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Is Nginx Unit going to replace the normal Nginx server?

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  • #4091 Reply

    What is the long-term vision about Nginx Unit, it seems they are releasing more often than classic Nginx project these days

    eventually will the projects merge and replace the old classic Nginx?

    I still don’t really understand what is the plan.

    #4092 Reply
    #4093 Reply

    I also don’t really know the answer, maybe F5 also not sure what will happen. But Unit project was probably launched because of demand from their corporate clients and use case. Currently you cannot really substitute Nginx Unit for classic Nginx.


    Unit is a modern and performant web server and app runtime which is stable under high traffic. It impresses through its dynamical REST API configuration and broad support on programming languages. It is a real alternative to classical application stacks like Nginx in conjunction with PHP-FPM for PHP applications.

    Unit is no replacement for Nginx because of Nginx’s wide opportunities to add headers, rewrites, etc. which Unit currently does not have (yet).

    #4094 Reply

    Unit project is not even really Nginx at all, it’s a brand new codebase with JSON config and no more regex rules. Also restarting the service is no longer required.

    #4095 Reply

    Enterprise use cases

    #4099 Reply


    #4165 Reply


    But using regular expressions to modify configuration files is not a pleasant experience. Inevitably, you will find your regex has matched something you didn’t expect, didn’t account for line endings or didn’t quite capture all the variations of a value.

    NGINX Unit addresses this by utilizing JSON for its configuration. There is no longer any ambiguity as to how to structure the configuration data, and it is much easier to update configuration values programmatically. Relying on a common data format makes NGINX Unit much easier to manage…

    While NGINX Unit doesn’t provide a CLI tool (all the examples in the documentation use curl), it does expose all of the configuration via an easy to understand HTTP API. This provides you with a great deal of flexibility in choosing how to expose the API (i.e., expose it on localhost or securely proxy it to make it publicly available), and it means you can use any scripting tool of your choice to interact with it…

    NGINX Unit does away with this imperative configuration model and instead exposes a declarative configuration model. Admittedly, the NGINX Unit model is far less configurable than a traditional NGINX configuration file, but it does a good job of exposing the common routing and security options you will use.

    Not many good articles on Google about it, this one is well written and sounds great but not really practical examples of how to use Nginx Unit or config.

    JSON is cool, but even JSON is “getting old” if you want to play that game

    #4184 Reply
    #4596 Reply

    I think Nginx Unit was launched by enterprise demands for a more modern version of Nginx, and since they jumped to JSON and REST API and stuff because of the demand, it just was inherently not backwards compatible with classic Nginx.

    My interpretation is that they aren’t trying to cancel the classic Nginx per se, but they are probably sort of waiting to see how well Nginx Unit solves modern server demands and if it reaches a point where F5 believes that it can do everything AND MORE that classic Nginx can do they might consider deprecating classic Nginx eventually.


    And honestly this is probably years away from happening because they are not going to risk spooking the entire internet over this.

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Last modified on February 2, 2023