Installing and Using NGINX on Ubuntu 20.04

Select distribution:
Traducciones al Español
Estamos traduciendo nuestros guías y tutoriales al Español. Es posible que usted esté viendo una traducción generada automáticamente. Estamos trabajando con traductores profesionales para verificar las traducciones de nuestro sitio web. Este proyecto es un trabajo en curso.
Create a Linode account to try this guide with a $ credit.
This credit will be applied to any valid services used during your first  days.

NGINX (pronounced “engine-X”) is an open-source web server that excels at load balancing, caching, and acting as a reverse proxy. NGINX was developed with efficiency and concurrency in mind, seeking to address the scalability and performance issues in other popular web servers. Its event-driven architecture continues to set it apart as one of the highest-performing web servers available. This guide aims to show you how to install NGINX on your Ubuntu 20.04 server and how to get started using it.

Before You Begin

  1. If you have not already done so, create a Linode account and Compute Instance. See our Getting Started with Linode and Creating a Compute Instance guides.

  2. Follow our Setting Up and Securing a Compute Instance guide to update your system. You may also wish to set the timezone, configure your hostname, create a limited user account, and harden SSH access.

This guide is written for non-root users. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you are not familiar with the sudo command, see the Linux Users and Groups guide.

Install NGINX

  1. Install NGINX from the package manager.

     sudo apt install nginx
  2. The NGINX service starts running immediately. You can verify its status with the following command:

     sudo systemctl status nginx

    The NGINX service is also enabled by default, meaning that it begins running automatically at system startup.

  3. Open port 80 on your system’s firewall. UFW is the frontend typically used to manage firewall rules on Ubuntu. You can use the example commands to open port 80 with ufw and reload the rules so they take effect.

     sudo ufw allow http
     sudo ufw reload

    Refer to our How to Configure a Firewall with UFW guide for more on how to use UFW for managing your firewall.

  4. Visit the default NGINX page to see your installation in action. You can find it by navigating to your server’s domain name or its IP address.

    For example, if your domain name is, navigate to; if your IP address is, you can instead navigate to

    Default NGINX page.

Manage NGINX

The NGINX service runs on systemd, which means you can manage it using systemctl commands.

  1. View the current status of the NGINX service using the command below:

     sudo systemctl status nginx
  2. Stop the NGINX service with the following command:

     sudo systemctl stop nginx

    You can then start the NGINX service back up using the following command:

     sudo systemctl start nginx
  3. To disable the NGINX service, preventing it from beginning automatically at system startup, execute the following:

     sudo systemctl disable nginx

    You can enable the NGINX service again using:

     sudo systemctl enable nginx
  4. Restart the NGINX service using the command below:

     sudo systemctl restart nginx
  5. To reload NGINX’s configuration files, you an use the following command:

     sudo systemctl reload nginx


This section walks you through setting up your own website using NGINX. In doing so, it also illustrates how to set up an NGINX proxy to serve static content.

NGINX Configuration

  1. Disable the default NGINX configuration file.

     sudo unlink /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
  2. Create an NGINX configuration file for your site.

    In this example, replace with your site’s domain, in both the filename, and in the file’s contents. Do the same whenever you see from here on.

    File: /etc/nginx/sites-available/
    server {
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;
        root /var/www/;
        index index.html;
        location / {
            try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

    This configuration creates a new NGINX server. That server listens for requests on port 80 for the domain name It then defines the server’s root directory and index file name. The root directory is where NGINX maps requests to files, and the index file name is the name of the file NGINX serves for a request to the root directory.

    So, for a request to, NGINX attempts to locate an index.html file in the /var/www/ directory and serves the file if it finds it there.

  3. Enable your NGINX site.

     sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
  4. Run NGINX’s configuration test to verify your configuration file.

     sudo nginx -t
  5. Restart NGINX for the changes to take effect.

     sudo systemctl restart nginx

Launch the Site

  1. Create a directory for your NGINX site’s content.

     sudo mkdir /var/www/
  2. Create an index.html page in the new NGINX site directory.

    File: /var/www/
    <!doctype html>
        <h1>Hello, World!</h1>
        <p>This is an example website running on NGINX.</p>
  3. In a browser, visit the domain you set up for your website.

    You should see your website’s “Hello, World!” page.

    Example web page hosted on NGINX.


To learn more about NGINX’s features and capabilities, check out our A Comparison of the NGINX and Apache Web Servers guide.

For more advanced configuration options, including security and performance optimizations and TLS setup, see our four-part series on NGINX.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

This page was originally published on

Your Feedback Is Important

Let us know if this guide was helpful to you.

Join the conversation.
Read other comments or post your own below. Comments must be respectful, constructive, and relevant to the topic of the guide. Do not post external links or advertisements. Before posting, consider if your comment would be better addressed by contacting our Support team or asking on our Community Site.
The Disqus commenting system for Linode Docs requires the acceptance of Functional Cookies, which allow us to analyze site usage so we can measure and improve performance. To view and create comments for this article, please update your Cookie Preferences on this website and refresh this web page. Please note: You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser.