nginx.service failed with result 'timeout'

Hi there, I am very novice and still learning but have run into an issue where nginx services are not starting due to a timeout. I am unsure how/where to remedy this and any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

error: nginx.service: Failed with result ‘timeout’

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Site Moderator
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March 17, 2024

Heya @02cf6296f5c645ccb16def7aaec1ec,

  1. Check Nginx Configuration: The first step is to ensure that your Nginx configuration is correct. A misconfiguration can prevent Nginx from starting. You can test your Nginx configuration with the following command:
sudo nginx -t
  1. Review Nginx Error Logs: The error logs can provide more information about why Nginx is failing to start. You can find the Nginx error logs typically at /var/log/nginx/error.log. Check the most recent entries in this file to identify any specific errors.

  2. Check for Port Conflicts: Ensure that no other service is running on the same ports that Nginx is configured to use. You can use the netstat or ss command to check for services running on the ports Nginx needs:

sudo netstat -tulpn | grep :80 sudo netstat -tulpn | grep :443
Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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March 17, 2024


The issue you’re facing with Nginx timing out during service start could be due to various reasons, including misconfiguration or resource constraints. Since you mentioned that there’s no fastcgi_read_timeout directive in your configuration, it’s possible that the timeout issue is not related to FastCGI. Here are a few things that you can start by checking:

  1. Before diving into timeout settings, let’s ensure that your Nginx configuration is correct and there are no syntax errors.

    sudo nginx -t

    This command checks your Nginx configuration files for syntax errors. If there are any issues, it will provide details on what and where the errors are.

  2. The error logs can provide insights into what’s causing the timeout. Check the Nginx error log for any relevant messages.

    sudo less /var/log/nginx/error.log

    Look for any errors that occurred around the time you tried to start Nginx.

  3. While fastcgi_read_timeout is specific to FastCGI, you might be facing a different kind of timeout. If you’re using FastCGI and want to add this directive, you should place it within the location block where you’ve configured FastCGI. If you’re not using FastCGI, this setting won’t be relevant.

Example of adding fastcgi_read_timeout:

location ~ \.php$ {
    include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_read_timeout 300;

Replace 300 with the timeout value you wish to set, in seconds.

  1. Ensure your server has enough resources (CPU, RAM) available. A server under heavy load can also result in services timing out.

    free -m

    These commands check memory usage and overall resource usage, respectively.

  2. After making any changes, try restarting Nginx again.

    sudo systemctl restart nginx
  3. Since the service failed to start, check the status and journal of the Nginx service for more detailed error messages.

    sudo systemctl status nginx
    sudo journalctl -u nginx
  4. Ensure no other services are running on the same ports Nginx is configured to use (commonly 80 and 443).

sudo netstat -tuln | grep :80
sudo netstat -tuln | grep :443

These commands check for services listening on ports 80 and 443, respectively.

Let me know how it goes!



Just to add to this - I have found multiple articles indicating that the fastcgi_read_timeout needs to be updated in the nginx config file… I have downloaded mine and there is no reference to fastcgi_read_timeout in it so I’m unsure how to proceed.

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