How to test if PageSpeed module is running (on NGINX)

You can run a simple test using curl to verify whether the PageSpeed module is running or not on NGINX.

curl -I -X GET {ip addresss | web address}
curl -I -X GET

The output would come out something like this…

You will see “X-Page-Speed” header with its version (in my case its ““)

If it DOESN’T work

There’s two possibilities:

It doesn’t work! First possibility…
There’s possibilities that you NGINX isn’t configured for PageSpeed, in that case, run:

nginx -V

You should should see a list of nginx compiled modules, if PageSpeed support compiled in, ngx_pagespeed-release-{version} should be listed.

Sample output:

If this is the case, then you SHOULD compile nginx PageSpeed module.

It doesn’t work! Second possibility…
Your did not configure PageSpeed module. To configure pagespeed, just create “/etc/nginx/conf.d/pagespeed.conf” file, and fill it with PageSpeed basic config.

#file /etc/nginx/conf.d/pagespeed.conf
        pagespeed on;
        pagespeed FetchWithGzip on;

        pagespeed FileCachePath /run/shm/pagespeed_cache;
        pagespeed RewriteLevel CoreFilters;

Save the file and restart nginx http server.

How to install NGINX with PageSpeed module in Ubuntu LTS / Debian

UPDATE: You can now install NGINX with PageSpeed in Ubuntu LTS with deb package:

PageSpeed modules are open source modules developed by Google Inc that can perform website optimization to ensure faster site delivery, automatically.

PageSpeed module is not included in NGINX installation in Ubuntu or Debian. So you need to recompile NGINX together with PageSpeed module, to enable its functionality.

You can install NGINX 1.8.0 with PageSpeed for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS here, using dpkg:
or you can compile it from source code using apt-get.

There are several steps to this method, first you need to get the latest nginx stable (or mainline) from PPA (optional)

#this step is optional, only if you want to get the latest Ubuntu version of nginx

sudo apt-get -y install software-properties-common

sudo -s

nginx=stable # use nginx=development for latest development version
add-apt-repository ppa:nginx/$nginx

apt-get update 

apt-get -y upgrade

Then, you’ve to install dpkg-dev, unzip utility and nginx source from apt repository

apt-get -y install dpkg-dev unzip

apt-get install nginx

apt-get source nginx

After that, you need to download PageSpeed module, this instruction is adapted from

**note replace ${NGINX_VERSION} with the version of NGINX available from apt-get, in my case – its “1.8.0”

export NGINX_VERSION=1.8.0

wget -c${NPS_VERSION}

unzip release-${NPS_VERSION}

cd ngx_pagespeed-release-${NPS_VERSION}-beta/

wget -c${NPS_VERSION}.tar.gz

tar -xzvf ${NPS_VERSION}.tar.gz

cd nginx-${NGINX_VERSION}

Install all build dependencies (your configuration may varies, but i keep it within default Ubuntu configuration.

apt-get -y install libpcre3-dev libssl-dev libxslt1-dev libgd-dev libgeoip-dev geoip-bin geoip-database libpam0g-dev zlib1g-dev memcached

Then configure nginx, remember to replace ${NGINX_VERSION} with your current version of NGINX. In my case, its “1.8.0”

cd nginx-${NGINX_VERSION}

./configure  --with-cc-opt='-g -O2 -fPIE -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -Wformat -Werror=format-security -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2' --with-ld-opt='-Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -fPIE -pie -Wl,-z,relro -Wl,-z,now' --prefix=/usr/share/nginx --conf-path=/etc/nginx/nginx.conf --http-log-path=/var/log/nginx/access.log --error-log-path=/var/log/nginx/error.log --lock-path=/var/lock/nginx.lock --pid-path=/run/ --http-client-body-temp-path=/var/lib/nginx/body --http-fastcgi-temp-path=/var/lib/nginx/fastcgi --http-proxy-temp-path=/var/lib/nginx/proxy --http-scgi-temp-path=/var/lib/nginx/scgi --http-uwsgi-temp-path=/var/lib/nginx/uwsgi --with-debug --with-pcre-jit --with-ipv6 --with-http_ssl_module --with-http_stub_status_module --with-http_realip_module --with-http_auth_request_module --with-http_addition_module --with-http_dav_module --with-http_geoip_module --with-http_gunzip_module --with-http_gzip_static_module --with-http_image_filter_module --with-http_spdy_module --with-http_sub_module --with-http_xslt_module --with-mail --with-mail_ssl_module --add-module=debian/modules/nginx-auth-pam --add-module=debian/modules/nginx-dav-ext-module --add-module=debian/modules/nginx-echo --add-module=debian/modules/nginx-upstream-fair --add-module=debian/modules/ngx_http_substitutions_filter_module --sbin-path=/usr/local/sbin --add-module=$HOME/ngx_pagespeed-release-${NPS_VERSION}-beta

After that, run make and make install


make install

The newly compiled nginx will be installed in “/usr/local/bin” without overwriting the original binary file.

Create nginx-pagespeed /etc/init.d file

Optionally you may duplicate nginx in init.d, and rename it to nginx-pagespeed, and stop the original nginx server

cp /etc/init.d/nginx /etc/init.d/nginx-pagespeed

sed -i 's|/usr/sbin/nginx|/usr/local/sbin/nginx|g' /etc/init.d/nginx-pagespeed

service nginx stop

You may also enable basic PageSpeed config in /etc/nginx/conf.d/

nano /etc/nginx/conf.d/pagespeed.conf

And add these basic PageSpeed config

#file /etc/nginx/conf.d/pagespeed.conf
        pagespeed on;
        pagespeed FetchWithGzip on;

        pagespeed FileCachePath /run/shm/pagespeed_cache;
        pagespeed RewriteLevel CoreFilters;

Save the file, and test nginx config, after that, start nginx-pagespeed service.

/usr/local/sbin/nginx -t

service nginx-pagespeed start

**Note: This instruction has been tested under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with nginx 1.8.0 from ppa:nginx/stable respository. The LTS is chosen because it has much longer support for server, and nginx 1.8.0 supports both spdy 3.1 and latest PageSpeed.

***Please share any thoughts or opinion or suggested correction if this guide didn’t work for you. Thanks!!

Recommended Reading

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Checking if website is Mobile-Friendly

Google has announced that they will take Mobile-Friendly site into account when indexing sites. Thus, it is prudent to ensure the particular website that you’re maintaining is mobile friendly.

There are two main tools released by Google for testing if the website is Mobile-Friendly:

  1. Google Mobile Friendly Test
  2. PageSpeed Insights

However, personally I like PageSpeed Insights tool better because it gave more in-depth explanation on how to improve my site.


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