How can I check what modules have been added to an nginx installation?

  • 8
    Another way of saying this is "how can I see which flags Nginx was compiled with?" Just wanted to add that to increase searchability. Feb 20, 2012 at 17:37

4 Answers 4


nginx -V will list all the configured modules. There is no explicit enable/load command.

  • 9
    Note for noobs: If not logged in as root user, the command would be sudo nginx -V
    – its_me
    Feb 8, 2013 at 4:08
  • 6
    I did not need to use sudo on Ubuntu 14.04 Jun 11, 2015 at 14:53
  • 7
    Please note that this parameter is case sensitive. If you use lower case "-v" you will get only version number. Upper case "-V" gives you complete configuration including list of all modules used for compiling Nginx binary.
    – Illidan
    Nov 6, 2016 at 7:43
  • 2
    It seems like some systems may not have the $PATH set properly for non-superusers, omitting all the sbin directories, so, you might have to specify the full path of the daemon (e.g., /usr/sbin/nginx -V), or indeed just use sudo.
    – cnst
    Aug 26, 2017 at 19:14
  • @its_me ...you probably don't need sudo to run nginx -V Jul 10, 2019 at 1:30

Diff-able one-liner:

2>&1 nginx -V | tr -- - '\n' | grep _module

Convenient for comparing two environments:

lsmodn="2>&1 nginx -V | tr -- - '\n' | grep _module"
diff -y <(ssh www-prd eval $lsmodn) <(ssh www-qa eval $lsmodn)


Thank you, Roman Newaza, for correctly pointing out that this includes --without module compile flags. I'm not using --without flags and was just focused on getting the module list, so I didn't catch that; the one-liner can be modified to help diff compile flags between 2 installations, like this:

2>&1 nginx -V | tr ' '  '\n'

which is the same as:

2>&1 nginx -V | xargs -n1

Maybe also pipe that through sort to normalize idiosyncratic ordering of compile flags and tr again to split assignments onto diff-able lines. Final result:

lsmodn="2>&1 nginx -V | xargs -n1 | sort | tr = '\n'"
diff -y <(ssh www-prd eval $lsmodn) <(ssh www-qa eval $lsmodn)

That works if sort behaves the same on both remote hosts (ie. they are both GNU or BSD). If you are comparing Linux to BSD (Mac OS X), just move the | sort | tr = '\n' piece out of lsmodn to the local shell where sort will be consistent:

lsmodn="2>&1 nginx -V | xargs -n1"
diff -y <(ssh linux eval $lsmodn | sort | tr = '\n') <(ssh macosx eval $lsmodn  | sort | tr = '\n')

Messier, but it works.

  • 2
    2>&1 nginx -V | tr -- - '\n' | grep _module command is totally wrong as it lists without-* options as installed! Mar 28, 2013 at 9:07
  • awesome answer. out of interest why do you put 2>&1 in front. from what I've seen thats more unusual?
    – cavalcade
    Feb 18, 2015 at 2:46
  • @MattTagg it's only in front until it's used. Then it's at the end of either command.
    – kmarsh
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:23

nginx -V doesn't show all modules, it shows about 20 modules for me.

I use strings /usr/sbin/nginx|grep _module|grep -v configure| sort which lists all 200+ modules in my nginx.

I also tried objdump but looks like the nginx in my installation had the binary stripped.

  • 1
    This really helps me, and is the only one right answer. nginx -V can't get the build in modules.
    – Willis
    Jun 10, 2020 at 13:05
  • The nginx -V command (upper-case V) will list all the modules, as well as other compile-time options:

    %nginx -V nginx version: nginx/1.2.2 built by gcc 4.2.1 20070719 TLS SNI support enabled configure arguments: --prefix=/var/www --conf-path=/etc/nginx/nginx.conf --sbin-path=/usr/sbin/nginx --pid-path=/var/run/nginx.pid --lock-path=/var/run/nginx.lock --http-log-path=logs/access.log --error-log-path=logs/error.log --http-client-body-temp-path=/var/www/cache/client_body_temp --http-proxy-temp-path=/var/www/cache/proxy_temp --http-fastcgi-temp-path=/var/www/cache/fastcgi_temp --http-scgi-temp-path=/var/www/cache/scgi_temp --http-uwsgi-temp-path=/var/www/cache/uwsgi_temp --user=www --group=www --with-http_gzip_static_module --with-http_ssl_module --with-http_stub_status_module --with-ipv6 --without-mail_pop3_module --without-mail_imap_module --without-mail_smtp_module %

    Note that there is never any need for sudo for this command, as superuser powers would only be needed by nginx for opening ports below IPPORT_RESERVED (e.g., ports below 1024) and/or certain log-files for writing.

    However, depending on your $PATH settings, you may either need to specify the full path — e.g., /usr/sbin/nginx -V, or indeed use sudo for having the appropriate /sbin/ directory be included in the $PATH.

  • Starting with newer nginx releases — since nginx 1.9.11 (February 2016) — dynamically loadable modules are now supported, too — http://nginx.org/r/load_module — with the help of the load_module directive.

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