Web Development

Nginx, Varnish and WordPress with SSL Termination

Assuming you’ve already got your reverse proxy running, in wp-config.php add the following:


/** TLS/HTTPS fixes **/
// in some setups HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO might contain a comma-separated list
// e.g. http,https so check for https existence.
if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO'], 'https') !== false) {
    // update HTTPS server variable to always 'pretend' incoming requests were 
    // performed via the HTTPS protocol.
    $_SERVER['HTTPS']='on';
}


server {
listen 443 ssl http2 default_server;
listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
server_name afrim.com www.afrim.com;
port_in_redirect off;

ssl on;
ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/afrim_com_crt.crt;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/afrim_com.key;

location / {
proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:80;
proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $http_host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
proxy_set_header HTTPS "on";
}
}

server {
listen 8080;
listen [::]:8080;
server_name afrim.com www.afrim.com;
root /var/www/html/;
index index.php;
port_in_redirect off;

location / {
try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;
}

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

}

server {
listen 8080;
listen [::]:8080;
server_name afrim.com www.afrim.com;
return 301 https://afrim.com$request_uri;
}

—————————–


vcl 4.1;

import proxy;

backend default {
.host = "127.0.0.1";
.port = 8080;
}

sub vcl_recv {
if ((req.http.X-Forwarded-Proto && req.http.X-Forwarded-Proto != "https") ||
(req.http.Scheme && req.http.Scheme != "https")) {
return (synth(750));
} elseif (!req.http.X-Forwarded-Proto && !req.http.Scheme && !proxy.is_ssl()) {
return (synth(750));
}
}

sub vcl_synth {
if (resp.status == 750) {
set resp.status = 301;
set resp.http.location = "https://" + req.http.Host + req.url;
set resp.reason = "Moved";
return (deliver);
}
}

Paginating an Advanced Custom Fields Repeater

Hands down my favourite WordPress plugin is Elliot Condon’s Advanced Custom Fields, and it’s made even more powerful by the Repeater Field add-on. But a Repeater can get unwieldy when it contains a large number of items, and you might find yourself wanting to paginate the results when you display them to the user. Here’s a technique for doing that.

In this example we will paginate a Repeater image gallery mapped to a custom field named image_gallery with a sub field named image which contains an image object. Our Repeater will be displayed on a page at the URL /gallery.

10 images will be displayed per page, and pagination links will allow the user to navigate between the gallery’s pages at pretty URLS such as /gallery/2//gallery/3/ and so on.

If you’re wondering what special magic you need to perform to get those pretty permalinks working, the answer is… none! WordPress automagically converts URL segments such as /2/ into a query variable named "page". Very handy!

In your page template:

[php]

/* * Paginate Advanced Custom Field repeater */ if( get_query_var(‘page’) ) { $page = get_query_var( ‘page’ ); } else { $page = 1; } // Variables $row = 0; $images_per_page = 10; // How many images to display on each page $images = get_field( ‘image_gallery’ ); $total = count( $images ); $pages = ceil( $total / $images_per_page ); $min = ( ( $page * $images_per_page ) $images_per_page ) + 1; $max = ( $min + $images_per_page ) 1; // ACF Loop if( have_rows( ‘image_gallery’ ) ) : ?> while( have_rows( ‘image_gallery’ ) ): the_row(); $row++; // Ignore this image if $row is lower than $min if($row < $min) { continue; } // Stop loop completely if $row is higher than $max if($row > $max) { break; } ?> $img_obj = get_sub_field( ‘image’ ); ?> <a href= echo $img_obj[‘sizes’][‘large’]; ?>> <img src= echo $img_obj[‘sizes’][‘thumbnail’]; ?> alt=> a> endwhile; // Pagination echo paginate_links( array( ‘base’ => get_permalink() .%#%’ . ‘/’, ‘format’ =>?page=%#%’, ‘current’ => $page, ‘total’ => $pages ) ); ?> else: ?> No images found endif; ?>

[/php]

A note about Custom Post Types

This technique will also work on Custom Post Type single templates. Your pagination permalinks will have the format /post-type/post-slug/2/.

Credits

My solution was inspired by Elliot Condon and Twansparent’s contributions to the Advanced Custom Fields forum.

Apache SSL Termination (HTTPS Varnish cache)

General approach

Varnish configuration

...
backend default {
    .host = "127.0.0.1";
    .port = "8080";
}
...

Apache configuration


  ServerName localhost.com
  DocumentRoot /var/www/magento/pub

    RequestHeader set X-Forwarded-Proto "https"
    ServerName localhost.com

    SSLEngine On
    SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/cert.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/cert.key

    ProxyPreserveHost On
    ProxyPass / http://127.0.0.1:80/
    ProxyPassReverse / http://127.0.0.1:80/

Apache modules

sudo a2enmod ssl
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enmod headers
sudo a2enmod proxy
sudo a2enmod proxy_balancer
sudo a2enmod proxy_http
sudo service apache2 restart

 

How To Install Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

Introduction

Nginx is one of the most popular web servers in the world and is responsible for hosting some of the largest and highest-traffic sites on the internet. It is a lightweight choice that can be used as either a web server or reverse proxy.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to install Nginx on your Ubuntu 20.04 server, adjust the firewall, manage the Nginx process, and set up server blocks for hosting more than one domain from a single server.

