There is discontent among nginx developers: the freenginx web server is born

There is discontent among nginx developers: the freenginx web server is born

The most used web server in the world is nginx. It is pronounced engine-x and its main “mission” is to deliver Web pages to clients who request them, via HTTP and HTTPS. It is known for its efficiency, low latency and ability to handle a large number of simultaneous connections with limited hardware resources.

Nginx can act as well as reverse proxy, routing client requests to one or more backend servers. This is a useful approach for balance traffic across multiple servers, improve performance and offer greater security.

This very popular web server is currently used on 34.1% of systems worldwide, followed by Apache HTTP Server at 30.3%. In third place is Cloudflare Server (21.5%), the web server provided by the well-known web content distribution company which often comes between the clients and servers of users registered with the service (source: W3Techs, February 2024) .

Released as open source software in 2004 by Russian programmer Igor Sysoev, nginx became the cornerstone of a commercial enterprise. In 2011, in fact, with the collaboration of Maxim Dounin and Andrew Alexeev, Sysoev gave life to Nginx Inc.a company created to offer commercial support and technical assistance to customers.

Most recently, in 2019, F5 Networks acquired Nginx Inc. for 670 million dollars, confirming that it would not deviate from the open approach it had always supported until then.

Freenginx is born: disagreements between the parent company and one of the nginx developers

Precisely on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2024, one of the nginx developers decided to break ties and announce the development of a fork for very popular web server: freenginx. The name says it all.

Maxim Douninthis is the name of the developer, publicly announced his decision, motivating it on the basis of the conflicts that had arisen with F5 Networks.

It all begins, says Dounin, with the closure of the nginx office located in Moscow in 2022. Since then the developer has been involved in the evolution of nginx as a volunteer. Today, however, he does not contest the decision to no longer be on the F5 “payroll” but rather the alleged interference of the company’s top management in security policies by nginx. This behavior, according to Dounin, would have undermined the development of the Web server by ignoring the positions of the developers and the community.

Dounin still maintains that the development of nginx would now be under the complete control of F5 and the most widespread Web server online today would no longer be considered true open source software.

The response to the position that F5 would have expressed, therefore, is precisely the birth of freenginx, a project that already has its own reference website, with directions for download and installation. Also available are repository official ones that allow you to always draw on the most up-to-date code and install the application on the main Linux distributions.

How to check which web server your favorite sites are using

Without using online services or installing additional applications, you can very easily find out which web servers use the sites you visit most often.

Assuming you use ChromeChromium or derivative browsers, just access the Developer tools by pressing the button F12click the tab Networkreload the web page by pressing F5 then click on domain name shown as the first item in the left column (among the items gradually loaded).

By going to the right panel and clicking on the tab Headersamong others HTTP headers (header) provided as a response, you will find the server entry and next to it the name of the Web server used.

Opening image credit: – gorodenkoff

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