How to Install Nginx and configure it in Ubuntu server?

Sulav Jung Hamal - Blog - 2024/02/24 -

How to Install Nginx and configure it in Ubuntu server?


Nginx is a powerful web server and reverse proxy that is widely used for hosting websites and web applications. In this tutorial, we'll guide you through the process of installing Nginx on an Ubuntu server and configuring it to serve web content.

Step 1: Update Package Index

Before installing any new software, it's a good practice to update the local package index to ensure you have the latest information about available packages. Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt update

Step 2: Install Nginx

Once the package index is updated, you can install Nginx by running the following command:

sudo apt install nginx

This command will download and install Nginx and its dependencies.

Step 3: Start Nginx

After the installation is complete, Nginx should start automatically. You can verify its status by running:

sudo systemctl status nginx

If Nginx is running, you should see output indicating that it's active and running.

If not, you can always start the Nginx by:

sudo systemctl start nginx

Step 4: Verify Installation

You can now verify that Nginx is installed and running correctly by opening your web browser and navigating to your server's public IP address. You should see the default Nginx welcome page, indicating that Nginx is functioning properly.


Step 5: Serve your web app

Now that Nginx is installed and running on your Ubuntu server, you can serve your web application using Nginx.

By default, Nginx serves files from the /var/www/html directory. You can place your website files in this directory to serve them through Nginx. You should now go ahead and create a folder in this location /var/www/ with the name of your application. You can use such commands to do that.

sudo mv /path/to/the/build/folder /var/www/todotoday

#Check if all the files exist there.
cd /var/www/todotoday

Step 6: Configure Nginx sites-enabled

Now, go ahead and configure Nginx to serve different websites by creating server blocks in the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ directory.

#Create a new todotoday file in that location.
sudo vi /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/todotoday

Now, have these information inside that file.

# Don't forget to delete all the comment.
server {
      listen 80;				#Port that is open from the AWS.
      listen [::]:80;

      server_name publicIpOfUbuntuServer;  #Public IP from the AWS

      root /var/www/todotoday;  #Location to the build folder.
      index index.html;		#Name of the index file.

      location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

Or, here is that without the comment:

server {
      listen 80;
      listen [::]:80;

      server_name publicIpOfUbuntuServer;

      root /var/www/todotoday;
      index index.html;

      location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

Step 7: Stop the nginx server, start it and check the status.

Since the server is already running. Stop it using this command.

sudo systemctl stop nginx

Now, the server is stopped, you want to start it again.

sudo systemctl start nginx

Just to be sure, check the server status.

sudo systemctl status nginx

After that, you can just go ahead to the browser and go to your ip address. It should be same as the publicIpOfUbuntuServer that you used above.

If you did everything as outlined above, you should be able to see your web page.

  1. I recommend you to use the basic html file for hosting initially to get an idea of it.
  2. Also, make sure that you are using http:// but not https:// if you haven't yet configured the SSL certificate.


Congratulations! You've successfully installed Nginx on your Ubuntu server and configured it to serve web content. You can now deploy your websites and web applications using Nginx as the web server. If you encounter any issues or have specific requirements, refer to the Nginx documentation or seek further assistance from the community.

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