Prerequisites

Before you begin this guide, you should have a regular, non-root user with sudo privileges configured on your server. You can learn how to configure a regular user account by following our Initial server setup guide for Ubuntu 20.04.

You will also optionally want to have registered a domain name before completing the last steps of this tutorial. To learn more about setting up a domain name with DigitalOcean, please refer to our Introduction to DigitalOcean DNS.

When you have an account available, log in as your non-root user to begin.

Step 1 – Installing Nginx

Because Nginx is available in Ubuntu’s default repositories, it is possible to install it from these repositories using the apt packaging system.

Since this is our first interaction with the apt packaging system in this session, we will update our local package index so that we have access to the most recent package listings. Afterwards, we can install nginx:

  1. sudo apt update
  2. sudo apt install nginx

After accepting the procedure, apt will install Nginx and any required dependencies to your server.

Step 2 – Adjusting the Firewall

Before testing Nginx, the firewall software needs to be adjusted to allow access to the service. Nginx registers itself as a service with ufw upon installation, making it straightforward to allow Nginx access.

List the application configurations that ufw knows how to work with by typing:

  1. sudo ufw app list

You should get a listing of the application profiles:

Output
Available applications:
  Nginx Full
  Nginx HTTP
  Nginx HTTPS
  OpenSSH

As demonstrated by the output, there are three profiles available for Nginx:

  • Nginx Full: This profile opens both port 80 (normal, unencrypted web traffic) and port 443 (TLS/SSL encrypted traffic)
  • Nginx HTTP: This profile opens only port 80 (normal, unencrypted web traffic)
  • Nginx HTTPS: This profile opens only port 443 (TLS/SSL encrypted traffic)

It is recommended that you enable the most restrictive profile that will still allow the traffic you’ve configured. Right now, we will only need to allow traffic on port 80.

You can enable this by typing:

  1. sudo ufw allow ‘Nginx HTTP’

You can verify the change by typing:

  1. sudo ufw status

The output will indicated which HTTP traffic is allowed:

Output
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
OpenSSH                    ALLOW       Anywhere                  
Nginx HTTP                 ALLOW       Anywhere                  
OpenSSH (v6)               ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)             
Nginx HTTP (v6)            ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)

Step 3 – Checking your Web Server

At the end of the installation process, Ubuntu 20.04 starts Nginx. The web server should already be up and running.

We can check with the systemd init system to make sure the service is running by typing:

  1. systemctl status nginx
Output
● nginx.service - A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2020-04-20 16:08:19 UTC; 3 days ago
     Docs: man:nginx(8)
 Main PID: 2369 (nginx)
    Tasks: 2 (limit: 1153)
   Memory: 3.5M
   CGroup: /system.slice/nginx.service
           ├─2369 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on; master_process on;
           └─2380 nginx: worker process

As confirmed by this out, the service has started successfully. However, the best way to test this is to actually request a page from Nginx.

You can access the default Nginx landing page to confirm that the software is running properly by navigating to your server’s IP address. If you do not know your server’s IP address, you can find it by using the icanhazip.com tool, which will give you your public IP address as received from another location on the internet:

  1. curl -4 icanhazip.com

When you have your server’s IP address, enter it into your browser’s address bar:

http://your_server_ip

You should receive the default Nginx landing page:

Nginx default page

If you are on this page, your server is running correctly and is ready to be managed.

Step 4 – Managing the Nginx Process

Now that you have your web server up and running, let’s review some basic management commands.

To stop your web server, type:

  1. sudo systemctl stop nginx

To start the web server when it is stopped, type:

  1. sudo systemctl start nginx

To stop and then start the service again, type:

  1. sudo systemctl restart nginx

If you are only making configuration changes, Nginx can often reload without dropping connections. To do this, type:

  1. sudo systemctl reload nginx

By default, Nginx is configured to start automatically when the server boots. If this is not what you want, you can disable this behavior by typing:

  1. sudo systemctl disable nginx

To re-enable the service to start up at boot, you can type:

  1. sudo systemctl enable nginx

You have now learned basic management commands and should be ready to configure the site to host more than one domain.

When using the Nginx web server, server blocks (similar to virtual hosts in Apache) can be used to encapsulate configuration details and host more than one domain from a single server. We will set up a domain called your_domain, but you should replace this with your own domain name.

Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04 has one server block enabled by default that is configured to serve documents out of a directory at /var/www/html. While this works well for a single site, it can become unwieldy if you are hosting multiple sites. Instead of modifying /var/www/html, let’s create a directory structure within /var/www for our your_domain site, leaving /var/www/html in place as the default directory to be served if a client request doesn’t match any other sites.

