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nginx vs uWSGI: What are the differences?



When it comes to hosting web applications and serving them to clients, two popular solutions are NGINX and uWSGI. While both of them have their own unique features and benefits, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Web Server vs Application Server: NGINX is primarily a web server that is designed to handle serving static content efficiently. On the other hand, uWSGI is an application server that is used to run Python web applications. While NGINX can also act as a reverse proxy and load balancer, uWSGI is specifically optimized for running Python applications.

  2. HTTP and HTTPS Support: NGINX is well-known for its out-of-the-box support for HTTP and HTTPS protocols. It can handle SSL/TLS encryption, perform SSL termination, and implement various security measures. uWSGI, on the other hand, does not provide these functionalities by default. It requires additional configuration and setup to enable HTTPS support.

  3. Request Handling: NGINX is highly optimized for handling a large number of concurrent connections and efficiently serving static files. It uses an event-driven, asynchronous architecture, which allows it to handle multiple requests simultaneously without blocking other requests. uWSGI, on the other hand, is designed to handle Python web applications and provides features like request routing, session management, and more. It is more suitable for dynamic content generation and interacting with databases.

  4. Ease of Configuration: NGINX provides a simple and flexible configuration syntax, making it easy to configure and manage. It uses a declarative approach where configuration directives are used to define the desired behavior. uWSGI, on the other hand, has a more complex configuration syntax and requires additional Python code to configure and customize the application behavior. It requires more expertise and understanding of the Python ecosystem.

  5. Resource Utilization: NGINX is known for its low memory footprint and high performance when serving static content. It can efficiently handle a large number of concurrent connections with minimal resource consumption. uWSGI, on the other hand, consumes more system resources due to its additional features and functionalities for running Python applications. It is more suitable for applications with dynamic content and heavy processing requirements.

  6. Ecosystem and Community Support: NGINX has a large and active community with a vast ecosystem of modules and extensions. It has been widely adopted and is supported by various web frameworks and tools. uWSGI, on the other hand, has a smaller community compared to NGINX but is widely used for hosting Python applications. It provides integration with popular Python frameworks like Django and Flask, making it a preferred choice for Python developers.

In summary, NGINX is a versatile web server with excellent performance and extensive community support, making it suitable for serving static content and acting as a reverse proxy. uWSGI, on the other hand, is an application server specifically designed for Python web applications, providing features like request routing and session management. It requires additional configuration and resources but offers better support for dynamic content generation.

Advice on NGINX and uWSGI

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 · 665.9K views

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
Apache HTTP ServerApache HTTP Server

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)

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

I use nginx because its more flexible and easy to configure

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Christian Cwienk
Software Developer at SAP · | 1 upvotes · 634.1K views
Apache HTTP ServerApache HTTP Server

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

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Pros of NGINX
Pros of uWSGI
  • 1.4K
    High-performance http server
  • 893
  • 730
    Easy to configure
  • 607
    Open source
  • 530
    Load balancer
  • 289
  • 288
  • 226
    Web server
  • 175
  • 136
    Easy setup
  • 30
    Content caching
  • 21
    Web Accelerator
  • 15
  • 14
  • 12
  • 12
  • 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
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Fast and easy to set up
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
    Virtual hosting
  • 1
    Narrow focus. Easy to configure. Fast
  • 1
    Along with Redis Cache its the Most superior
  • 1
    Ingress controller
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

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Cons of NGINX
Cons of uWSGI
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    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.

    What is uWSGI?

    The uWSGI project aims at developing a full stack for building hosting services.

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    What companies use NGINX?
    What companies use uWSGI?
    See which teams inside your own company are using NGINX or uWSGI.
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    What tools integrate with NGINX?
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    What are some alternatives to NGINX and uWSGI?
    HAProxy (High Availability Proxy) is a free, very fast and reliable solution offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications.
    lighttpd has a very low memory footprint compared to other webservers and takes care of cpu-load. Its advanced feature-set (FastCGI, CGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and many more) make lighttpd the perfect webserver-software for every server that suffers load problems.
    A modern HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer that makes deploying microservices easy. Traefik integrates with your existing infrastructure components and configures itself automatically and dynamically.
    Caddy 2 is a powerful, enterprise-ready, open source web server with automatic HTTPS written in Go.
    Originally built at Lyft, Envoy is a high performance C++ distributed proxy designed for single services and applications, as well as a communication bus and “universal data plane” designed for large microservice “service mesh” architectures.
    See all alternatives