Nginx is a very popular web server with Linux and BSD systems. Many assume that it is not possible to install Nginx on Windows. This is not true at all as the web server can indeed be installed on Windows 10.
However, according to Nginx website, there are a few performance limitations that have not been alleviated so far. These include a single worker (web application) running successfully, lack of scalability, and possible UDP authentication issues.
For now, Nginx has mentioned that it will fix all issues in its future versions for Windows. To successfully install and run Nginx on Windows 10, follow the steps below.
Download the Nginx server
There are many windows download versions of Nginx, and Nginx recommends using the “major version”. However, you will not face any problem if you download its most recent stable version for Windows.
Select the latest zip file and download it to a new folder.
First, you need to extract the new folder. You can use 7-zip, WinRAR, or any other popular compression software.
After extracting the contents of the file to the original folder, you need to move the entire folder that came with the built-in download copy. We will need to move this to “Program Files”.
Paste the folder into the program files. We will run Nginx from this location as the default web service program.
To install and run Nginx, select and double-click the Nginx.exe file. It has now been activated for further use.
In the next step, you need to check if the installation was successful. To do this, you can go to your default browser and type “localhost”. If you see the following screen indicating that the Nginx web server is correctly installed and working, there is nothing wrong with your Windows 10 installation.
To stop Nginx, you can end it from the Task Manager window.
Run Nginx on your Windows PC
To run Nginx, you must be using Internet Information Services (IIS), which is a Microsoft web server that serves the requested HTML pages or files. You can enable it from “Turn Windows Features On or Off” on the Control Panel. Check the required fields for “Web Management Tools” and “IIS Management Console”.
It will take some time for IIS to be activated on your computer as the changes are applied.
You can open IIS Manager directly from the Start menu. Here you will be able to access the default website, which is usually found at “inetpub wwwroot”. This is also known as web application root.
It is useful to change the physical path from this root to a more desirable folder. I created a new “Work” folder in C: and changed the physical path to “C: Work”.
After that, navigate to the Nginx folder that you renamed in the program files. Click on “Conf” and select “nginx.conf”. This file can be edited using the Notepad ++ text editor.
In Notepad ++, replace the root with the changed physical path we discussed above.
You can edit the index.html file in the root folder in a separate tab. Replace the text with what you want the web server to display on the screen.
Now run the Nginx.exe program again and type “localhost” in a browser window. The Nginx web server will highlight the changes you made.
Nginx is one of the leading web server companies that is expected to eclipse Apache in the future. In addition, it is faster, can handle more concurrent problems, and is reliable. To sum up, if you have a simple website that you want to connect to Nginx, you can do it right now without any issues.
Have you tried installing and running Nginx on Windows systems? What were the problems you encountered? Let us know in the comments.