I want to thank Igor Sysoev for this nice piece of software. For me, this is the only way to contribute something to this great project. I’ve tried to document the whole picture of building what we simply call our “SSL-Proxy” (aka. SSL/TLS/HTTPS-Offloader/-Accelerator/-Terminator/-Dispatcher/Reverse-Proxy/Loadbalancer etc.).

In our company we use NGINX as a reverse proxy, serving HTTPS to the client while getting the content via HTTP from the multiple backends. We have two virtual machines “connected” with VRRP to one cluster, acting as a frontend for about 80 Tomcat servers (and some IIS, Apache/PHP …), each with one or more applications. There were many reasons for this structure: One CI (ITIL: change item) for SSL certificates, customer demands (one URL xyz with multiple services), simple but effective failover mechanism for changes and so on.

Update 2014, success story:
This NGINX setup as a reverse ssl-proxy with our “super-url’s” works perfectly for over 7 years (in this time we changed the ubuntu versions several times - from hardy to precise). Today only two applications left and couldn’t be included in this scheme. The configuration without comments has about 7000 lines. We have about 10 changes in the setup per week and we can do all of them on fly (using reload). The security audits of these applications never showed topics like “unpatched ssl versions” again, the web-services team can concentrate on deploying applications with no need to touch an apache configuration ever again and we (the networking team) can solve every access issue by ourself.

And a little warning at the beginning

  1. Everything I try to describe here are finally some sorts of “reverse proxy” configurations. If your backend application only uses relative paths, everything will be fine. If they use absolute path, it could became complicated. If you could deploy it with the right path-prefix, everything is okay again. If the applications insists in the root path, it could be impossible - even if you could parse the returning code (html, css, js etc.).
  2. Somebody maybe wants “simpler” solutions, some kind of an appliance working “out-of-the” box. My experience with this matter is: The operation of a central entry point for many applications with all their unique characteristics is unfortunatly this complex. Don’t expect from an appliance more than save buttons and a fancy web-gui for similar settings as described here. At this point you are entering the twilight zone between configuration and programming, because your proxy is mostly an integral part of a bigger “web-program”.

Technical Data

The server works very efficient:

  1. Hypervisor: VMware ESXi
  2. VM: 4x CPU (load: ~0.15), 768 MByte RAM (used: ~12%), 4 GByte HD
  3. Base system: Ubuntu 12.04.5/precise
  4. Working horse: NGINX 1.6.2-5+precise0 (ppa:nginx/stable)
  5. SSL-Library: LibSSL 1.0.1-4ubuntu5.21
  6. Entropy-Daemon: haveged 1.1-2
  7. VRRP daemon: Keepalived 1:1.2.2-3ubuntu1.1
  8. Software watchdog: Monit 1:5.3.2-1
  9. NTP alternative: Chrony 1.24-3.1ubuntu1 (one socket)



Some kind of a policy …

  1. To avoid problems when updating, the layout of the configuration files and directories should be an addition to the existing ones of the installation.
  2. Each setting has to be unique. This leads on the other hand to some additional references of small include-files and a complex layout.
  3. if-statement couldn’t be nested, Therefore avoid using include-statements inside them.
  4. When including whole directories use file extentions as a switch.

New generated directories in /etc/nginx:

  • conf.d
  • mapping/<segment>/<application>
  • sslcerts/<domain of the channel>/[<app-group>|wildcard].[crt|key]
  • sites-enabled/<ip-slot>_<app-group>.<customer>.any.<segment>
  • scripts

Naming Convention

We had one internal (ADS) domain, some official ones and a complex situation:

  • entry point/channel: LAN users (lan), Internet (ext), some kind of a VPN/WAN (vn2) and a old VPN without DNS (vn1)
  • customers: Our company, several workgroups, lables, subsidiaries and externel customers
  • life cycle/segment: development (dev), integration-1 and -2 (ig1/ig2), approval (apv), demonstration (dem) and production (prd)
  • environments: real (local) and labor

Our solution was to start two whole new DNS-Trees and move the application name from DNS to the path:


In the case of production systems, these were mapped to official domains.


