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NGINX-based Media Streaming Server

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  • RTMP/HLS/MPEG-DASH live streaming

  • RTMP Video on demand FLV/MP4, playing from local filesystem or HTTP

  • Stream relay support for distributed streaming: push & pull models

  • Recording streams in multiple FLVs

  • H264/AAC support

  • Online transcoding with FFmpeg

  • HTTP callbacks (publish/play/record/update etc)

  • Running external programs on certain events (exec)

  • HTTP control module for recording audio/video and dropping clients

  • Advanced buffering techniques to keep memory allocations at a minimum level for faster streaming and low memory footprint

  • Proved to work with Wirecast, FMS, Wowza, JWPlayer, FlowPlayer, StrobeMediaPlayback, ffmpeg, avconv, rtmpdump, flvstreamer and many more

  • Statistics in XML/XSL in machine- & human- readable form

  • Linux/FreeBSD/MacOS/Windows


cd to NGINX source directory & run this:

./configure --add-module=/path/to/nginx-rtmp-module
make install

Several versions of nginx (1.3.14 - 1.5.0) require httpsslmodule to be added as well:

./configure --add-module=/path/to/nginx-rtmp-module --with-http_ssl_module

For building debug version of nginx add

./configure --add-module=/path/to-nginx/rtmp-module --with-debug

Read more about debug log

Windows limitations

Windows support is limited. These features are not supported

  • execs
  • static pulls
  • auto_push

RTMP URL format


app - should match one of application {} blocks in config

name - interpreted by each application can be empty

Multi-worker live streaming

Module supports multi-worker live streaming through automatic stream pushing to nginx workers. This option is toggled with rtmpautopush directive.

Example nginx.conf

rtmp {

server {

    listen 1935;

    chunk_size 4000;

    # TV mode: one publisher, many subscribers
    application mytv {

        # enable live streaming
        live on;

        # record first 1K of stream
        record all;
        record_path /tmp/av;
        record_max_size 1K;

        # append current timestamp to each flv
        record_unique on;

        # publish only from localhost
        allow publish;
        deny publish all;

        #allow play all;

    # Transcoding (ffmpeg needed)
    application big {
        live on;

        # On every pusblished stream run this command (ffmpeg)
        # with substitutions: $app/${app}, $name/${name} for application & stream name.
        # This ffmpeg call receives stream from this application &
        # reduces the resolution down to 32x32. The stream is the published to
        # 'small' application (see below) under the same name.
        # ffmpeg can do anything with the stream like video/audio
        # transcoding, resizing, altering container/codec params etc
        # Multiple exec lines can be specified.

        exec ffmpeg -re -i rtmp://localhost:1935/$app/$name -vcodec flv -acodec copy -s 32x32
                    -f flv rtmp://localhost:1935/small/${name};

    application small {
        live on;
        # Video with reduced resolution comes here from ffmpeg

    application webcam {
        live on;

        # Stream from local webcam
        exec_static ffmpeg -f video4linux2 -i /dev/video0 -c:v libx264 -an
                           -f flv rtmp://localhost:1935/webcam/mystream;

    application mypush {
        live on;

        # Every stream published here
        # is automatically pushed to
        # these two machines

    application mypull {
        live on;

        # Pull all streams from remote machine
        # and play locally
        pull rtmp://;

    application mystaticpull {
        live on;

        # Static pull is started at nginx start
        pull rtmp:// name=mystream static;

    # video on demand
    application vod {
        play /var/flvs;

    application vod2 {
        play /var/mp4s;

    # Many publishers, many subscribers
    # no checks, no recording
    application videochat {

        live on;

        # The following notifications receive all
        # the session variables as well as
        # particular call arguments in HTTP POST
        # request

        # Make HTTP request & use HTTP retcode
        # to decide whether to allow publishing
        # from this connection or not
        on_publish http://localhost:8080/publish;

        # Same with playing
        on_play http://localhost:8080/play;

        # Publish/play end (repeats on disconnect)
        on_done http://localhost:8080/done;

        # All above mentioned notifications receive
        # standard connect() arguments as well as
        # play/publish ones. If any arguments are sent
        # with GET-style syntax to play & publish
        # these are also included.
        # Example URL:
        #   rtmp://localhost/myapp/mystream?a=b&c=d

        # record 10 video keyframes (no audio) every 2 minutes
        record keyframes;
        record_path /tmp/vc;
        record_max_frames 10;
        record_interval 2m;

        # Async notify about an flv recorded
        on_record_done http://localhost:8080/record_done;


    # HLS

    # For HLS to work please create a directory in tmpfs (/tmp/hls here)
    # for the fragments. The directory contents is served via HTTP (see
    # http{} section in config)
    # Incoming stream must be in H264/AAC. For iPhones use baseline H264
    # profile (see ffmpeg example).
    # This example creates RTMP stream from movie ready for HLS:
    # ffmpeg -loglevel verbose -re -i movie.avi  -vcodec libx264
    #    -vprofile baseline -acodec libmp3lame -ar 44100 -ac 1
    #    -f flv rtmp://localhost:1935/hls/movie
    # If you need to transcode live stream use 'exec' feature.
    application hls {
        live on;
        hls on;
        hls_path /tmp/hls;

    # MPEG-DASH is similar to HLS

    application dash {
        live on;
        dash on;
        dash_path /tmp/dash;


HTTP can be used for accessing RTMP stats

http {

server {

    listen      8080;

    # This URL provides RTMP statistics in XML
    location /stat {
        rtmp_stat all;

        # Use this stylesheet to view XML as web page
        # in browser
        rtmp_stat_stylesheet stat.xsl;

    location /stat.xsl {
        # XML stylesheet to view RTMP stats.
        # Copy stat.xsl wherever you want
        # and put the full directory path here
        root /path/to/stat.xsl/;

    location /hls {
        # Serve HLS fragments
        types {
            application/ m3u8;
            video/mp2t ts;
        root /tmp;
        add_header Cache-Control no-cache;

    location /dash {
        # Serve DASH fragments
        root /tmp;
        add_header Cache-Control no-cache;


Multi-worker streaming example

rtmp_auto_push on;

rtmp { server { listen 1935;

    application mytv {
        live on;


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