UPDATED
Apr 4, 2024

Gunicorn vs NGINX

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Gunicorn

1.1K
900
+ 1
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NGINX

112.6K
60.4K
+ 1
5.5K

Apache HTTP Server vs Gunicorn vs nginx: What are the differences?

Apache HTTP Server vs Gunicorn vs nginx

Apache HTTP Server, Gunicorn, and nginx are popular web servers that allow websites to serve content over the internet. Each of these web servers has its own unique features and capabilities. In this comparison, we will discuss the key differences between Apache HTTP Server, Gunicorn, and nginx.

  1. Architecture: Apache HTTP Server follows a multi-process, pre-forking model where each request is handled by a separate process. Gunicorn, on the other hand, follows an asynchronous, worker-based model where multiple workers handle requests concurrently. nginx uses an event-driven, asynchronous, and non-blocking model, making it highly scalable for handling a large number of concurrent connections.

  2. Performance: Gunicorn and nginx are known for their high performance and ability to handle a large number of simultaneous connections. They are often used to serve static files and proxy requests to other applications. Apache HTTP Server, while still highly capable, may have lower performance compared to Gunicorn and nginx due to its multi-process model.

  3. Ease of Configuration: Gunicorn and nginx have simpler and more user-friendly configuration compared to Apache HTTP Server. Gunicorn can be configured using a configuration file or command-line options, while nginx uses a text-based configuration file. Apache HTTP Server's configuration is more complex and may require modifying multiple files.

  4. Scalability: nginx is known for its exceptional scalability, particularly in scenarios with high concurrency. It can efficiently handle thousands of simultaneous connections without consuming excessive system resources. Gunicorn also provides scalability by allowing multiple worker processes, but may not match the scalability of nginx in certain scenarios. Apache HTTP Server can still handle a good amount of traffic but may be less scalable compared to Gunicorn and nginx.

  5. Reverse Proxy Abilities: nginx is highly regarded for its reverse proxy capabilities, making it an excellent choice for load balancing and proxying requests to backend applications. Gunicorn can also act as a reverse proxy but may not offer the same level of advanced features as nginx. Apache HTTP Server can be configured as a reverse proxy, but it may require additional modules and configuration.

  6. Community and Ecosystem: Apache HTTP Server has a large and mature community with extensive documentation and a wide range of available modules and plugins. Gunicorn and nginx also have active communities, but they may not have the same level of community support and available modules as Apache HTTP Server.

In summary, Apache HTTP Server, Gunicorn, and nginx are all powerful web servers with their own strengths and use cases. Apache HTTP Server is widely used and has extensive community support, while Gunicorn and nginx excel in performance, scalability, and ease of configuration. Your choice of web server should be based on your specific requirements and the nature of your web application.

Advice on Gunicorn and NGINX

I am diving into web development, both front and back end. I feel comfortable with administration, scripting and moderate coding in bash, Python and C++, but I am also a Windows fan (i love inner conflict). What are the votes on web servers? IIS is expensive and restrictive (has Windows adoption of open source changed this?) Apache has the history but seems to be at the root of most of my Infosec issues, and I know nothing about nginx (is it too new to rely on?). And no, I don't know what I want to do on the web explicitly, but hosting and data storage (both cloud and tape) are possibilities. Ready, aim fire!

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Replies (1)
Simon Aronsson
Developer Advocate at k6 / Load Impact · | 4 upvotes · 689.6K views
Recommends
on
NGINXNGINX

I would pick nginx over both IIS and Apace HTTP Server any day. Combine it with docker, and as you grow maybe even traefik, and you'll have a really flexible solution for serving http content where you can take sites and projects up and down without effort, easily move it between systems and dont have to handle any dependencies on your actual local machine.

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Needs advice
on
Apache HTTP ServerApache HTTP Server
and
NGINXNGINX

From a StackShare Community member: "We are a LAMP shop currently focused on improving web performance for our customers. We have made many front-end optimizations and now we are considering replacing Apache with nginx. I was wondering if others saw a noticeable performance gain or any other benefits by switching."

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Replies (3)
Recommends
on
NGINXNGINX

I use nginx because it is very light weight. Where Apache tries to include everything in the web server, nginx opts to have external programs/facilities take care of that so the web server can focus on efficiently serving web pages. While this can seem inefficient, it limits the number of new bugs found in the web server, which is the element that faces the client most directly.

