NGINX requires a system user to be able to access and modify files and folders related to your website/application. By default, NGINX uses www-data user for this purpose. It is also the same username used by Apache server. Sometimes you may need to change NGINX user for your website for security purposes or other reasons. In this article, we will look at how to change NGINX user.
How to Change NGINX User
Here are the steps to change NGINX user.
1. Open NGINX configuration file
Open terminal and run the following command to view which user NGINX is using presently.
$ sudo ps aux| grep nginx
You will see an output similar to one shown below. The first column of output lists the username presently being used by NGINX.
www-data 1488 0.0 0.1 162184 7634 ? Ss Apr29 0:02 /usr/bin/nginx www-data 1497 0.0 0.1 162184 7268 ? S Apr29 0:00 /usr/bin/nginx
Run the following command to open NGINX configuration file.
$ sudo vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
Also read : How to Remove URL Parameters using .htaccess
2. Change NGINX user
Look for the following line.
In some cases, if NGINX uses root/ubuntu user, then it might be
user root OR user ubuntu
If you want to change it to a different system user (e.g. nginx_user) then change the above line to
Save and close the file.
Also read : How to Set PATH Environment Variable in Apache
3. Restart NGINX server
Restart NGINX server to apply changes.
$ sudo service nginx restart OR $ sudo systemctl restart nginx
Run the following command to view the user name for NGINX
$ sudo ps aux| grep nginx nginx_user 1588 0.0 0.1 162484 5634 ? Ss Apr29 0:02 /usr/bin/nginx nginx_user 1597 0.0 0.1 162484 5268 ? S Apr29 0:00 /usr/bin/nginx
In this article, we have learnt how to change NGINX user for your websites/blogs/applications.
Make sure that you use a user with only required privileges. If the user does not have enough privileges to access/modify the required files on your website, then you may get an error saying “Permission denied” every time NGINX tries accessing files without permissions. On the other hand, if your user has too many privileges, then hackers might try to exploit it to access files & programs outside your website’s root folders.