Create the directory for your_domain as follows, using the -p flag to create any necessary parent directories:

  1. sudo mkdir -p /var/www/your_domain/html

Next, assign ownership of the directory with the $USER environment variable:

  1. sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/your_domain/html

The permissions of your web roots should be correct if you haven’t modified your umask value, which sets default file permissions. To ensure that your permissions are correct and allow the owner to read, write, and execute the files while granting only read and execute permissions to groups and others, you can input the following command:

  1. sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/your_domain

Next, create a sample index.html page using nano or your favorite editor:

  1. sudo nano /var/www/your_domain/html/index.html

Inside, add the following sample HTML:

/var/www/your_domain/html/index.html
<html>
    <head>
        <title>Welcome to your_domain!title>
    head>
    <body>
        <h1>Success!  The your_domain server block is working!h1>
    body>
html>

Save and close the file by pressing Ctrl+X to exit, then when prompted to save, Y and then Enter.

In order for Nginx to serve this content, it’s necessary to create a server block with the correct directives. Instead of modifying the default configuration file directly, let’s make a new one at /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain:

  1. sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain

Paste in the following configuration block, which is similar to the default, but updated for our new directory and domain name:

/etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain
server {
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;

        root /var/www/your_domain/html;
        index index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;

        server_name your_domain www.your_domain;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
        }
}

Notice that we’ve updated the root configuration to our new directory, and the server_name to our domain name.

Next, let’s enable the file by creating a link from it to the sites-enabled directory, which Nginx reads from during startup:

  1. sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Note: Nginx uses a common practice called symbolic links, or symlinks, to track which of your server blocks are enabled. Creating a symlink is like creating a shortcut on disk, so that you could later delete the shortcut from the sites-enabled directory while keeping the server block in sites-available if you wanted to enable it.

Two server blocks are now enabled and configured to respond to requests based on their listen and server_name directives (you can read more about how Nginx processes these directives here):

  • your_domain: Will respond to requests for your_domain and www.your_domain.
  • default: Will respond to any requests on port 80 that do not match the other two blocks.

To avoid a possible hash bucket memory problem that can arise from adding additional server names, it is necessary to adjust a single value in the /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file. Open the file:

  1. sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Find the server_names_hash_bucket_size directive and remove the # symbol to uncomment the line. If you are using nano, you can quickly search for words in the file by pressing CTRL and w.

Note: Commenting out lines of code – usually by putting # at the start of a line – is another way of disabling them without needing to actually delete them. Many configuration files ship with multiple options commented out so that they can be enabled or disabled, by toggling them between active code and documentation.

/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
...
http {
    ...
    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
    ...
}
...

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Next, test to make sure that there are no syntax errors in any of your Nginx files:

  1. sudo nginx -t

If there aren’t any problems, restart Nginx to enable your changes:

  1. sudo systemctl restart nginx

Nginx should now be serving your domain name. You can test this by navigating to http://your_domain, where you should see something like this:

Nginx first server block

Step 6 – Getting Familiar with Important Nginx Files and Directories

Now that you know how to manage the Nginx service itself, you should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with a few important directories and files.

Content

  • /var/www/html: The actual web content, which by default only consists of the default Nginx page you saw earlier, is served out of the /var/www/html directory. This can be changed by altering Nginx configuration files.

Server Configuration

  • /etc/nginx: The Nginx configuration directory. All of the Nginx configuration files reside here.
  • /etc/nginx/nginx.conf: The main Nginx configuration file. This can be modified to make changes to the Nginx global configuration.
  • /etc/nginx/sites-available/: The directory where per-site server blocks can be stored. Nginx will not use the configuration files found in this directory unless they are linked to the sites-enabled directory. Typically, all server block configuration is done in this directory, and then enabled by linking to the other directory.
  • /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/: The directory where enabled per-site server blocks are stored. Typically, these are created by linking to configuration files found in the sites-available directory.
  • /etc/nginx/snippets: This directory contains configuration fragments that can be included elsewhere in the Nginx configuration. Potentially repeatable configuration segments are good candidates for refactoring into snippets.

Server Logs

  • /var/log/nginx/access.log: Every request to your web server is recorded in this log file unless Nginx is configured to do otherwise.
  • /var/log/nginx/error.log: Any Nginx errors will be recorded in this log.

Conclusion

Now that you have your web server installed, you have many options for the type of content to serve and the technologies you want to use to create a richer experience.

If you’d like to build out a more complete application stack, check out the article How To Install Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP (LEMP stack) on Ubuntu 20.04.

In order to set up HTTPS for your domain name with a free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt, you should move on to How To Secure Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04.

How to Beautifully Formatted Archives by Month Separated by Year

Are you looking for a way to display a beautifully formatted archives list of months separated by year? While there’s probably a plugin for this, we have created a quick code snippet that you can use to display formatted archives by month separated by year in WordPress.

