Saturday, April 19, 2008

Baking CakePHP with nginx

I've switched all my web server related infrastructure to nginx which is a high performance HTTP server (amongst other things) which blows apache out of the water (IMNSHO).

If you're a CakePHP user you'll know that it has some special rewriting requirements which can be found in $ROOT/.htaccess:

$ cat .htaccess

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^$ app/webroot/ [L]
RewriteRule (.*) app/webroot/$1 [L]

Unfortunately this .htaccess file is an apache mechanism to achieve the URL rewriting that is required to get CakePHP to play nice. The apache rewrite rules do not translate directly to something nginx can use though so some work is required to get things going.

Being lazy (and believing that no problem I discover is unique to me) I had a look a round and found this article by Chris Hartjes which needed a some mods for it to work for my setup:

# CakePHP rewrite rules
location / {
root /opt/local/html/live_site;
index index.php;

# Serve static page immediately
if (-f $request_filename) {
break;
}

if (!-f $request_filename) {
rewrite ^/(.+)$ /index.php?url=$1 last;
break;
}
}

Here's my complete nginx.conf to give you an idea of how everything fits together:


user nobody;
worker_processes 1;

#error_log logs/error.log;
#error_log logs/error.log notice;
#error_log logs/error.log info;

#pid logs/nginx.pid;


events {
worker_connections 1024;
}

http {
include etc/nginx/mime.types;
default_type application/octet-stream;
server_names_hash_bucket_size 128;

sendfile on;
keepalive_timeout 20;
tcp_nodelay on;

server {
listen 80;
server_name localhost;
rewrite_log on;

#error_page 404 /404.html;
# redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
#
error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html;
location = /50x.html {
root share/nginx/html;
}

# Serve static content directly with some caching goodness
location ~* ^.+.(jpg|jpeg|gif|css|png|js|ico)$ {
root /opt/local/html/live_site/app/webroot;
access_log off;
expires 1d;
}

# CakePHP rewrite rules
location / {
root /opt/local/html/live_site;
index index.php;

# Serve static pages immediately
if (-f $request_filename) {
break;
}

# Rewrite all other URLs
if (!-f $request_filename) {
rewrite ^/(.+)$ /index.php?url=$1 last;
break;
}
}

# Pass PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on 127.0.0.1:9000
#
location ~ \.php$ {
root /opt/local/html/live_site;
fastcgi_pass 127.0.0.1:9000;
fastcgi_index index.php;
include /opt/local/etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
}
}
}



3 comments:

jordan said...

Hey I managed to get your code working when Cake was in the root, but when I moved cake to a subdirectory (wwww.mydomain.com/myapp) it broke. I tried playing around with different things but can't seem to get it to work. Any help would be much appreciated :)

Charl said...

You would need to adjust your location, root and the rewrite rule to accomodate the changes you require.

Aramisbear said...

Thanks for the information man. From the research that I've done nginx (FastCGI really) doesn't seem to handle PHP better. Under heavy load it's actually much worse than Apache.

nginx is dramatically faster for serving static files though, almost twice as fast. One of the best solutions to take advantage of both is to use nginx to serve your static files and then proxy the PHP requests through to Apache.

Best of both worlds and nginx doesn't even flinch to proxy through to Apache. There's some various little quirks to this method that you have to solve, such as SSL handling, but overall a pretty powerful solution.

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