Increase Request Timeout in NGINX

In the tech-savvy world of web hosting, NGINX stands as a powerful server software that can ascend server performance to new heights. Specifically, you may need to increase request timeout in NGINX during its configuration to enhance your website’s server response time. This guide will walk you through the process of achieving just that.

The Connection to Request Timeout

It’s essential to understand what the request timeout in NGINX is before diving into the process of increasing it. The request timeout refers to the amount of time the server will wait for a client’s request before closing the connection. This is crucial because if there’s a delay in the client’s connection, the server may time out, leading to error messages and potential lost traffic.

Steps to Increase Request Timeout in NGINX

Before we start, ensure you’ve installed NGINX on your server. For a guide on how to properly install software on your server, you can check out this article. This also provides a tutorial on installing Zsh on an Ubuntu server, an open-source shell with features that complement NGINX.

Now here’s a step-by-step practical guide on how you can increase request timeout in NGINX:

Step 1: Open the NGINX configuration file

The NGINX configuration file contains all the settings that control how your server behaves. To open the configuration file, connect to your server via SSH and use the following command:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

You may need to replace “/etc/nginx/nginx.conf” with the actual path to your configuration file.

Step 2: Increase Request Timeout in NGINX

For this to work, we need to increase the request timeout to a higher value. We have two options to go about this, either increase the limit for all servers, or just for specific ones.

Increase Request Timeout for all Servers

To increase the timeout for all servers, add the following lines inside of the curly braces after http:

http {
  proxy_read_timeout 350;
  proxy_connection_timeout 350;
  proxy_send_timeout 350;

Increase Request Timeout for Specific Server

If you want to increase the request timeout for a specific server, you need to add the configuration to the specific server block:

   proxy_read_timeout 350;
   proxy_connect_timeout 350;
   proxy_send_timeout 350; 

This sets the timeout value to 350 seconds, doubling the waiting time before the server closes a connection due to inactivity.

Step 3: Save and Exit

Once you’ve made your changes, press CTRL+X to save the changes and exit the file. You’ll then need to confirm the save by typing ‘y.’

Step 4: Reload NGINX

For the changes to take effect, you’ll need to reload the NGINX service. Use the following command to accomplish this:

sudo systemctl restart nginx 

And voila! You have successfully managed to increase request timeout in NGINX. These changes should effectively make your server more resilient to slower client connections, thus preserving user experience and site availability.

For more information on NGINX configuration, I recommend refering to the official NGINX documentation.


Understanding how to effectively increase request timeout in NGINX can significantly enhance the performance of your server, particularly when dealing with slower client connections. Grip these configuration changes, and you’ll be on your way to creating a more stable and sustainable server environment.

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