Instructions:

All you have to do is add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin:

functionwp_custom_archive($args= '') {
    global$wpdb, $wp_locale;
    $defaults= array(
        'limit'=> '',
        'format'=> 'html', 'before'=> '',
        'after'=> '', 'show_post_count'=> false,
        'echo'=> 1
    );
    $r= wp_parse_args( $args, $defaults);
    extract( $r, EXTR_SKIP );
    if( ''!= $limit) {
        $limit= absint($limit);
        $limit= ' LIMIT '.$limit;
    }
    // over-ride general date format ? 0 = no: use the date format set in Options, 1 = yes: over-ride
    $archive_date_format_over_ride= 0;
    // options for daily archive (only if you over-ride the general date format)
    $archive_day_date_format= 'Y/m/d';
    // options for weekly archive (only if you over-ride the general date format)
    $archive_week_start_date_format= 'Y/m/d';
    $archive_week_end_date_format= 'Y/m/d';
    if( !$archive_date_format_over_ride) {
        $archive_day_date_format= get_option('date_format');
        $archive_week_start_date_format= get_option('date_format');
        $archive_week_end_date_format= get_option('date_format');
    }
    //filters
    $where= apply_filters('customarchives_where', "WHERE post_type = 'post' AND post_status = 'publish'", $r);
    $join= apply_filters('customarchives_join', "", $r);

    $output= '

;

        $query= "SELECT YEAR(post_date) AS `year`, MONTH(post_date) AS `month`, count(ID) as posts FROM $wpdb->posts $join $where GROUP BY YEAR(post_date), MONTH(post_date) ORDER BY post_date DESC $limit";
        $key= md5($query);
        $cache= wp_cache_get( 'wp_custom_archive', 'general');
        if( !isset( $cache[ $key] ) ) {
            $arcresults= $wpdb->get_results($query);
            $cache[ $key] = $arcresults;
            wp_cache_set( 'wp_custom_archive', $cache, 'general');
        } else{
            $arcresults= $cache[ $key];
        }
        if( $arcresults) {
            $afterafter= $after;
            foreach( (array) $arcresultsas$arcresult) {
                $url= get_month_link( $arcresult->year, $arcresult->month );
                /* translators: 1: month name, 2: 4-digit year */
                $text= sprintf(__('%s'), $wp_locale->get_month($arcresult->month));

                $year_text= sprintf('

  • %d

, $arcresult->year);

                if( $show_post_count)
                    $after= ' ('.$arcresult->posts.')'. $afterafter;
                $output.= ( $arcresult->year != $temp_year) ? $year_text: '';
                $output.= get_archives_link($url, $text, $format, $before, $after);
                $temp_year= $arcresult->year;
            }
        }

    $output.= '

;

    if( $echo)
        echo$output;
    else
        return$output;
}
Add this snippet in your index.php file or any other template file where you want to display the formatted archives.

WordPress Enqueue Custom Fonts

/** Custom Fonts

function enqueue_custom_fonts(){
if (!is_admin()) {
wp_register_style(‘source_sans_pro’, ‘https://fonst.googleapis.com/’):
wp_register_style(‘nunito’, ‘https://fonst.google.com/’);

wp_enqueue_style(‘source_sans_pro’);
wp_enqueue_style(‘nunito’);

}

}
add_action (‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘enqueue_custom_fonts’);

How To Install Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

Introduction

Nginx is one of the most popular web servers in the world and is responsible for hosting some of the largest and highest-traffic sites on the internet. It is a lightweight choice that can be used as either a web server or reverse proxy.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to install Nginx on your Ubuntu 20.04 server, adjust the firewall, manage the Nginx process, and set up server blocks for hosting more than one domain from a single server.

Prerequisites

Before you begin this guide, you should have a regular, non-root user with sudo privileges configured on your server. You can learn how to configure a regular user account by following our Initial server setup guide for Ubuntu 20.04.

You will also optionally want to have registered a domain name before completing the last steps of this tutorial. To learn more about setting up a domain name with DigitalOcean, please refer to our Introduction to DigitalOcean DNS.

When you have an account available, log in as your non-root user to begin.

Step 1 – Installing Nginx

Because Nginx is available in Ubuntu’s default repositories, it is possible to install it from these repositories using the apt packaging system.

Since this is our first interaction with the apt packaging system in this session, we will update our local package index so that we have access to the most recent package listings. Afterwards, we can install nginx:

  1. sudo apt update
  2. sudo apt install nginx

After accepting the procedure, apt will install Nginx and any required dependencies to your server.

Step 2 – Adjusting the Firewall

Before testing Nginx, the firewall software needs to be adjusted to allow access to the service. Nginx registers itself as a service with ufw upon installation, making it straightforward to allow Nginx access.

List the application configurations that ufw knows how to work with by typing:

  1. sudo ufw app list

You should get a listing of the application profiles:

Output
Available applications:
  Nginx Full
  Nginx HTTP
  Nginx HTTPS
  OpenSSH

As demonstrated by the output, there are three profiles available for Nginx:

  • Nginx Full: This profile opens both port 80 (normal, unencrypted web traffic) and port 443 (TLS/SSL encrypted traffic)
  • Nginx HTTP: This profile opens only port 80 (normal, unencrypted web traffic)
  • Nginx HTTPS: This profile opens only port 443 (TLS/SSL encrypted traffic)

It is recommended that you enable the most restrictive profile that will still allow the traffic you’ve configured. Right now, we will only need to allow traffic on port 80.

