_log       logs/server2_error.log;

        location / {
            index       index.html index.shtml;
            ssi         on;

        # CGI scripts
        location ~ ^/cgi-bin/.*\.cgi$ {
            gzip        off;
            fastcgi_pass cgi;
            include     fastcgi_params;

    # Virtual host server3 is a PHP application.
    server {
        listen          [2001:1af8:fecf:7ea2::202]:80;
        server_name     server3.wpl.uk;
        root            /srv/http/server3;
        access_log      logs/server3_access.log main;
        error_log       logs/server3_error.log;

        location / {
            index       index.php;

        location ~ \.php$ {
            fastcgi_pass   php;
            include        fastcgi.conf;


This example shows three virtual servers, a static server, a SSI with CGI server and a PHP application server. Start nginx and test if everything works:

root@nginx:~# chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.php-fpm
root@nginx:~# /etc/rc.d/rc.php-fpm start
Starting php-fpm  done
root@nginx:~# /etc/rc.d/init.d/fcgiwrap start 
Starting fcgiwrap for user: apache 
root@nginx:~# chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.httpd
root@nginx:~# mkdir -p /srv/http/htdocs/
root@nginx:~# /etc/rc.d/rc.httpd start
Starting Nginx server daemon...




See the download page for the script and configuration files.