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About build-nginx

An nginx build tool to really simplify downloading and building specific versions of nginx with different core and 3rd-party modules.

Build Status

ngx_http_hello_world_module courtesy of perusio and kolesar-andras


  • Work with git urls
  • Work with archive urls (gzip & zipped tar releases)
  • Use PCRE2 (you can also still use PCRE 1) build-nginx will do the right thing based on the dependency url you provide:
  • build-nginx -d will use the old PCRE library

  • build-nginx -d will use the official PCRE2 github repo

  • build-nginx -d will build the PCRE2 release tagged pcre2-10.40

  • build-nginx -d will use the 10.37 zip at the unofficial sourceforge mirror

  • Handle dynamic nginx modules
  • Provide different example configurations
  • Update README with notes about:
    • 64 bit MacOS Openssl builds
    • Use non-static Openssl on MacOS
    • How certain modules might implicitly enable the --with-http_ssl_module option
    • what takes precedence when you specify the same commandline option in a -k options file and on the commandline


Basic usage:


Will git --depth 1 --single-branch clone the nginx master branch, configure and build it. Not so very useful...

Specific nginx version and OpenSSL dependency, with non-core module

How about getting nginx stable version 1.12.2 built with OpenSSL version 1.0.2l and HTTP/2 support?

./build-nginx \
-n \
-d \
-o --with-http_v2_module

Because you've specified OpenSSL as a dependency (-d) the nginx configure script automatically gets set with the --with-openssl= path.

The @ syntax lets you specify a release/tag/branch (or even specific commit - any tree-ish reference should work).

Here we're building nginx master with PCRE2 tagged at pcre2-10.40

build-nginx -d

Building OpenSSL on 64bit macos

You'll need to export KERNEL_BITS=64 or call build-nginx like this:

KERNEL_BITS=64 ./build-nginx \
-n \

Archive URLs as well as git repos

If you don't want to use a git repo, you can also use a source archive:

./build-nginx -n \
              -d \

3rd party modules

You can also specify 3rd party modules using the same git repo url @ version/tag/branch string or archive url format. In the following example we haven't specifed an nginx version, so we clone from master, but we do clone a forked version of the nginx-upstream-fair module at version 0.1.3

./build-nginx \

Because we've specified a module (-m) the nginx configure script is automatically called with the --add-module= option, pointing to where the module was cloned.

You could also use the official release archive URL:

./build-nginx \

3rd party modules with a different config folder

Some nginx modules don't have the config file in their root, and in these cases you need to let the nginx configure script know where to find it. Do this with an optional folder name after the version; in the example below we're using the NAXSI project repository, specifying version 0.55.3 and letting the configure script know it needs to look in the NAXSI naxsi_src folder for the config file.

./build-nginx \
-n \

Configuration files

As well as specifying the options to build-nginx on the command line, you can save them into a configuration file, and pass this to the script instead:

./build-nginx -k my-special-nginx-config

The config file is just a set of command-line options separated by newlines. Comments are permitted. Your my-special-nginx-config file might look like:

# nginx version 1.0
# it all lives in /opt/nginx
-o --prefix=/opt/nginx
-o --with-http_ssl_module # HTTPS
-o --with-debug # helps us debug location directive errors
# Use the OpenSSL in /opt
-o --with-cc-opt=-I/opt/openssl/include
-o --with-ld-opt=-L/opt/openssl/lib

Other options

Call with -h to see the full set of options you can use. Currently these are:

-b If you want to build from an existing source repo

-c If you only want to clone (download) and not build

-f <optional compiler flags> Lets you specify CFLAGS like -Wno-unused-variable

-d <dependencies> Specify a git url and branch/tag/version for e.g. pcre

-h Help

-i Install. This will install to nginx's `configure` default location. To change,
pass the nginx `--prefix` option like this:

   build-nginx -i -o --prefix=/usr/local/nginx

-k <file> Specify which config file to read this script's arguments from.
          The config file is a text file in which command line arguments
          can be written which then will be used as if they were written
          on the actual command line.

-m <additional modules> Specify either an archive (.tar.gz, .tgz or .zip)
                        URL or a git url, branch/tag/version and optional src
                        folder where nginx looks for the module config file

-n <url> Optional nginx archive (.tar.gz, .tgz or .zip) URL or git repo url
         and/or optional branch/tag/version. Defaults to To specify just a
         branch/tag/version use @branch. To specify both, use git-url@branch

-o <options> To pass additional options to the nginx configure script

-s <build directory> The directory where this script will git clone
                     nginx and any modules and dependencies it needs
                     to build. Defaults to ~/.build-nginx


Fetches nginx and any optional third-party modules and dependencies you specify, such as openssl and PCRE and then configures and builds.








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