You can enable this by typing:

 

  1. sudo ufw allow ‘Nginx HTTP’

 

You can verify the change by typing:

  1. sudo ufw status

The output will indicated which HTTP traffic is allowed:

Output
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
OpenSSH                    ALLOW       Anywhere                  
Nginx HTTP                 ALLOW       Anywhere                  
OpenSSH (v6)               ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)             
Nginx HTTP (v6)            ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)

Step 3 – Checking your Web Server

At the end of the installation process, Ubuntu 20.04 starts Nginx. The web server should already be up and running.

We can check with the systemd init system to make sure the service is running by typing:

  1. systemctl status nginx
Output
● nginx.service - A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2020-04-20 16:08:19 UTC; 3 days ago
     Docs: man:nginx(8)
 Main PID: 2369 (nginx)
    Tasks: 2 (limit: 1153)
   Memory: 3.5M
   CGroup: /system.slice/nginx.service
           ├─2369 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on; master_process on;
           └─2380 nginx: worker process

As confirmed by this out, the service has started successfully. However, the best way to test this is to actually request a page from Nginx.

You can access the default Nginx landing page to confirm that the software is running properly by navigating to your server’s IP address. If you do not know your server’s IP address, you can find it by using the icanhazip.com tool, which will give you your public IP address as received from another location on the internet:

  1. curl -4 icanhazip.com
 

When you have your server’s IP address, enter it into your browser’s address bar:

http://your_server_ip

You should receive the default Nginx landing page:

Nginx default page

If you are on this page, your server is running correctly and is ready to be managed.

Step 4 – Managing the Nginx Process

Now that you have your web server up and running, let’s review some basic management commands.

To stop your web server, type:

  1. sudo systemctl stop nginx

To start the web server when it is stopped, type:

  1. sudo systemctl start nginx

To stop and then start the service again, type:

  1. sudo systemctl restart nginx

If you are only making configuration changes, Nginx can often reload without dropping connections. To do this, type:

  1. sudo systemctl reload nginx

By default, Nginx is configured to start automatically when the server boots. If this is not what you want, you can disable this behavior by typing:

  1. sudo systemctl disable nginx

To re-enable the service to start up at boot, you can type:

  1. sudo systemctl enable nginx

You have now learned basic management commands and should be ready to configure the site to host more than one domain.

When using the Nginx web server, server blocks (similar to virtual hosts in Apache) can be used to encapsulate configuration details and host more than one domain from a single server. We will set up a domain called your_domain, but you should replace this with your own domain name.

Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04 has one server block enabled by default that is configured to serve documents out of a directory at /var/www/html. While this works well for a single site, it can become unwieldy if you are hosting multiple sites. Instead of modifying /var/www/html, let’s create a directory structure within /var/www for our your_domain site, leaving /var/www/html in place as the default directory to be served if a client request doesn’t match any other sites.

Create the directory for your_domain as follows, using the -p flag to create any necessary parent directories:

  1. sudo mkdir -p /var/www/your_domain/html

Next, assign ownership of the directory with the $USER environment variable:

  1. sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/your_domain/html

The permissions of your web roots should be correct if you haven’t modified your umask value, which sets default file permissions. To ensure that your permissions are correct and allow the owner to read, write, and execute the files while granting only read and execute permissions to groups and others, you can input the following command:

  1. sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/your_domain

Next, create a sample index.html page using nano or your favorite editor:

  1. nano /var/www/your_domain/html/index.html

Inside, add the following sample HTML:

/var/www/your_domain/html/index.html
<html>
    <head>
        <title>Welcome to your_domain!title>
    head>
    <body>
        <h1>Success!  The your_domain server block is working!h1>
    body>
html>

Save and close the file by pressing Ctrl+X to exit, then when prompted to save, Y and then Enter.

In order for Nginx to serve this content, it’s necessary to create a server block with the correct directives. Instead of modifying the default configuration file directly, let’s make a new one at /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain:

  1. sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain

Paste in the following configuration block, which is similar to the default, but updated for our new directory and domain name:

/etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain
server {
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;

        root /var/www/your_domain/html;
        index index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;

        server_name your_domain www.your_domain;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
        }
}

Notice that we’ve updated the root configuration to our new directory, and the server_name to our domain name.

Next, let’s enable the file by creating a link from it to the sites-enabled directory, which Nginx reads from during startup:

  1. sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_domain /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Note: Nginx uses a common practice called symbolic links, or symlinks, to track which of your server blocks are enabled. Creating a symlink is like creating a shortcut on disk, so that you could later delete the shortcut from the sites-enabled directory while keeping the server block in sites-available if you wanted to enable it.

Two server blocks are now enabled and configured to respond to requests based on their listen and server_name directives (you can read more about how Nginx processes these directives here):

  • your_domain: Will respond to requests for your_domain and www.your_domain.
  • default: Will respond to any requests on port 80 that do not match the other two blocks.

