How to test the Nginx server for Syntax errors

Where necessary, you may need to have access to a VPS server so you can follow how to implement the steps in this article.  You can get a cheaper VPS Server from Contabo with 4vCPU cores, 8GM RAM, and 32TB Bandwidth for less than $5.50 per month. Get this deal here now

Table of Contents

Cloud VPS S

$5.50 Monthly
  • 4 vCPU Cores | 8GB RAM


$15.50 Monthly
  • 6 vCPU Cores | 16GB RAM


$17.50 Monthly
  • 8 vCPU Cores | 24GB RAM

Syntax errors are common pitfalls that can disrupt the smooth operation of an Nginx server. In this article, we will explore how to test Nginx for syntax errors using various commands.

Step 1: Verify Nginx Installation

Before testing for syntax errors, it’s essential to ensure that Nginx is installed on your system. Execute the following command to check the Nginx version:

nginx -v

If Nginx is not installed, you can install it using package managers like apt, yum, or dnf, depending on your Linux distribution.

Step 2: Test Nginx Configuration

The primary configuration file for Nginx is usually located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. To test the configuration file for syntax errors, use the following command:

nginx -t

This command checks the syntax of the configuration files and reports any errors found. If the syntax is correct, you’ll see a message indicating that the configuration file test is successful.

Step 3: Check Specific Configuration Files

In complex setups, Nginx often uses multiple configuration files. To test a specific configuration file, use the -c option followed by the path to the configuration file:

nginx -t -c /etc/nginx/sites-available/my_site

Replace /etc/nginx/sites-available/my_site with the actual path to your configuration file. This command helps identify errors in individual configuration snippets.

Step 4: Display Detailed Configuration Errors

To get more detailed information about configuration errors, use the following command:

nginx -T

This command not only tests the configuration but also displays the entire configuration along with line numbers. It is particularly useful for troubleshooting complex configurations.

Step 5: Reload Nginx Configuration

After making changes to the configuration files, it’s crucial to reload Nginx to apply the changes without restarting the server. Use the following command:

nginx -s reload

This gracefully reloads the Nginx configuration, applying the changes without interrupting the server’s operation.


Regularly testing Nginx for syntax errors is a best practice to ensure the stability and security of your web server. The commands provided in this guide help streamline the testing process, allowing you to catch and rectify configuration errors promptly.

Hire us to handle what you want

Hire us through our Fiverr Profile and leave all the complicated & technical stuff to us. Here are some of the things we can do for you:

  • Website migration, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
  • Server & application deployment, scaling, troubleshooting, and maintenance
  • Deployment of Kubernetes, Docker, Cloudron, Ant Media, Apache, Nginx,  OpenVPN, cPanel, WHMCS, WordPress, and more
  • Everything you need on AWS, IBM Cloud, GCP, Azure, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Linode, Contabo, DigitalOcean, Ionos, Vultr, GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, DreamHost, and more.

We will design, configure, deploy, or troubleshoot anything you want. Starting from $10, we will get your job done in the shortest time possible. Your payment is safe with Fiverr as we will only be paid once your project is completed.