Enable Brotli Compression in Nginx on AlmaLinux 9

This guide intends to teach you to Enable Brotli Compression in Nginx on AlmaLinux 9.

Brotli is a compression algorithm that boasts faster compression times and greater compression of webpages than its predecessor GZIP. It is open-source, free to use, and already supported by modern web servers and browsers.

Steps To Enable Brotli Compression in Nginx on AlmaLinux 9

To complete this guide, you must log in to your server as a non-root user with sudo privileges. To do this, you can follow our guide on Initial Server Setup with AlmaLinux 9.

Also, you need a domain name that is pointed to your server’s IP address.

Initial Steps To Enable Nginx Brotli Compression

First, you need to update your local package index with the command below:

sudo dnf update -y

Then, use the following command to install the required packages and dependencies:

# sudo dnf install git unzip socat bash-completion epel-release
# sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools" -y

Install Acme.sh on AlmaLinux 9

Acme.sh is a simple, powerful, and easy-to-use ACME protocol client written purely in Shell (Unix shell) language, compatible with bash, dash, and sh shells. It helps manage the installation, renewal, and revocation of SSL certificates.

Brotli requires you to set up and use HTTPS. So you can obtain a trusted certificate from Let’s Encrypt. Follow the steps below to download and install Acme.sh:

# sudo mkdir /etc/letsencrypt
# sudo git clone https://github.com/Neilpang/acme.sh.git
# cd acme.sh
# sudo ./acme.sh --install --home /etc/letsencrypt --accountemail your_email@example.com
# cd ~
# source ~/.bashrc

When you are done, verify it by checking its version:

acme.sh --version
Output
https://github.com/acmesh-official/acme.sh
v3.0.6

Get a TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt

At this point, you can obtain RSA and ECDSA certificates by using Acme.sh on AlmaLinux 9:

# RSA 2048
$ sudo /etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --issue --standalone --home /etc/letsencrypt -d example.com --accountemail your_email@example.com --ocsp-must-staple --keylength 2048
# ECDSA/ECC P-256
$ sudo /etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --issue --standalone --home /etc/letsencrypt -d example.com --accountemail your_email@example.com --ocsp-must-staple --keylength ec-256

Note: Your certificates and keys will be stored in the following locations:

  • RSA/etc/letsencrypt/example.com
  • ECC/ECDSA/etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc

Install Nginx from the official Nginx repository on AlmaLinux 9

At this point, you need to download and install the latest mainline Nginx from the official Nginx repo.

First, you need to install the yum-utils by using the command below:

sudo dnf install yum-utils -y

Then, you should create a file named /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx.repo by using your favorite text editor, here we use vi:

sudo vi /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx.repo

Add the following content to the file:

[nginx-stable]
name=nginx stable repo
baseurl=http://nginx.org/packages/centos/$releasever/$basearch/
gpgcheck=1
enabled=1
gpgkey=https://nginx.org/keys/nginx_signing.key
module_hotfixes=true

[nginx-mainline]
name=nginx mainline repo
baseurl=http://nginx.org/packages/mainline/centos/$releasever/$basearch/
gpgcheck=1
enabled=0
gpgkey=https://nginx.org/keys/nginx_signing.key
module_hotfixes=true

When you are done, save and close the file.

Then, run the following command to enable mainline nginx packages on AlmaLinux 9:

sudo yum-config-manager --enable nginx-mainline

Now use the comamnd below to install Nginx:

sudo dnf install nginx -y

Start and enbale your Nginx service by using the follwoing commands:

# sudo systemctl enable nginx.service
# sudo systemctl start nginx.service

Verify your Nginx service is active and running on AlmaLinux 9:

sudo systemctl status nginx.service
Output
● nginx.service - nginx - high performance web server
     Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor pre>
     Active: active (running) since Wed 2023-05-03 08:47:14 EDT; 4s ago
       Docs: http://nginx.org/en/docs/
    Process: 94992 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/nginx -c /etc/nginx/nginx.conf (code=exi>
   Main PID: 94993 (nginx)
...

