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name Punditsdkoslkdosdkoskdo

Nginx reverse proxy / URL rewrite

Nginx is running on port 80, and I'm using it to reverse proxy URLs with path /foo to port 3200 this way:

location /foo {
                proxy_pass http://localhost:3200;
                proxy_redirect     off;
                proxy_set_header   Host $host;

This works fine, but I have an application on port 3200, for which I don't want the initial /foo to be sent to. That is - when I access http://localhost/foo/bar, I want only /bar to be the path as received by the app. So I tried adding this line to the location block above:

rewrite ^(.*)foo(.*)$ http://localhost:3200/$2 permanent;

This causes 302 redirect (change in URL), but I want 301. What should I do?


The absolute most correct way and best practice is usually as follows:

location /foo/ {
    proxy_pass http://localhost:3200/; # note the trailing slash!

  • Note the dire importance of the trailing slash in proxy_pass, which automatically alters the $uri variable to have the /foo/ on the front-end correspond with / on the backend. No need for an explicit rewrite directive.

  • Additionally, note that the the trailing / in the location is quite important as well — without it, you risk having weird-looking URLs on your site at one point (e.g., a working /fooen in addition to /foo/en).

    Additionally, the trailing / in the location with proxy_pass also ensures some special handling, as per the documentation of the location directive, to effectively cause an implicit location = /foo {return 301 /foo/;} as well.

    So, by defining a location with the trailing slash as above, you not only ensure that slash-less suffix URLs like /fooen won't be valid, but also that a /foo without a trailing slash will continue to work as well.

Reference documentation:

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Any redirect to localhost doesn't make sense from a remote system (e.g. client's Web browser). So the rewrite flags permanent (301) or redirect (302) are not usable in your case.

Please try following setup using a transparent rewrite rule:

location  /foo {
  rewrite /foo/(.*) /$1  break;
  proxy_pass         http://localhost:3200;
  proxy_redirect     off;
  proxy_set_header   Host $host;

Use curl -i to test your rewrites. A very subtle change to the rule can cause nginx to perform a redirect.

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