NGINX 1.4.7 from Ubuntu 14.04 versus latest NGINX 1.8.0
I noticed that the standard NGINX version in ubuntu 14.04 is really old compared to the (! Stable) version on the NGINX website, which is currently 1.8.
Why is there such a big difference? Is it recommended to manually update the latest stable version of nginx on a production web server? I was hoping to get SPDY 3.1 to get better load times. Is it worth the effort?
Nginx is constantly being updated and new versions contain many new features that you might want to use, and it is highly recommended that you use the latest stable or unstable version available. Nginx Inc. recommends using the "unstable" branch and I totally agree with them:
How the work number changes
Branch re-numbering is part of our annual checkpoint process where we rollback the "stable" (no new features) branch from the "mainline" (feature development) branch. NGINX 1.8 was forked as a new stable branch from the 1.7 branch, and the 1.7 branch was renumbered 1.9. We no longer support 1.6 (the former stable branch) or are developing in 1.7.
In NGINX nomenclature, stable (now version 1.8) means the feature set is fixed; only critical bug fixes are tied to this branch. Stable does not necessarily mean more reliable or more trouble-free. In fact, the main branch (now 1.9) is generally considered more reliable because we commit a wider set of bug fixes for it, not just the critical fixes merged into the stable branch. On the other hand, any changes in the stable branch have very little effect on the work of third-party modules, whereas in the main branch, adding new features can do this. To get a complete picture of how we are doing numbering (complete with pictures) last year .
I don't know of anyone who has run into problems using a newer version of nginx than their distribution - considering both the configuration issues and the security, so it's completely safe in my opinion.
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