Also, check your Nginx version:

nginx -v
Output
nginx version: nginx/1.24.0

Set up Brotli Compression on AlmaLinux 9

At this point, you need to build the Brotli module (ngx_brotli) as a dynamic Nginx module. From Nginx version 1.11.5 it is possible to compile individual dynamic modules without compiling the complete Nginx software.

First, download the latest version of the mainline Nginx source code and extract it with the follwoing comamnds:

# sudo wget https://nginx.org/download/nginx-1.24.0.tar.gz 
# sudo tar zxvf nginx-1.24.0.tar.gz

Note: Remember that version numbers of the Nginx package and Nginx source code match.

Then, remove the Nginx tar package:

sudo rm nginx-1.24.0.tar.gz

Clone Nginx Brotli

Now you can use the follwoing commands to clone th Nginx brotli compression:

# sudo git clone https://github.com/google/ngx_brotli.git
# cd ngx_brotli 
# sudo git submodule update --init 
# cd ~

Next, navigate to the Nginx source code directory on AlmaLinux 9:

cd ~/nginx-1.24.0

Install the required libraries for Brotli:

sudo dnf install pcre pcre-devel zlib zlib-devel openssl openssl-devel -y

Compile and Build Brotli

At this point, you need to compile the ngx_brotli as a dynamic module and copy it to the standard directory for Nginx modules, /etc/nginx/modules:

# sudo ./configure --with-compat --add-dynamic-module=../ngx_brotli
# sudo make modules
# sudo cp objs/*.so /etc/nginx/modules

List files in /etc/nginx/modules and you will see ngx_http_brotli_filter_module.so and ngx_http_brotli_static_module.so:

ls /etc/nginx/modules
Output
ngx_http_brotli_filter_module.so  ngx_http_brotli_static_module.so

Then, set the correct permissions for .so files:

sudo chmod 644 /etc/nginx/modules/*.so

Configure Nginx for Brotli Support on AlmaLinux 9

At this point, you need to configure Brotli support in Nginx.

Open Nginx configuration file by using your favorite text editor, here we use vi:

sudo vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Add the following two directives at the top of the file to load new Brotli modules:

load_module modules/ngx_http_brotli_filter_module.so;
load_module modules/ngx_http_brotli_static_module.so;

When you are done, save and close the file.

Test the Nginx configuration:

sudo nginx -t
Output
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Next, you need to create a document root directory for your domain and create an index.html with some content in it. To do these, run the commands below:

# sudo mkdir -p /var/www/example.com
# sudo -s
# echo "Hello from example.com" >> /var/www/example.com/index.html
# exit

Create Nginx Server Block for Brotli

At this point, you need to craete an virtual host. To do this, you can use the comamnd below:

sudo vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/example.com.conf

Add the follwoing configuration content to it:

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name example.com; 
  return 301 https://$server_name$request_uri;
}

server {    
  listen 443 ssl http2;
  server_name example.com; 

  root /var/www/example.com;

  # RSA
  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/example.com/fullchain.cer;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/example.com/example.com.key;
  # ECDSA
  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/fullchain.cer;
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/example.com_ecc/example.com.key;

  brotli on;
  brotli_static on;
  brotli_types text/plain text/css text/javascript application/javascript text/xml application/xml image/svg+xml application/json;
}

When you are done, save and close the file.

Test the configuration:

sudo nginx -t
Output
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Reload Nginx to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

At this point, you can visit your site in your web browser and open the network tab of developer tools. You will see Content-Encoding: br in the response headers. That is the indicator that Brotli compression is working.

Conclusion

At this point, you have learned to Enable Brotli Compression in Nginx on AlmaLinux 9.

Hope you enjoy it. You may be like these articles:

FirewallD Configuration on AlmaLinux 9

Set up Prometheus Server on AlmaLinux 9

Install and Use Flatpak on AlmaLinux 8

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