Book Review: Mastering NGINX

Mastering Nginx
by Dimitri Aivaliotis

Chapter 1 – Installing Nginx and Third party modules

This is a first step you need to do before doing any nginx things.
It’s includes the most easiest way to install nginx a.k.a installing from package manager for major distro.

  • apt-get for debian
  • yum for redhat
  • pkg_install for freebsd

And also step by step to make a custom install of nginx a.k.a compiling from source.

Chapter 2 – A configuration guide

Here’s the most important parts of nginx. The configurations.
The author writes in an easy to follow, where this is the most complicated part for beginner.

Chapter 3 – Using the mail module

Proxying mail service with nginx is one of nginx features. Eventhough I never use nginx with mail proxying, the author write clearly and easy to understand so I can imagine how it works.

In the end of chapter, there’s a sample of authentication program to use with mail proxy using ruby programming language.

Chapter 4 – NGINX as a Reverse Proxy

Reverse proxy is also a killer feature of nginx. Here’s alot example with various backends such as apache and memcache.

Chapter 5 – Reverse Proxy Advanced Topics

Here, an advanced use of nginx as reverse proxy is discussed.
Nginx as ssl-accelerator, security based on ip address, fine tuning reverse proxy and caching.

Chapter 6 – The NGINX HTTP Server

HTTP Server is the core of nginx function. A detailed discussion about nginx as http server.

Chapter 7 – NGINX for the Developer

Eventough the title says “for the Developer”, its helped me alot as a sysadmin to configure the behaviour of nginx. For example, the caching is discussed more detail in this chapter, how caching helps legacy applications.

Some important discussion are caching on memcache, caching on static files, changing content on-the-fly, SSI and generating secure links.

Chapter 8 – Troubleshooting techniques

This is what I love about this book. Here discussed how to troubleshoot most common error and common mistakes on configuring nginx.

The most simple troubleshoot is look at the log files, here explained inside-out about an error on log-files. Also there’s an advanced logging to make our lives as sysadmin easier. And some tips and trick about operating systems specific limits.


For me, this book is helped me alot how to configure and troubleshoot an nginx configuration. This book is suitable for newbie and advanced nginx users. What I loved most of this book is  Appendix A: Directive Reference and Appendix B: Rewrite Rule Guide, it helps me alot on explanation of a directives and what is the default entry of that directive.

Overall, this book is a great books. The author is well written this book. You should buy this book if you serious onto nginx configuration.

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