  1. Use pdnsd as a DNS dispatcher on your proxy.
  2. Maybe you shouldn’t use the *.local domain as we did, if you want to use services like avahi

Application Server

Most important …

  1. You can reduce your work, if you have one “intelligent” application with different themes for diffenrent customers
  2. For Java applications we use the Remote IP Valve to betray the Tomcat about his URL (like apache+ajp does)


Network Settings

I put the network settings into the file /etc/sysctl.d/10-network-security.conf. Some of the setting were allready in the original configuration.


# Avoid a smurf attack
net.ipv4.icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts = 1

# Turn on protection for bad icmp error messages
net.ipv4.icmp_ignore_bogus_error_responses = 1

# Turn on syncookies for SYN flood attack protection
net.ipv4.tcp_syncookies = 1

# Turn on and log spoofed, source routed, and redirect packets
#net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians = 1
#net.ipv4.conf.default.log_martians = 1

# No source routed packets here
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_source_route = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_source_route = 0

# Turn on reverse path filtering
net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 1
net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter = 1

# Make sure no one can alter the routing tables
net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.all.secure_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.secure_redirects = 0

# Don't act as a router
net.ipv4.ip_forward = 0
net.ipv4.conf.all.send_redirects = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.send_redirects = 0

# Turn on execshild
kernel.exec-shield = 1
kernel.randomize_va_space = 1

# Tuen IPv6
net.ipv6.conf.default.router_solicitations = 0
net.ipv6.conf.default.accept_ra_rtr_pref = 0
net.ipv6.conf.default.accept_ra_pinfo = 0
net.ipv6.conf.default.accept_ra_defrtr = 0
net.ipv6.conf.default.autoconf = 0
net.ipv6.conf.default.dad_transmits = 0
net.ipv6.conf.default.max_addresses = 1

# Optimization for port usefor LBs
# Increase system file descriptor limit
fs.file-max = 65535

# Allow for more PIDs (to reduce rollover problems)
# !!! may break some programs 32768
#kernel.pid_max = 65536

# Increase system IP port limits
net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 2000 65000

# Increase TCP max buffer size setable using setsockopt()
net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 4096 87380 8388608
net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 4096 87380 8388608

# Increase Linux auto tuning TCP buffer limits
# min, default, and max number of bytes to use
# set max to at least 4MB, or higher if you use very high BDP paths
# Tcp Windows etc
net.core.rmem_max = 8388608
net.core.wmem_max = 8388608
net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 5000
net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling = 1

Virtual Addresses

This is the VRRP configuration /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf of one system. There are two instances configured. In the case of a failure both VRRP addresses belong to the remaining system. For the second system change the values of “state” and “priority”.


You have to restart the keepalived after you set an interface in promiscuous mode (eg. if you use tcpdump for debugging).

vrrp_instance ONE {
        state MASTER
        priority 120
        interface eth0
        virtual_router_id <id-1>
        advert_int 1
        authentication {
                auth_type pass
                auth_pass <pass-1>
        virtual_ipaddress_excluded {

vrrp_instance TWO {
        state BACKUP
        priority 80
        interface eth0
        virtual_router_id <id-2>
        advert_int 1
        authentication {
                auth_type pass
                auth_pass <pass-2>
        virtual_ipaddress_excluded {

HTTPS Addresses

One possible solution is to use direct routing and not a NAT (network address translation). In this case you need local ip addresses with fit to the server of the NGINX configuration. In the file /etc/network/interfaces you can add a post-up command for the dummy (or loopback) interface like this. Don’t forget to add the modules dummy to /etc/modules.

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
    post-up /etc/nginx/conf.d/
iface eth0 inet6 static

auto dummy0
iface dummy0 inet manual
        up      /sbin/ip link set dummy0 up
        post-up /etc/nginx/conf.d/
        down    /sbin/ip link set dummy0 down

The referenced script should correct some arp issues, do a blackhole routing to avoid ping-pong packets of the routed networks and of course add the network addresses.


echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_no_pmtu_disc
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_mtu_probing
echo 2 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/arp_announce
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/all/arp_ignore
echo 2 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/dummy0/arp_announce
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/dummy0/arp_ignore

ip route add blackhole <network-1>
ip route add blackhole <network-2>
ip route add blackhole <network-n>

ip addr add <address-1>/32  dev dummy0 label <label-1>
ip addr add <address-2>/32  dev dummy0 label <label-2>
ip addr add <address-x>/32  dev dummy0 label <label-x>

Maybe you need a second file for all settings with requires a working network interface (e.g. if you have to fix some MTU/MSS values, you have to route to real ips on a real interfaces).


