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Automatic PageSpeed optimization module for Nginx


ngx_pagespeed speeds up your site and reduces page load time by automatically applying web performance best practices to pages and associated assets (CSS, JavaScript, images) without requiring you to modify your existing content or workflow. Features include:

  • Image optimization: stripping meta-data, dynamic resizing, recompression
  • CSS & JavaScript minification, concatenation, inlining, and outlining
  • Small resource inlining
  • Deferring image and JavaScript loading
  • HTML rewriting
  • Cache lifetime extension
  • and more

To see ngx_pagespeed in action, with example pages for each of the optimizations, see our demonstration site.

How to build

Because nginx does not support dynamic loading of modules, you need to compile nginx from source to add ngx_pagespeed. Alternatively, if you're using Tengine you can install ngx_pagespeed without recompiling Tengine.

  1. Install dependencies:

    # These are for RedHat, CentOS, and Fedora.
    $ sudo yum install gcc-c++ pcre-dev pcre-devel zlib-devel make
    # These are for Debian. Ubuntu will be similar.
    $ sudo apt-get install build-essential zlib1g-dev libpcre3 libpcre3-dev
  2. Download ngx_pagespeed:

    $ cd ~
    $ wget
    $ unzip # or unzip v1.7.30.4-beta
    $ cd ngx_pagespeed-
    $ wget
    $ tar -xzvf # expands to psol/
  3. Download and build nginx:

    $ cd ~
    $ # check for the latest version
    $ wget
    $ tar -xvzf nginx-1.4.6.tar.gz
    $ cd nginx-1.4.6/
    $ ./configure --add-module=$HOME/ngx_pagespeed-
    $ make
    $ sudo make install

If this doesn't work see the build troubleshooting page.

This will use a binary PageSpeed Optimization Library, but it's also possible to build PSOL from source.

Note: ngx_pagespeed currently doesn't support Windows or MacOS because the underlying PSOL library doesn't.

How to use

In your nginx.conf, add to the main or server block:

pagespeed on;
pagespeed FileCachePath /var/ngx_pagespeed_cache;  # Use tmpfs for best results.

In every server block where pagespeed is enabled add:

#  Ensure requests for pagespeed optimized resources go to the pagespeed
#  handler and no extraneous headers get set.
location ~ "\.pagespeed\.([a-z]\.)?[a-z]{2}\.[^.]{10}\.[^.]+" { add_header "" ""; }
location ~ "^/ngx_pagespeed_static/" { }
location ~ "^/ngx_pagespeed_beacon$" { }
location /ngx_pagespeed_statistics { allow; deny all; }
location /ngx_pagespeed_global_statistics { allow; deny all; }
location /ngx_pagespeed_message { allow; deny all; }
location /pagespeed_console { allow; deny all; }

To confirm that the module is loaded, fetch a page and check that you see the X-Page-Speed header:

$ curl -I 'http://localhost:8050/some_page/' | grep X-Page-Speed

Looking at the source of a few pages you should see various changes, such as urls being replaced with new ones like yellow.css.pagespeed.ce.lzJ8VcVi1l.css.

For complete documentation, see Using PageSpeed.

There are extensive system tests which cover most of ngx_pagespeed's functionality. Consider testing your installation.

For feedback, questions, and to follow the progress of the project:

Note: The canonicalize_javascript_libraries depends on pagespeed_libraries.conf which is distributed in Apache's format. To convert it to the Nginx format, run:

$ scripts/ > ~/pagespeed_libraries.conf
$ sudo mv ~/pagespeed_libraries.conf /etc/nginx/

And then include it in your Nginx configuration by reference:

include pagespeed_libraries.conf;
pagespeed EnableFilters canonicalize_javascript_libraries;
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