To avoid a possible hash bucket memory problem that can arise from adding additional server names, it is necessary to adjust a single value in the /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file. Open the file:

  1. sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Find the server_names_hash_bucket_size directive and remove the # symbol to uncomment the line. If you are using nano, you can quickly search for words in the file by pressing CTRL and w.

Note: Commenting out lines of code – usually by putting # at the start of a line – is another way of disabling them without needing to actually delete them. Many configuration files ship with multiple options commented out so that they can be enabled or disabled, by toggling them between active code and documentation.

/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
...
http {
    ...
    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
    ...
}
...

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Next, test to make sure that there are no syntax errors in any of your Nginx files:

  1. sudo nginx -t

If there aren’t any problems, restart Nginx to enable your changes:

  1. sudo systemctl restart nginx

Nginx should now be serving your domain name. You can test this by navigating to http://your_domain, where you should see something like this:

Nginx first server block

Step 6 – Getting Familiar with Important Nginx Files and Directories

Now that you know how to manage the Nginx service itself, you should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with a few important directories and files.

Content

  • /var/www/html: The actual web content, which by default only consists of the default Nginx page you saw earlier, is served out of the /var/www/html directory. This can be changed by altering Nginx configuration files.

Server Configuration

  • /etc/nginx: The Nginx configuration directory. All of the Nginx configuration files reside here.
  • /etc/nginx/nginx.conf: The main Nginx configuration file. This can be modified to make changes to the Nginx global configuration.
  • /etc/nginx/sites-available/: The directory where per-site server blocks can be stored. Nginx will not use the configuration files found in this directory unless they are linked to the sites-enabled directory. Typically, all server block configuration is done in this directory, and then enabled by linking to the other directory.
  • /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/: The directory where enabled per-site server blocks are stored. Typically, these are created by linking to configuration files found in the sites-available directory.
  • /etc/nginx/snippets: This directory contains configuration fragments that can be included elsewhere in the Nginx configuration. Potentially repeatable configuration segments are good candidates for refactoring into snippets.

Server Logs

  • /var/log/nginx/access.log: Every request to your web server is recorded in this log file unless Nginx is configured to do otherwise.
  • /var/log/nginx/error.log: Any Nginx errors will be recorded in this log.

Conclusion

Now that you have your web server installed, you have many options for the type of content to serve and the technologies you want to use to create a richer experience.

If you’d like to build out a more complete application stack, check out the article How To Install Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP (LEMP stack) on Ubuntu 20.04.

In order to set up HTTPS for your domain name with a free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt, you should move on to How To Secure Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04.

Nginx Cheatsheet

Nginx is open-source software for web serving, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming, and more. In this post, I will mention few Nginx configurations which we use frequently.

Index


Listen To Port

server {
  # Standard HTTP Protocol
  listen 80;

  # Standard HTTPS Protocol
  listen 443 ssl;

  # Listen on 80 using IPv6
  listen [::]:80;

  # Listen only on using IPv6
  listen [::]:80 ipv6only=on;
}

Access Logging

server {
  # Relative or full path to log file
  access_log /path/to/file.log;

  # Turn 'on' or 'off'
  access_log on;
}

Domain Name

server {
  # Listen to yourdomain.com
  server_name yourdomain.com;

  # Listen to multiple domains
  server_name yourdomain.com www.yourdomain.com;

  # Listen to all domains
  server_name *.yourdomain.com;

  # Listen to all top-level domains
  server_name yourdomain.*;

  # Listen to unspecified Hostnames (Listens to IP address itself)
  server_name "";

}

Static Assets

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name yourdomain.com;

  location / {
          root /path/to/website;
  } 
}

Redirect

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name www.yourdomain.com;
  return 301 http://yourdomain.com$request_uri;
}
server {
  listen 80;
  server_name www.yourdomain.com;

  location /redirect-url {
     return 301 http://otherdomain.com;
  }
}

Reverse Proxy

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name yourdomain.com;

  location / {
     proxy_pass http://0.0.0.0:3000;
     # where 0.0.0.0:3000 is your application server (Ex: node.js) bound on 0.0.0.0 listening on port 3000
  }

}

Load Balancing

upstream node_js {
  server 0.0.0.0:3000;
  server 0.0.0.0:4000;
  server 123.131.121.122;
}

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name yourdomain.com;

  location / {
     proxy_pass http://node_js;
  }
}

SSL

server {
  listen 443 ssl;
  server_name yourdomain.com;

  ssl on;

  ssl_certificate /path/to/cert.pem;
  ssl_certificate_key /path/to/privatekey.pem;

  ssl_stapling on;
  ssl_stapling_verify on;
  ssl_trusted_certificate /path/to/fullchain.pem;

  ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
  ssl_connection_timeout 1d;
  ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:50m;
  add_header Strict-Transport-Security max-age=15768000;
}

# Permanent Redirect for HTTP to HTTPS
server {
  listen 80;
  server_name yourdomain.com;
  return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
}