# VPN Networks with broken PMTU
# (ADVMSS = MTU - 40)
ip route add <host-/network-1> via <default gateway> mtu <mtu> advmss <mtu-40>
ip route add <host-/network-2> via <default gateway> mtu <mtu> advmss <mtu-40>
ip route add <host-/network-m> via <default gateway> mtu <mtu> advmss <mtu-40>

Core Configuration


I decided to change not too much in the default config file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. The VM has four cores, each core get one fixed worker, and I wanted NGINX to get an better priority than other processes. All other setting were included (the included file mime.types is taken from the project HTML5-Boilerplate).

worker_processes 4;
worker_priority -1;
worker_rlimit_nofile 8192;
worker_cpu_affinity 0001 0010 0100 1000;

user      www-data;
pid       /var/run/;
error_log /var/log/nginx/error.log;

events {
    multi_accept on;
    worker_connections 4096;

http {
    map_hash_bucket_size 128;
    include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;


The file /etc/nginx/conf.d/sslproxy.conf holds all important global settings, espacially:

error_page 404 =410 /40x.html;
The 404 error page will be cloaked as 410 to avoid the internal page from ie.
proxy_intercept_errors on;
All errors from the application server will be hidden behind the correspondending local error pages.
proxy_redirect http:// $scheme://;
Every HTTP redirect from an application server will be rewritten to HTTPS.
proxy_set_header Accept-Encoding “”;
The proxy interface to the backend should not compress the data (lan connection).
### global ###
server_tokens           off;
server_name_in_redirect off;
ignore_invalid_headers  on;
if_modified_since       before;
root                    /etc/nginx/content/;
ssi                     on;
ssi_silent_errors       on; # testing=off
add_header X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN;
add_header Strict-Transport-Security max-age=16000000;

### tcp ###
tcp_nodelay             off;
tcp_nopush              on;
sendfile                on;
keepalive_requests      100;

### timeouts ###
resolver_timeout        6;
client_header_timeout   30;
client_body_timeout     60;
send_timeout            60;
keepalive_timeout       65 20;

### buffers ###
client_header_buffer_size   1k;
client_body_buffer_size     128k;
large_client_header_buffers 4 4k;
client_max_body_size        10m;
client_body_temp_path       /var/spool/nginx/client/;
output_buffers              1 32k;
postpone_output             1460;

### errors ###
recursive_error_pages   off;
error_page              400 402 403 405 406 410 411 413 416 /40x.html;
error_page              500 501 502 503 504 /50x.html;
error_page              404 =410 /40x.html;
error_page              443 =200 /test.png;
open_log_file_cache     max=1024 inactive=30s min_uses=3 valid=5m;

### acl ###
allow         ;
allow         ;
allow         ;
deny                    all;

### ssl ###
ssl                     on;
#ssl_stapling           on; # selfsigned=off
#ssl_stapling_verify    on; # selfsigned=off
ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
ssl_protocols           TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
ssl_ciphers             HIGH:!RC4:!3DES:!aDSS:!aNULL:!kPSK:!kSRP:!MD5:@STRENGTH:+SHA1:+kRSA;
ssl_session_cache       shared:TLSSL:16m;
ssl_session_timeout     10m;
ssl_certificate         sslcert/de/<company>/wildcard.crt;
ssl_certificate_key     sslcert/de/<company>/wildcard.key;

### compression ###
gzip                    on;
gzip_disable            "msie6";
gzip_vary               on;
gzip_min_length         128;
gzip_buffers            128 32k;
gzip_comp_level         6;
gzip_proxied            any;
gzip_types              text/plain text/css text/x-component
                        text/xml application/xml application/xhtml+xml application/json
                        image/x-icon image/bmp image/svg+xml application/atom+xml
                        text/javascript application/javascript application/x-javascript
                        application/pdf application/postscript
                        application/rtf application/msword
                        application/ application/
                        application/ application/vnd.wap.wml
                        application/x-font-ttf application/x-font-opentype;

