Nginx configuration, expiry headers and gzip component with rails – nginx.conf

Just configured nginx server with rails and here is the nginx.conf file. It also includes gzip component and header expiry which is advisable as per the yslow tool.

# user and group to run as

# number of nginx workers
worker_processes 4;

# pid of nginx master process
#pid /var/run/;

# Number of worker connections. 1024 is a good default
events {
worker_connections 1024;

# start the http module where we config http access.
http {
# pull in mime-types. You can break out your config
# into as many include’s as you want to make it cleaner
include mime.types;

# set a default type for the rare situation that
# nothing matches from the mimie-type include
default_type application/octet-stream;

# configure log format
log_format main ‘$remote_addr – $remote_user [$time_local] ‘
‘”$request” $status $body_bytes_sent “$http_referer” ‘
‘”$http_user_agent” “$http_x_forwarded_for”‘;

# main access log
access_log /var/log/nginx_access.log main;

# main error log
error_log /var/log/nginx_error.log debug;

# no sendfile on OSX
sendfile on;

# These are good default values.
tcp_nopush on;
tcp_nodelay off;
# output compression saves bandwidth
gzip on;
gzip_buffers 16 8k;
gzip_http_version 1.0;
gzip_comp_level 9;
gzip_proxied any;
gzip_types text/plain text/css application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript application/javascript application/css;

# this is where you define your mongrel clusters.
# you need one of these blocks for each cluster
# and each one needs its own name to refer to it later.
upstream mongrel {

# the server directive is nginx’s virtual host directive.
server {
# port to listen on. Can also be set to an IP:PORT
listen 80;

# Set the max size for file uploads to 50Mb
client_max_body_size 50M;

# sets the domain[s] that this vhost server requests for

# doc root
root /sites/sitename/public;

# vhost specific access log
access_log /var/log/nginx.vhost.access.

log main;

# this rewrites all the requests to the maintenance.html
# page if it exists in the doc root. This is for capistrano’s
# disable web task
# if (-f $document_root/system/maintenance.html) {
# rewrite ^(.*)$ /system/maintenance.html last;
# break;
# }

location / {
# needed to forward user’s IP address to rails
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;

# needed for HTTPS
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
proxy_redirect false;
proxy_max_temp_file_size 0;

if (-f $request_filename) {
expires max;

# If the file exists as a static file serve it directly without
# running all the other rewite tests on it
if (-f $request_filename) {

# check for index.html for directory index
# if its there on the filesystem then rewite
# the url to add /index.html to the end of it
# and then break to send it to the next config rules.
if (-f $request_filename/index.html) {
rewrite (.*) $1/index.html break;

# this is the meat of the rails page caching config
# it adds .html to the end of the url and then checks
# the filesystem for that file. If it exists, then we
# rewite the url to have explicit .html on the end
# and then send it on its way to the next config rule.
# if there is no file on the fs then it sets all the
# necessary headers and proxies to our upstream mongrels
if (-f $request_filename.html) {
rewrite (.*) $1.html break;

if (!-f $request_filename) {
proxy_pass http://mongrel;



error_page 500 502 503 504 /500.html;
location = /500.html {
root /sites/sitename/public;


In my next article i will also post how to configure memcache with rails and nginx

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