nginx 1.4 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

In this post I’m going to talk about using the nginx web server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.  nginx 1.4 was added as a “Tech Preview” in the v1.1 release of Red Hat Software Collections.


Starting from a freshly kickstarted RHEL7 VM, here’s how to get going:

[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms
Repo 'rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms' is enabled for this system.

This enables the Red Hat Software Collections repository in the yum configuration, which is available with most RHEL entitlements.

[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# yum install nginx14
  nginx14.x86_64 0:1.1-3.el7
Dependency Installed:
  gd.x86_64 0:2.0.35-26.el7 nginx14-nginx.x86_64 1:1.4.4-10.el7
  nginx14-runtime.x86_64 0:1.1-3.el7 scl-utils.x86_64 0:20130529-5.el7


That has installed the nginx 1.4 software collection. Like all SCLs, nginx ends up in /opt/rh – specifically /opt/rh/nginx14, but we have a systemd unit file in the correct system location for integration:

[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# systemctl start nginx14-nginx
[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# systemctl status nginx14-nginx
nginx14-nginx.service - The nginx HTTP and reverse proxy server
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/nginx14-nginx.service; disabled)
Active: active (running) since Thu 2014-10-09 12:28:39 BST; 47s ago
Process: 10346 ExecStart=/opt/rh/nginx14/root/usr/sbin/nginx (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Process: 10345 ExecStartPre=/opt/rh/nginx14/root/usr/sbin/nginx -t (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Main PID: 10348 (nginx)
CGroup: /system.slice/nginx14-nginx.service
        ├─10348 nginx: master process /opt/rh/nginx14/root/usr/sbin/nginx
        └─10350 nginx: worker process

The nginx daemon is running out of the SCL like any other systemd service. Now, I could demo a static page load or a proxy configuration here… but dynamic languages are more fun! Instead I’ll pull in another software collection and demo PHP:

To use PHP from nginx we use FastCGI. So, I’ll pull in the FastCGI Process Manager package, “FPM” from the PHP 5.5 software collection, and start that daemon:

[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# yum install php55-php-fpm
  php55-php-fpm.x86_64 0:5.5.6-10.el7

Dependency Installed:
  libzip.x86_64 0:0.10.1-8.el7 php55-php-cli.x86_64 0:5.5.6-10.el7
  php55-php-common.x86_64 0:5.5.6-10.el7 php55-php-pear.noarch 1:1.9.4-10.el7
  php55-php-pecl-jsonc.x86_64 0:1.3.5-1.el7 php55-php-process.x86_64 0:5.5.6-10.el7
  php55-php-xml.x86_64 0:5.5.6-10.el7 php55-runtime.x86_64 0:1.1-7.el7

[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# systemctl start php55-php-fpm
[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# systemctl status php55-php-fpm
php55-php-fpm.service - The PHP FastCGI Process Manager
  Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/php55-php-fpm.service; disabled)
  Active: active (running) since Thu 2014-10-09 12:45:00 BST; 1s ago
  Main PID: 10634 (php-fpm)
  Status: "Ready to handle connections"
  CGroup: /system.slice/php55-php-fpm.service
          ├─10634 php-fpm: master process (/opt/rh/php55/root/etc/php-fpm.conf)
          ├─10635 php-fpm: pool www

To configure nginx to use FastCGI, we edit the /opt/rh/nginx14/root/etc/nginx/nginx.conf configuration file. There is already a commented-out example for use of FastCGI in the default “http” (port 80) server stanza. Uncomment it and change the SCRIPT_FILENAME parameter to pull straight out of the document root:

     location ~ .php$ {
              root html;
              fastcgi_index index.php;
              fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
              include fastcgi_params;

And that’s all the configuration that is required! Reload the daemon, and we’re off:

[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# systemctl reload nginx14-nginx
[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# echo '<?php echo "Hello, worldn"; ?>' > /opt/rh/nginx14/root/usr/share/nginx/html/hello.php
[root@virt-el7scratch ~]# curl http://localhost/hello.php
Hello, world

Note that the default document root for nginx is inside the SCL, though this can be changed by amending the “root” directive in nginx.conf.

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