Nginx tweaks

I just realized I have a bunch of posts forgotten into my draft folder. I'll dust them up and publish them, using my 3 hours train journey the best I can.

So this one if about a few tweaks I did to the nginx config used on this very own blog.

Prevent access without a hostname

The first one is a small security measure to disallow serving files when accessing the server through its IP address. Only requests that specify a valid hostname will be honored. This will prevent people from accidentally browsing your tree structure.

http {
  server {
    listen 80;
    return 444;

Defining a custom 404 page

It is always better to serve a real 404 page than the default one. To be able to define a specific 404 page for each website hosted, you have to use the error_page directive.

server {
  error_page 404 =404 /path/to/404.html
  # You can also use: 
  # error_page 404 /path/to/404.html
  # Which will do a 301 redirect and not a 404

Redirect root to www

Finally, one last trick to redirect all requests made to the root domain to its www counterpart. Hosting a website directly on the root domain will cause issues when you have to handle cookies. Cookies defined on a top domain will be send to all requests targeting a subdomain. By hosting your website on the top domain, you expose yourself to sending useless cookies to any subdomains you might create.

Therefore, it is better to host your website on a www subdomain and redirect any requests made to the root to the www subdomain.

server {
    rewrite ^ $scheme://$uri permanent;

Here was a short list of nginx tweaks. It's better published than sitting in my draft folder.

Tags : #nginx

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