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Leandro Barral
Recommends
on
NGINXNGINX

I use nginx because its more flexible and easy to configure

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Christian Cwienk
Software Developer at SAP · | 1 upvotes · 657.1K views
Recommends
on
Apache HTTP ServerApache HTTP Server

I use Apache HTTP Server because it's intuitive, comprehensive, well-documented, and just works

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Decisions about Gunicorn and NGINX
Daniel Calvo
Co-Founder at Polpo Data Analytics & Software Development · | 8 upvotes · 253.8K views

For us, NGINX is a lite HTTP server easy to configure. On our research, we found a well-documented software we a lot of support from the community.

We have been using it alongside tools like certbot and it has been a total success.

We can easily configure our sites and have a folder for available vs enabled sites, and with the nginx -t command we can easily check everything is running fine.

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Grant Steuart
  • Server rendered HTML output from PHP is being migrated to the client as Vue.js components, future plans to provide additional content, and other new miscellaneous features all result in a substantial increase of static files needing to be served from the server. NGINX has better performance than Apache for serving static content.
  • The change to NGINX will require switching from PHP to PHP-FPM resulting in a distributed architecture with a higher complexity configuration, but this is outweighed by PHP-FPM being faster than PHP for processing requests.
  • The NGINX + PHP-FPM setup now allows for horizontally scaling of resources rather vertically scaling the previously combined Apache + PHP resources.
  • PHP shell tasks can now efficiently be decoupled from the application reducing main application footprint and allow for scaling of tasks on an individual basis.
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I was in a situation where I have to configure 40 RHEL servers 20 each for Apache HTTP Server and Tomcat server. My task was to 1. configure LVM with required logical volumes, format and mount for HTTP and Tomcat servers accordingly. 2. Install apache and tomcat. 3. Generate and apply selfsigned certs to http server. 4. Modify default ports on Tomcat to different ports. 5. Create users on RHEL for application support team. 6. other administrative tasks like, start, stop and restart HTTP and Tomcat services.

I have utilized the power of ansible for all these tasks, which made it easy and manageable.

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Pros of Gunicorn
Pros of NGINX
  • 34
    Python
  • 30
    Easy setup
  • 8
    Reliable
  • 3
    Light
  • 3
    Fast
  • 1.4K
    High-performance http server
  • 893
    Performance
  • 730
    Easy to configure
  • 607
    Open source
  • 530
    Load balancer
  • 289
    Free
  • 288
    Scalability
  • 226
    Web server
  • 175
    Simplicity
  • 136
    Easy setup
  • 30
    Content caching
  • 21
    Web Accelerator
  • 15
    Capability
  • 14
    Fast
  • 12
    High-latency
  • 12
    Predictability
  • 8
    Reverse Proxy
  • 7
    The best of them
  • 7
    Supports http/2
  • 5
    Great Community
  • 5
    Lots of Modules
  • 5
    Enterprise version
  • 4
    High perfomance proxy server
  • 3
    Embedded Lua scripting
  • 3
    Streaming media delivery
  • 3
    Streaming media
  • 3
    Reversy Proxy
  • 2
    Blash
  • 2
    GRPC-Web
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 2
    Fast and easy to set up
  • 2
    Slim
  • 2
    saltstack
  • 1
    Virtual hosting
  • 1
    Narrow focus. Easy to configure. Fast
  • 1
    Along with Redis Cache its the Most superior
  • 1
    Ingress controller
Cons of Gunicorn
Cons of NGINX
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 10
      Advanced features require subscription

    What is Gunicorn?

    Gunicorn is a pre-fork worker model ported from Ruby's Unicorn project. The Gunicorn server is broadly compatible with various web frameworks, simply implemented, light on server resources, and fairly speedy.

    What is NGINX?

    nginx [engine x] is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, as well as a mail proxy server, written by Igor Sysoev. According to Netcraft nginx served or proxied 30.46% of the top million busiest sites in Jan 2018.

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    What tools integrate with Gunicorn?
    What tools integrate with NGINX?

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    What are some alternatives to Gunicorn and NGINX?
    Apache Tomcat
    Apache Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations.
    JBoss
    An application platform for hosting your apps that provides an innovative modular, cloud-ready architecture, powerful management and automation, and world class developer productivity.
    Jetty
    Jetty is used in a wide variety of projects and products, both in development and production. Jetty can be easily embedded in devices, tools, frameworks, application servers, and clusters. See the Jetty Powered page for more uses of Jetty.
    XAMPP
    It consists mainly of the Apache HTTP Server, MariaDB database, and interpreters for scripts written in the PHP and Perl programming languages.
    JavaScript
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.