Most servers use gzip to compress text files before they are sent across the internet. This makes the files smaller, and then the web browser will automatically unzip them. The lose in the zipping and unzipping time is more than made up for in performance gains – at least for text files. This is because text files are pretty inefficient in terms of space used.

Brotli is a generic-purpose lossless compression algorithm that compresses data using a combination of a modern variant of the LZ77 algorithm, Huffman coding and 2nd order context modeling, with a compression ratio comparable to the best currently available general-purpose compression methods. It is similar in speed with deflate but offers more dense compression. Now, while that sounds impressive, do remember that most of the bandwidth hogs on web pages are media, which should not be gzipped as they are already compressed, so if you have gzip enabled fro text files, then there are small gains to be got from shifting to Brotli, but don’t expect massive gains unless you are a text only site. Still every little counts and, if it’s easy enough to install, then why not.

The only downside I see with Brotli compression is, most popular web servers have not incorporated it as part of their features.
That means, to enable Brotli compression, you need to check first if your hosting provider allows it or not.

I’m not sure if there is a technical reason behind this, but all the browsers I tested with require HTTPS in order to enable Brotli support.
• Apache/NGINX installed.
• HTTPS enabled.
• Access to your Apache/NGINX installation (no shared hosting)
• Brotli binary installed

Installing Brotli

apt-get install brotli

Setting up on Apache

Apache has supported brotli since version 2.4.26 by way of the mod_brotli module.
However, I can’t find any information on this so we are installing this module by kjdev

Install the Module

git clone --depth=1 --recursive
cd apache-mod-brotli
install -D .libs/ /usr/lib/apache2/modules/ -m 644
cd /etc/apache2/mods-available
echo "LoadModule brotli_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/" > brotli.load


This has added the .load file to the mods available. We need to create an accompanying config file called brotli.conf, adding:

<IfModule brotli_module>
  BrotliCompressionLevel 10
  BrotliWindowSize 22
  AddOutputFilterByType BROTLI text/html text/plain text/css application/x-javascript
<IfModule brotli_module>


Enable the module

a2enmod brotli
service apache2 restart


You should now see in the response header that the page is compressed with brotli (br):

Setting up on Nginx

Google has released a Nginx Brotli module
Download the module

cd /usr/local/src
git clone
cd ngx_brotli
git submodule update --init --recursive


Rebuild Nginx with our new module
You should run nginx -V to get your config string and add:

cd /opt/nginx-1.13.1/  (or your own path)
./configure YOUR CONFIG STRING --add-module=/usr/local/src/ngx_brotli
make install


Finally, add to your nginx.conf file

http {
    brotli on;
    brotli_static on;


In conclusion, the setup for both Apache and Nginx is pretty painless. If the browser does not support brotli it can always fallback to the ever faithful gzip.

Does your browser support Brotli?
Browsers which support Brotli send ‘br’ along with ‘gzip’ in accept-encoding request header. If Brotli is enabled succesful on your web server, you will get response in Brotli compressed format.

HTTP/2 200
server: nginx
date: Thu, 11 Apr 2019 21:01:27 GMT
content-type: text/html
content-length: 32395
last-modified: Thu, 04 Apr 2019 13:49:47 GMT
etag: "3c420-585b4a4af8fe6-br"
accept-ranges: bytes
cache-control: max-age=0
expires: Thu, 11 Apr 2019 21:01:27 GMT
vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent
content-encoding: br
strict-transport-security: max-age=31536000

You may also check here, if your server support Brotli.

In combiniation with Swift, you may disable GZIP in Settings->Caching->General and add these rules in Settings->General->Tweaks: Custom Htaccess 

AddOutputFilterByType BROTLI_COMPRESS text/plain text/css text/html application/json application/javascript application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-brotli


If you are unsure of how to enable Brotli on your server, then hopefully this helps!