DigitalOcean Web Server Configuration and Hosting Multiple Websites

DigitalOcean: How To Install Nginx and SSL

This article describes how to install Nginx and add SSL to Nginx on DigitalOcean server.



Read this: DigitalOcean Initial Ubuntu Server Setup

Step 1: Install Nginx

# Install nginx
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install nginx

# Adjust the firewall to allow http
sudo ufw allow 'Nginx HTTP' # Open port 80

# Modify the website index if you want
sudo nano /var/www/html/index.nginx-debian.html
sudo service nginx restart

Now check your browser by typing your server IP (example: http://your_server_ip). You should see a ‘Welcome to nginx!’ message.

Read more: How To Install Nginx on Ubuntu 16.04

Step 2: Add a custom domain name (optional)

Let’s assume our domain name is

  1. Get a domain name from any domain name registrar.
  2. Set up the DNS records for your domain by using a DNS hosting service (which DigitalOcean provides).
  3. Add the domain to your DigitalOcean account:
    • Modify the A flag to assign your domain to the right droplet
    • Modify the CName flag to allow the to link to the domain name (without www).

Read more: How To Point to DigitalOcean Nameservers From Common Domain Registrars

Step 3: Add a SSL certificate to your HTTP to get HTTPS (optional)

#  Install Certbot
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot  # press enter
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-certbot-nginx

# Modify nginx config file
sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default
# Find the existing server_name line and replace the underscore, _
# Verify config is ok
sudo nginx -t
# Reload the new config
sudo systemctl reload nginx

# Allow HTTPS through your firewall
sudo ufw allow 'Nginx Full'
sudo ufw allow 'Nginx HTTP'

# Obtain an SSL Certificate
sudo certbot --nginx -d -d

You will be asked to choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access. Choose the option 2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access.

You can Set Up Auto-Renewal in crontab. You don’t need to do that because cerbot will take care of this.

# Open crontab
sudo crontab -e
# Add this
15 3 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew --quiet

The 15 3 * * * part of this line means “run the following command at 3:15 am, every day”. You may choose any time.

Read more at: How To Secure Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 16.04

Frequently asked questions

How to check the SSL certificate status

Check the SSL certificate status of a given domain/subdomain (here,, for example)

Visit this:

How to optimize Nginx configuration

Worker Processes and Worker Connections

Two variables need to be tuned here:

  • worker_processes: a common practice is to run 1 worker process per core. To figure out what number you’ll need to set worker_processes to, simply take a look at the amount of cores you have on your setup. Use the following bash code:
grep processor /proc/cpuinfo | wc -l
  • worker_connections: tells our worker processes how many people can simultaneously be served by Nginx. Default value is 768. Check your core’s limitations by using the following bash command:
ulimit -n

On a smaller machine (512MB droplet) this number will probably read 1024, which is a good starting number.

Update your config file as follow

# Open the config file
sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

# Add something like this
worker_processes 1;
worker_connections 1024;

Remember, the amount of clients that can be served can be multiplied by the amount of cores. In this case, we can server 1024 clients/second. This is, however, even further mitigated by the `keepalive_timeout directive.

How to Kill a process running on port 80

If you get following error, when you try to start nginx…

Then it means nginx or some other process is already using port 80.

You can kill it using: sudo fuser -k 80/tcp

And then try restarting nginx again:

service nginx start

Version: Français

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