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Installing Nginx on Debian 8

Have you heard about Debian? It is one of the oldest and most stable Linux distributions ever for Desktop and servers, it is not widely used as Ubuntu or CentOS, but still a great choice for all those who want to try Linux for the first time or to host their production apps.

The great news is Nginx is fully supported on Debian. That’s why today we will show you how to install Nginx on Debian 8, the latest stable version.


    • Debian 8.x installed and working.
    • No other web server running (apache, lighttpd, etc).
    • Update your system:
    • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

How can I install Nginx on Debian 8?

We will use apt-get, the package manager used by Debian to install and remove packages (same as Ubuntu). However, if you want to install Nginx from source you can do it by following this guide: How to install Nginx from source

sudo apt-get install nginx

Add Nginx to start automatically after rebooting your server:

sudo update-rc.d nginx defaults

Test Nginx

Try loading your server IP on the browser: http://your.server.ip/
You should see the default Nginx default page for Debian 8, something like this:

Installing Nginx on Debian

Other way to test it, usign Curl from command line:

curl http://your.server.ip/

That should show you the HTML code of the default Nginx page.

How can I manage Nginx on Debian 8?

First, try locating the configuration file and edit as needed:

nano -w /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

If you need help configuring Nginx main configuration file, check out this guide: Nginx Configuration Example

After editing you can restart it and start your server:

sudo service nginx start

If you need to stop it or restart, you can use:

sudo service nginx start
sudo service nginx restart

Reloading is better than restarting sometimes: if you have a production server and want to avoid any downtime, after editing Nginx configuration files you can issue a reload command instead of restart:

sudo service nginx reload

This will reload the Nginx configuration files and prevent any HTTP service interruption.

Further reading to learn more about Nginx manipulation commands: 8 Essential Nginx Commands


If you followed this guide at this point you should have your Nginx web server powering your Debian 8 distribution. Remember this guide is a basic guide, it’s up to you to configure and get Nginx working as your apps need.

Please let us know if you have any problems or issues.

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Esteban Borges

Linux Geek, Webperf Addict, Nginx Fan. CTO @Infranetworking