### proxy-global ###
#resolver               <dns-proxy>; # we use "pdnsd" here
proxy_intercept_errors  on; # testing=off
proxy_ignore_client_abort off;
proxy_redirect          http:// $scheme://;

### proxy-header ###
proxy_hide_header       Server;
proxy_hide_header       X-Powered-By;
proxy_hide_header       X-AspNet-Version;
proxy_set_header        Accept-Encoding   ""; # no backend compression
proxy_set_header        Host              $http_host;
proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-By    $server_addr:$server_port;
proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For   $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Class $classification; # our internal custom header
proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
map $scheme $msiis      { http off; https on; } # compatibility
proxy_set_header        Front-End-Https   $msiis;

### proxy-timeouts ###
proxy_connect_timeout   6;
proxy_send_timeout      60;
proxy_read_timeout      60;

### proxy-buffers ###
proxy_buffering         on;
proxy_buffer_size       8k;
proxy_buffers           256 8k;
proxy_busy_buffers_size    64k;
proxy_temp_file_write_size 64k;
proxy_temp_path         /var/spool/nginx/temp/;


This configuration file /etc/nginx/conf.d/logging.conf should trigger the logging if we need some additional information. We defined the SSL-Proxy as a network device and therefore the application is responsible for logging user access.

log_format apache
    '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] '
    '"$request" $status $body_bytes_sent '
    '"$http_referer" "$http_user_agent" '
log_format full
    '$remote_addr $remote_user [$time_local] '
    '"$host"->$proxy_host->$upstream_addr '
    '"$request" $status($upstream_status) '
    '$bytes_sent/$gzip_ratio($sent_http_content_type) '
log_format perf
    '$request_time($upstream_response_time) '
    '$bytes_sent/$gzip_ratio($sent_http_content_type) '
    '$status "$upstream_addr$uri"';
log_format gzip
    '$bytes_sent/$gzip_ratio($sent_http_content_type) '

log_format redirect
    '$time_local $redir_match $redir_action $redir_url';

#access_log off;
 access_log /var/log/nginx/access.log      apache;
#access_log /var/log/nginx/access-full.log full;
#access_log /var/log/nginx/access-perf.log perf;
#access_log /var/log/nginx/access-gzip.log gzip;


We use this file to define the relation of two backend servers with an ID. The syntax of NGINX only let you define these definitions global. This means you have to touch two files if you define one new backend/upstream.

upstream <backend-id-1>  {
  server <server-ip-1.1>:<internal-port>;
  server <server-ip-1.2>:<internal-port> backup;
upstream <backend-id-2>  {
  server <server-ip-2.1>:<internal-port>;
  server <server-ip-2.2>:<internal-port> backup;
upstream <backend-id-n>  {
  server <server-ip-n.1>:<internal-port>;
  server <server-ip-n.2>:<internal-port> backup;

In our recent version of the ssl-proxy the file is automaticly created from the application definitions with the script /etc/nginx/scripts/gen-upstream.conf. So now we can add an new service by one path_<context> file.

cd /etc/nginx

cat mapping/dem/path_* | grep "#UP#" | cut -c "6-" > conf.d/upstream.dem-auto.conf
cat mapping/prd/path_* | grep "#UP#" | cut -c "6-" > conf.d/upstream.prd-auto.conf

nginx -t


Server and Applications

Simple Applications

This is the example of a default application in /etc/nginx/mapping/<segment>/<application>, which should fit in most of the cases. The first part is a comment used for the automatic generation of the backend configuration.

#UP# upstream <backend-id-n>  {
#UP#   server <server-ip-n.1>:<internal-port>;
#UP#   server <server-ip-n.2>:<internal-port> backup;
#UP# }

location /<app-path>/ { proxy_pass http://<backend-id>; }

Root Applications

Some web applications don’t allow changing the root path to a subdirectory. You can use of course one of them in combination with applications with subdirectories in a server configuration. But you have to add an if-statement if you want to use the feature proxy_intercept_errors.

location / {
    if (-f $request_filename) { break; }
    proxy_pass http://<backend-id>;

Uploader App

Some applications like editorial pages of CMS systems often have additional needs. There you want to upload for example movies or some bigger PDF’s. Then you have to adjust the maximal size of uploads.

location /<app-path>/ {
    client_max_body_size 100m;
    proxy_pass http://<backend-id>; }