Advanced nginx cheatsheet

Work In Progress, more explanations will be added soon

Table of content

Nginx Performance

Load-Balancing

php-fpm Unix socket

upstream php {
    least_conn;
    server unix:/var/run/php-fpm.sock;
    server unix:/var/run/php-two-fpm.sock;
    keepalive 5;
}

php-fpm TCP

upstream php {
    least_conn;
    server 127.0.0.1:9090;
    server 127.0.0.1:9091;
    keepalive 5;
}

HTTP load-balancing

# Upstreams
upstream backend {
    least_conn;

    server 10.10.10.1:80;
    server 10.10.10.2:80;
}

server {

    server_name site.ltd;

    location / {
        proxy_pass http://backend;
        proxy_redirect      off;
        proxy_set_header    Host            $host;
        proxy_set_header    X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header    X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    }
}

WordPress Fastcgi cache

mapping fastcgi_cache_bypass conditions

To put inside a configuration file in /etc/nginx/conf.d/

# do not cache xmlhttp requests
map $http_x_requested_with $http_request_no_cache {
    default 0;
    XMLHttpRequest 1;
}
# do not cache requests for the following cookies
map $http_cookie $cookie_no_cache {
    default 0;
    "~*wordpress_[a-f0-9]+" 1;
    "~*wp-postpass" 1;
    "~*wordpress_logged_in" 1;
    "~*wordpress_no_cache" 1;
    "~*comment_author" 1;
    "~*woocommerce_items_in_cart" 1;
    "~*woocommerce_cart_hash" 1;
    "~*wptouch_switch_toogle" 1;
    "~*comment_author_email_" 1;
}
# do not cache requests for the following uri
map $request_uri $uri_no_cache {
    default 0;
    "~*/wp-admin/" 1;
    "~*/wp-[a-zA-Z0-9-]+.php" 1;
    "~*/feed/" 1;
    "~*/index.php" 1;
    "~*/[a-z0-9_-]+-sitemap([0-9]+)?.xml" 1;
    "~*/sitemap(_index)?.xml" 1;
    "~*/wp-comments-popup.php" 1;
    "~*/wp-links-opml.php" 1;
    "~*/wp-.*.php" 1;
    "~*/xmlrpc.php" 1;
}
# do not cache request with args (like site.tld/index.php?id=1)
map $query_string $query_no_cache {
    default 1;
    "" 0;
}
# map previous conditions with the variable $skip_cache
map $http_request_no_cache$cookie_no_cache$uri_no_cache$query_no_cache $skip_cache {
    default 1;
    0000 0;
}

Define fastcgi_cache settings

To put inside another configuration file in /etc/nginx/conf.d

# FastCGI cache settings
fastcgi_cache_path /var/run/nginx-cache levels=1:2 keys_zone=WORDPRESS:360m inactive=24h max_size=256M;
fastcgi_cache_key "$scheme$request_method$host$request_uri$cookie_pll_language";
fastcgi_cache_use_stale error timeout invalid_header updating http_500 http_503;
fastcgi_cache_methods GET HEAD;
fastcgi_buffers 256 32k;
fastcgi_buffer_size 256k;
fastcgi_connect_timeout 4s;
fastcgi_send_timeout 120s;
fastcgi_busy_buffers_size 512k;
fastcgi_temp_file_write_size 512K;
fastcgi_param SERVER_NAME $http_host;
fastcgi_ignore_headers Cache-Control Expires Set-Cookie;
fastcgi_keep_conn on;
fastcgi_cache_lock on;
fastcgi_cache_lock_age 1s;
fastcgi_cache_lock_timeout 3s;

fastcgi_cache vhost example

server {

    server_name domain.tld;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/domain.tld.access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/domain.tld.error.log;

    root /var/www/domain.tld/htdocs;
    index index.php index.html index.htm;

    # add X-fastcgi-cache header to see if requests are cached
    add_header X-fastcgi-cache $upstream_cache_status;

    # default try_files directive for WP 5.0+ with pretty URLs
    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
    }
    # pass requests to fastcgi with fastcgi_cache enabled
    location ~ \.php$ {
        try_files $uri =404;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_pass php;
        fastcgi_cache_bypass $skip_cache;
        fastcgi_no_cache $skip_cache;
        fastcgi_cache WORDPRESS;
        fastcgi_cache_valid 200 30m;
    }
    # block to purge nginx cache with nginx was built with ngx_cache_purge module
    location ~ /purge(/.*) {
        fastcgi_cache_purge WORDPRESS "$scheme$request_method$host$1";
        access_log off;
    }

}

Nginx as a Proxy

Simple Proxy

location / {
        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:3000;
        proxy_redirect      off;
        proxy_set_header    Host            $host;
        proxy_set_header    X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header    X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    }

Proxy in a subfolder

location /folder/ { # The / is important!
        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:3000/;# The / is important!
        proxy_redirect      off;
        proxy_set_header    Host            $host;
        proxy_set_header    X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header    X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    }

Proxy keepalive for websocket

# Upstreams
upstream backend {
    server 127.0.0.1:3000;
    keepalive 5;
}
# HTTP Server
server {
    server_name your_hostname.com;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/rocketchat.access.log;
    location / {
        proxy_pass http://backend;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forward-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forward-Proto http;
        proxy_set_header X-Nginx-Proxy true;
        proxy_redirect off;
    }
}

