How To Install Nginx With Ngx_Pagespeed Module on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Install Nginx With Ngx_Pagespeed Module on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure Nginx with the ngx_pagespeed module on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PageSpeed (ngx_pagespeed) is an Nginx module created by Google to help Make the Web Faster by rewriting web pages to reduce latency and bandwidth. For the installation, we will need to compile Nginx from the source with the PageSpeed module, as Nginx doesn’t support Dynamic module loading (DSO) unless you want to build your own rpm or deb files.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Nginx with page speed module on a Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo useror access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Nginx With Ngx_Pagespeed Module on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt-get commands in the terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install dpkg-dev build-essential zlib1g-dev libpcre3 libpcre3-dev unzip

Step 2. Add the Nginx repository.

Run the commands below in the terminal to compile the latest Nginx mainline version:

apt-key add nginx_signing.key

Create a new repository and edit the sources.list file:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following two lines at the end of this file:

deb xenial nginx
deb-src xenial nginx

Step 3. Download Nginx from the source package.

Create a new directory for the Nginx source files and download the Nginx sources using apt command:

mkdir ~/nginx && cd ~/nginx
sudo apt source nginx

Check out the downloaded files:

### ls ~/nginx/
nginx-1.11.1                               nginx_1.11.1-1~xenial.dsc
nginx_1.11.1-1~xenial.debian.tar.xz        nginx_1.11.1.orig.tar.gz

Step 4. Download ngx_pagespeed source package.

To compile Nginx with the ngx_pagespeed module, we also need the ngx_pagespeed source package. Go to Github ngx_pagespeed download page:


Unzip into the current directory:

unzip v1.11.33.4-beta
cd ngx_pagespeed-

Next, we also need to download the psol library. (PageSpeed Optimization Library) and extract it:

tar xvf

Step 5. Configure Nginx to build with Pagespeed.

First, edit the Nginx compilation rule file:

nano ~/nginx/nginx-1.11.1/debian/rules

Add the new line under ‘COMMON_CONFIGURE_ARGS’:


Step 6. Start the Compilation Nginx Ubuntu package.

Go to the Nginx source directory and build Nginx from the source with the dpkg-buildpackage command:

cd ~/nginx/nginx-1.11.1/
apt build-dep nginx
dpkg-buildpackage -b

When it’s done, there will be 7 deb files in ~/nginx/ directory. We only need to install the nginx_1.11.1-1~xenial_amd64.deb or nginx_1.11.1-1~xenial_i386.deb package, depending on your OS architecture. The others are Nginx dynamic module package and a debug package:

cd ~/nginx
dpkg -i nginx_1.11.1-1~xenial_amd64.deb

Now let’s start Nginx:

systemctl start nginx

Step 7. Configure ngx_pagespeed Module in Nginx.

Now edit the Nginx server block config file:

nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Add the following pagespeed directives in the server section:

# enable pagespeed module on this server block
pagespeed on;

# Needs to exist and be writable by nginx. Use tmpfs for best performance.
pagespeed FileCachePath /var/ngx_pagespeed_cache;

# Ensure requests for pagespeed optimized resources go to the pagespeed handler
# and no extraneous headers get set.
location ~ "\.pagespeed\.([a-z]\.)?[a-z]{2}\.[^.]{10}\.[^.]+" {
  add_header "" "";
location ~ "^/pagespeed_static/" { }
location ~ "^/ngx_pagespeed_beacon$" { }

pagespeed RewriteLevel CoreFilters;

Finally, restart the Nginx service:

systemctl reload nginx

Step 8. Check if PageSpeed is Working.

Go to your website. Refresh a few times then check your page source. Hit Ctrl+F key and search pagespeed. You will see that many of your website resource has been processed by pagespeed or you can issue the following command:

curl -I -p| grep X-Page-Speed

Congratulations! You have successfully installed nginx pagespeed. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Nginx with ngx_pagespeed module on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS  (Xenial Xerus) system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Nginx website.

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