Long Running App

If the response of an application takes a long time (e.g. to generate a report) and there is no keppalive machanism available (in our case it was the “BIRT” framework), overload the default settings of the timeouts - for the client and the server side.

location /<app-path>/ {
    send_timeout 3600;
    proxy_read_timeout 3600;
    proxy_pass http://<backend-id>;

Soap Web-Service

SOAP needs unchanged errors of the type 500, because this is the default way to exchange information with the client.

location /<app-path>/ {
    proxy_intercept_errors off;
    proxy_pass http://<backend-id>;

Simple Server

This example shows an internet (allow all) server with one simple application. The rewrite rule does the initial redirect into the application directory. The following index page is in the responsibility of the application.

server {
    ssl_certificate     sslcert/<dns-domain>/<subdomain>.crt;
    ssl_certificate_key sslcert/<dns-dmoain>/<subdomain>.key;
    listen              <ip>:443; allow all;
    server_name         <ip> <dns>;
    set $classification "<customer>.<channel>.<segment>";
    rewrite ^/+$        /<app-path>/ redirect;
    include             mapping/<segment>/<app-path>

The Redirector

This is one of more complicated part in our setup. Only implement this if you need smooth changes of old/legacy URL’s.

Motivation / Goal:

  1. redirect, refresh or send an error-page with the new link
  2. work for for DNS names or DNS plus context (= first part of the path)
  3. implicit matching of a www. prefix
  4. works for URL’s and arguments of requests
  5. can parse %-codes in the argument


map $redir_match $redir_target { hostnames;
#[<context>.]<hostname> #(static|refresh|redirect)@<scheme>://<target>/<context>/;    redirect@;            redirect@;


if ($redir_target ~* ^(.*)@(.*)) { set $redir_action $1; set $redir_url $2; }
if ($redir_action = "static")    { rewrite ^ /301-static.html      last; }
if ($redir_action = "refresh")   { rewrite ^ /301-refresh.html     last; }
if ($redir_action = "redirect")  { rewrite ^ $redir_url permanent; break;
    access_log /var/log/nginx/redirector.log redirect;}

Redirector Server

server {
    allow       all;
    listen      80 default; ssl off;
    listen      443 default ssl;
    server_name <dns-name>;

    include     mapping/security.ext;

    location /  {
        # deliver local files
        if (-f $request_filename) { break; }
        # redirector
        set $redir_host $http_host;
        if ($http_host ~* ^www\.(.*)) { set $redir_host    $1; }
        if ($uri ~* ^/([^/]+))        { set $redir_context $1.; }
        set $redir_match $redir_context$redir_host;
        include mapping/redir.action;
        # global https enforcement
        if ($scheme = "http") {
            rewrite ^ https://$http_host$request_uri permanent; }

    location /status {
        stub_status     on;
        allow           <monitoring system>;
        deny            all;

Redirector App

This part is very special: Most of our customers bookmark the signon page (of our SSO system) so we have to take care of rewriting this as well.

location /<login-app>/ {
    if ( $arg_<return-url> ~* ^https?(://|%3A%2F%2F)([^/%]+)(/|%2F)([^/%]*) ) {
         set $redir_match $4.$2; }
    include mapping/redirector.action;
    proxy_pass http://<backend-id>;

Active-Sync Gateway

This is only a simple gateway (no certificates!) for several different Exchange servers. It validates some kind of a “fingerprint” of the device against a dns entry. The code can be “plugged” into the context files above as a service.

