Engintron is an open source Nginx installer and is the easiest way to integrate Nginx on a cPanel/WHM server. This program will improve server performance while reducing CPU / RAM load. It does that by installing & configuring the popular Nginx web server to act as a reverse caching proxy for static files (like CSS, JS, images etc.) with an additional micro-cache layer to significantly improve performance of dynamic content generated by CMSs like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal as well as forum software like vBulletin, phpBB, SMF or e-commerce solutions like Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop and others.
Engintron integrates Nginx into cPanel so you can enjoy amazing performance for your sites, without having to sacrifice important hosting features found in cPanel.
cPanel uses the Apache web server to serve websites by default. Apache however is not known to perform well under heavy web traffic (especially traffic spikes) and it's also CPU/RAM hungry. So how can you mitigate these issues? The answer is simple: by deploying Nginx, another popular web server software, in front of Apache.
Nginx acts as a web traffic proxy, directly serving all static assets like CSS, JS, images etc. by default, instead of Apache. This drops significantly the CPU/RAM resources consumed by Apache, leaving your server with more available resources for other tasks or, better still, with room for more websites to host.
The way Engintron sets up Nginx inside your cPanel is a lot like how the popular CloudFlare CDN works. Nginx (like CloudFlare) directly serves all static content like CSS, JS, images etc. instead of your actual web server, thus lowering the load on your cPanel server. But unlike CloudFlare which requires that all your domains are set up with that service, you do everything inside your cPanel server.
You also have an additional caching layer for when your traffic spikes, not just on one website, but entirely for your server. This additional caching layer is referred to as a "micro cache" and it only caches GET & HEAD requests (never POST requests) which means that it is possible to use it on any type of website, either a small dynamic Joomla corporate website or WordPress blog to a more complex news portal or forum or e-commerce website, that requires users to log in and handle personalized content or even generate content. Engintron solution setup with Nginx is therefore ideal for any type of website and it can raise the number of concurrent requests served by your cPanel server from a few hundred per second (using just Apache) to thousands (using Nginx in front of Apache).
Not only will your serving capacity increase, but the load on your server will also significantly drop.
If you are facing performance issues with your cPanel server, Engintron is your go-to solution. And in fact it's really a "set & forget" solution as you'll set it up once and then it will just run on your server without any additional maintenance on your side.
A few things to keep in mind before installing Engintron.
- As of v1.8.0, Engintron has to perform constant file operations within cPanel to make sure HTTPS works smoothly. Since Engintron is built in Bash & PHP, it's mandatory that open_basedir protection is disabled in your system. Besides, if PHP is served via PHP-FPM or running as a CGI or FastCGI module in your server, the file system's restrictions in access rights and file ownership will prevent you from having any issues with open_basedir disabled.
- If you use a firewall like CSF (or similar), please make sure ports 8080 and 8443 are enabled. Apache will use these when Nginx binds to ports 80 and 443 to handle HTTP and HTTPS traffic respectively.
- If you already had some other Nginx for cPanel plugin installed on your system, please make sure you've uninstalled it first.
Installation is a process that lasts only a few minutes. You'll need root SSH access to your cPanel server so log in as root and type the following commands, one at a time:
rm -f engintron.sh
wget --no-check-certificate https://raw.githubusercontent.com/engintron/engintron/master/engintron.sh
bash engintron.sh install
The process will take a couple of minutes to complete and after that, Engintron will be installed on your cPanel server.
After installation, refresh WHM in your browser and you should see Engintron in the Plugins section (it's the absolute last section in WHM's sidebar).
Inside the Engintron app dashboard you'll also find some handy utilities to monitor things like your Nginx access & error logs, check processes on your server or see incoming traffic on ports 80 & 443 (HTTP & HTTPS traffic respectively). Engintron does not need any additional configuration and will work right away.
Engintron a better solution compared to other Nginx plugins for cPanel.
There are a few key differences when comparing Engintron with other Nginx installers for cPanel:
- Caching actually works with Engintron. You install it and all your cPanel websites will get accelerated, even the slowest ones. And your serving capacity will increase tremendously. Simple Apache Benchmark (ab) tests reveal a phenomenal increase in concurrent requests served per second, from just 3-300 in Apache to 15,000-20,000 or even more using Nginx via Engintron. And it requires literally almost zero maintenance.
- Engintron is a single shell script (weighing only a few KBs) that installs all required software (to make Nginx work as intended) from the official software package vendors' repositories. Both installation and updates are very fast (they take only a few seconds).
- Since we're using the official repositories for Nginx, all Engintron software is updated whenever cPanel (or the server's software) is updated. So you essentially set it and forget it. Whenever you perform "yum update/upgrade" or upgrade the server software from within WHM, Nginx will be updated if a new release is available. If something is changed on Engintron and you need to re-install it or a new version of Engintron is released, you simply install it on top of the previous installation, either from the terminal or using the Engintron WHM app. You don't need to uninstall it first like other Nginx plugins for cPanel require.
- You can safely uninstall Engintron and it will revert your entire system to how it was before you installed Engintron. Which means you can try Engintron and if you don't like it or you find it doesn't fit your needs, you can simply uninstall it. Your system will revert to how it was before.
- Engintron has an amazingly simple yet practical app dashboard inside WHM with all the basic controls for Nginx, Apache, MySQL, the option to edit all important configuration files for these 3 services and even some handy utilities that make Engintron the dashboard in cPanel for your day-to-day sysadmin tasks.
- It doesn't require manual Nginx/Apache vhost synchronization when adding new domains via cPanel. That's why you essentially "set it and forget it".
- Engintron allows for both HTTP and HTTPS traffic to flow through Nginx entirely, as of version 1.8.0.
- It is 100% open source. You can easily examine its code, tear it apart, customize it, fork it, knife it or contribute back to its development.