Reverse-Proxy For Apache

server {

    server_name domain.tld;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/domain.tld.access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/domain.tld.error.log;

    root /var/www/domain.tld/htdocs;

    # pass requests to Apache backend
    location / {
        proxy_pass http://backend;
    }
    # handle static files with a fallback
    location ~* \.(ogg|ogv|svg|svgz|eot|otf|woff|woff2|ttf|m4a|mp4|ttf|rss|atom|jpe?g|gif|cur|heic|png|tiff|ico|zip|webm|mp3|aac|tgz|gz|rar|bz2|doc|xls|exe|ppt|tar|mid|midi|wav|bmp|rtf|swf|webp)$ {
        add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Origin" "*";
        access_log off;
        log_not_found off;
        expires max;
        try_files $uri @fallback;
    }
    # fallback to pass requests to Apache if files are not found
    location @fallback {
        proxy_pass http://backend;
    }
}

Nginx Security

Denying access

common backup and archives files

location ~* "\.(old|orig|original|php#|php~|php_bak|save|swo|aspx?|tpl|sh|bash|bak?|cfg|cgi|dll|exe|git|hg|ini|jsp|log|mdb|out|sql|svn|swp|tar|rdf)$" {
    deny all;
}

Deny access to hidden files & directory

location ~ /\.(?!well-known\/) {
    deny all;
}

Blocking common attacks

base64 encoded url

location ~* "(base64_encode)(.*)(\()" {
    deny all;
}

javascript eval() url

location ~* "(eval\()" {
    deny all;
}

Nginx SEO

robots.txt location

location = /robots.txt {
# Some WordPress plugin gererate robots.txt file
# Refer #340 issue
    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args @robots;
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;
}
location @robots {
    return 200 "User-agent: *\nDisallow: /wp-admin/\nAllow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php\n";
}

Make a website not indexable

add_header X-Robots-Tag "noindex";

location = /robots.txt {
  return 200 "User-agent: *\nDisallow: /\n";
}

Nginx Media

MP4 stream module

location /videos {
    location ~ \.(mp4)$ {
        mp4;
        mp4_buffer_size       1m;
        mp4_max_buffer_size   5m;
        add_header Vary "Accept-Encoding";
        add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Origin" "*";
        add_header Cache-Control "public, no-transform";
        access_log off;
        log_not_found off;
        expires max;
    }
}

WebP images

Mapping conditions to display WebP images

# serve WebP images if web browser support WebP
map $http_accept $webp_suffix {
   default "";
   "~*webp" ".webp";
}

Set conditional try_files to server WebP image :

  • if web browser support WebP
  • if WebP alternative exist


# webp rewrite rules for jpg and png images
# try to load alternative image.png.webp before image.png
location /wp-content/uploads {
    location ~ \.(png|jpe?g)$ {
        add_header Vary "Accept-Encoding";
        add_header "Access-Control-Allow-Origin" "*";
        add_header Cache-Control "public, no-transform";
        access_log off;
        log_not_found off;
        expires max;
        try_files $uri$webp_suffix $uri =404;
    }
}

How to configure multiple database and using failover in Codeigniter

$db['default'] = array(
        'dsn'   => '',
        'hostname' => 'localhost',
        'username' => 'root',
        'password' => '',
        'database' => 'database_name',
        'dbdriver' => 'mysqli',
        'dbprefix' => '',
        'pconnect' => TRUE,
        'db_debug' => TRUE,
        'cache_on' => FALSE,
        'cachedir' => '',
        'char_set' => 'utf8',
        'dbcollat' => 'utf8_general_ci',
        'swap_pre' => '',
        'encrypt' => FALSE,
        'compress' => FALSE,
        'stricton' => FALSE,
        'failover' => array(
            array(
                    'hostname' => 'localhost1',
                    'username' => '',
                    'password' => '',
                    'database' => '',
                    'dbdriver' => 'mysqli',
                    'dbprefix' => '',
                    'pconnect' => TRUE,
                    'db_debug' => TRUE,
                    'cache_on' => FALSE,
                    'cachedir' => '',
                    'char_set' => 'utf8',
                    'dbcollat' => 'utf8_general_ci',
                    'swap_pre' => '',
                    'encrypt' => FALSE,
                    'compress' => FALSE,
                    'stricton' => FALSE
            ),
            array(
                    'hostname' => 'localhost2',
                    'username' => '',
                    'password' => '',
                    'database' => '',
                    'dbdriver' => 'mysqli',
                    'dbprefix' => '',
                    'pconnect' => TRUE,
                    'db_debug' => TRUE,
                    'cache_on' => FALSE,
                    'cachedir' => '',
                    'char_set' => 'utf8',
                    'dbcollat' => 'utf8_general_ci',
                    'swap_pre' => '',
                    'encrypt' => FALSE,
                    'compress' => FALSE,
                    'stricton' => FALSE
            )
        )
);
Free Web Hosting