location /Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync {
    access_log /var/log/nginx/activesync.log;
    resolver your.dns.server.ip;
    # deny anonymous; deny other http methods
    if ( $remote_user     =   "" )              { return 444; break; }
    if ( $request_method !~* ^(POST|OPTIONS)$ ) { return 444; break; }
    # extract domain and user-id
    if ( $remote_user     ~* ^(.+)\x5C(.+)$ )   { set $domain $1; set $userid $2; }
    if ( $remote_user    !~* ^(.+)\x5C(.+)$ )   { return 444; break; }
    # replace underscores in username
    if ( $userid          ~* ^(.+)_(.+)$ )      { set $userdn $1x$2; }
    if ( $userid         !~* ^(.+)_(.+)$ )      { set $userdn $userid; }
    # extract device-type and version
    if ( $http_user_agent ~* ^MSFT-(.+)/(.+)\.(.+)\.(.+)$ )  { set $device MSFT$1;  set $versio $2x$3x$4; }
    if ( $http_user_agent ~* ^Apple-iPhone(.*)/(.+)\.(.+)$ ) { set $device iPhone;  set $versio $1x$2x$3; }
    if ( $http_user_agent ~* ^Apple-iPad(.+)/(.+)\.(.+)$ )   { set $device iPad;    set $versio $1x$2x$3; }
    if ( $http_user_agent ~* ^Apple-iPod(.+)/(.+)\.(.+)$ )   { set $device iPod;    set $versio $1x$2x$3; }
    if ( $http_user_agent ~* ^Android-(.+)/(.+)\.(.+)$ )     { set $device Android; set $versio $1x$2x$3; }
    # always allow initial requests without arguments
    set $initia $request_method:$args;
    if ( $initia ~* ^OPTIONS:$ ) { set $target $domain-exchange; set $versio ok; }
    if ( $versio =  "" )         { return 444; break; }
    # set target, if usernames match
    if ( $userid =  $arg_User )  { set $target $domain-$userdn-$arg_DeviceId-$device-$versio; }
    # forward request
    proxy_pass http://$target.your.internal.sync.domain;

The failed requests are shown in the error.log as an resolver error. The error.log is monitored by rsyslog and transfered to a syslog server. The syslog server checks for the internal domain and send an email to the support.

# Mail-Trap: ActiveSync
$ActionExecOnlyOnceEveryInterval 300
:msg,contains,"your.internal.sync.domain" :ommail:;mailBody

Remote Logging

The Problem

In few words: NGINX doesn’t support Syslog. Therefore you have some possibilities, if you want Syslog support:

  1. Compile NGINX with the syslog patch:
    I prefer to use the original packages …
  2. Use a syslog implementation with file support (e.g. rsyslog with “imfile”):
    That’s okay for the error.log, but it is a bad idea for the space consuming access.log, because you don’t want to store these data a second time local.

Simple Solution

  1. Create a file /etc/rsyslog.d/remote.conf for all (already) syslog messages:
# export via udp
*.notice;local0,local1,local2,local3,local4,local5,local6,local7.*;mark,cron.none @<syslog-server>
  1. Create a file /etc/rsyslog.d/nginx.conf for file monitoring. Repeat the part in the middle for every file you want to see in the syslog. The last line is important, otherwise you will log these messages three times (NGINX log, udp syslog and local syslog):
# import-module: file
$ModLoad imfile

# nginx/error.log
$InputFileName          /var/log/nginx/error.log
$InputFileTag           nginx:
$InputFileStateFile     nginx_error.log
$InputFileSeverity      warning
$InputFileFacility      local7

# send and drop
:syslogtag,isequal,"nginx:"     @<syslog-server>
& ~
  1. Create a script /etc/cron.daily/logfile-actions, which will be executed every day and place there the cleanup commands (eg. 1 day for the access logs and 6 month for all other). Don’t forget to do the chmod +x. This this at least process all files, which you don’t want to store local a second time. But as I sad before, this works only if the amount of access-log of one day isn’t to much … and it’s not very smart.

    find /var/log/       -name       *.gz -mtime +180 -delete
    find /var/log/nginx/ -name access*.gz -mtime +2   -delete

Appendix: Scripts

Its our most important script for the daily use, but it is - for years overs years - a very ugly one.


case `hostname` in
    "sslproxy-01" )
    "sslproxy-02" )

    /etc/init.d/nginx reload
    sleep 2
    chown www-data:adm /var/log/nginx/*
    /etc/init.d/keepalived reload
    cd /etc/nginx/sslcert/
    tar -cvjpf /etc/nginx/sslcert.tbz2 ./*

echo "
    put -P /etc/cron.daily/logfile-actions        /etc/cron.daily/
    put -P /etc/sysctl.d/10-network-security.conf /etc/sysctl.d/
    put -P /etc/monit/monitrc                     /etc/monit/
    put -P /etc/monit/conf.d/*                    /etc/monit/conf.d/
    put -P /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf        /etc/keepalived/remote.conf
    put -P /etc/keepalived/remote.conf            /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf
    put -P /etc/nginx/sslcert.tbz2                /etc/nginx/
    put -P /etc/nginx/nginx.conf                  /etc/nginx/
    rm     /etc/nginx/conf.d/*
    put -P /etc/nginx/conf.d/*                    /etc/nginx/conf.d/
    rm     /etc/nginx/content/*
    put -P /etc/nginx/content/*                   /etc/nginx/content/
    rm     /etc/nginx/scripts/*
    put -P /etc/nginx/scripts/*                   /etc/nginx/scripts/
    rm     /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*
    put -P /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*             /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
    rm     /etc/nginx/mapping/*
    rm     /etc/nginx/mapping/dem/*
    rm     /etc/nginx/mapping/prd/*
    put -P /etc/nginx/mapping/*                   /etc/nginx/mapping/
    put -P /etc/nginx/mapping/dem/*               /etc/nginx/mapping/dem/
    put -P /etc/nginx/mapping/prd/*               /etc/nginx/mapping/prd/
    rm     /etc/nginx/access/*
    rm     /etc/nginx/access/lan/*
    rm     /etc/nginx/access/ext/*
    rm     /etc/nginx/access/vn1/*
    rm     /etc/nginx/access/vn2/*
    put -P /etc/nginx/access/*                    /etc/nginx/access/
    put -P /etc/nginx/access/lan/*                /etc/nginx/access/lan/
    put -P /etc/nginx/access/ext/*                /etc/nginx/access/ext/
    put -P /etc/nginx/access/vn1/*                /etc/nginx/access/vn1/
    put -P /etc/nginx/access/vn2/*                /etc/nginx/access/vn2/
" | sftp -C root@$PEER
rm /etc/nginx/sslcert.tbz2

ssh $PEER '
    cd /etc/nginx/sslcert/
    rm -rf ./*
    tar -xvjpf /etc/nginx/sslcert.tbz2
    rm /etc/nginx/sslcert.tbz2
    /etc/init.d/nginx reload
    chown www-data:adm /var/log/nginx/*
    /etc/init.d/keepalived reload

exit 0

Creates a “normalized” configuration file. Basically it’s a recursive script that evaluates include-statements, remove spaces and comments. This is the base for the most of my scripts doing backup/restore, ssl validations on so on. Maybe it’s not beautiful nor perfect, but it works for me.

cd /etc/nginx

if [ -x $0 ]
    then CMD=$0
    else CMD=$START/$0

if [ "$1" ]
    then FILE=$1
    else FILE="nginx.conf"

echo "# start: $FILE"
cat $FILE | awk '{
}' | awk -v HK="'" -v CMD=$CMD '{
    gsub("[ \t]+"," ",$0);
    gsub("^[ \t]","",$0);
    gsub("[ \t]$","",$0);
    if ($1=="include") {
        print CMD" "HK$2HK; }
    else {
        print "echo "HK$0HK; }
}' | sh | awk -v HK="'" '{
    if ($0=="") {
        pass; }
    else {
        print; }
}' | cat
echo "# stop: $FILE"

#exit 0

This script restart some services, remove logfiles and reactivates the loopback addresses in case of bigger changes. I use it especially at the development systems. On the production machines I do the changes and then a reboot instead, to ensure every thing starts up correctly in case of an unexpected reboot.


/etc/init.d/monit      stop
/etc/init.d/keepalived stop
/etc/init.d/nginx      stop
ifconfig -a | grep "lo:" | awk '{print "ifconfig "$1" down"}' | sh

chmod    +x  /etc/nginx/conf.d/
chmod -R +x  /etc/nginx/scripts/*
chmod -R 600 /etc/nginx/sslcert/*
rm /var/log/monit
rm /var/log/nginx/*
# other commands, like "apt-get -y upgrade"

/etc/init.d/nginx      start
/etc/init.d/keepalived start
/etc/init.d/monit      start

exit 0

Know Bugs / Wishlist

inline includes
With an statement like include @<identifier> and a block like include { include_name <identifier>; ... } a seperate file for every include could be avoided.
global rewrite rules and log option for rewrite
If you have a inverse proxy it would be the perfect place to enforce a bunch o rewrite rules globaly. Because this is an security feature, each firing of one rule should be logged in a (separate?) log.