Setup Nginx Reverse Proxy over Apache on Debian or Ubuntu


Nginx is a lightweight web server that has been proven to serve static files faster than Apache. This tutorial will guide you how to install Nginx as reverse proxy over Apache web server.

Requirements

You have installed Apache on your server. Apache is already running a site on port 80.

Change Apache listening port

Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf to make Apache listening to port 8080 instead of default port 80.

Find following line:

NameVirtualHost *:80Listen 80

Change it to:

NameVirtualHost *:8080Listen 8080

Do not forget to your existing vhost listening port in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/*

Change:

<VirtualHost *:80>

To:

<VirtualHost *:8080>

Disable Unuse modules in Apache

Since HTTP requests is now handled by Nginx, we can disable KeepAlive in Apache.
Edit /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and change:

KeepAlive Off

Also, run following commands to disable unused modules.

a2dismod deflatea2dismod cgia2dismod autoindexa2dismod negotiationa2dismod ssl

Install forward module

Install mod_rpaf in Apache to forward visitor IP to Apache. Otherwise, your scripts will read REMOTE_ADDR values as server IP.

apt-get install libapache2-mod-rpaf

Stop Apache service

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Setup Nginx

Install Nginx.

apt-get install nginx

Remove default vhost to prevent conflicts.

rm -rf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*

Create a new default vhost:

cat >/etc/nginx/sites-available/000-default <<EOFserver {    access_log off;    location / {        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;        proxy_set_header Host $host;        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:8080;    }}EOFln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/000-default /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/000-default

Create vhost for existing website to forward request to Apache:

cat >/etc/nginx/sites-available/domain.com <<EOFserver {    server_name www.domain.com domain.com;    root /var/www/domain.com/;    access_log off;    # Static contents    location ~* ^.+.(jpg|jpeg|gif|png|ico|css|zip|tgz|gz|rar|bz2|doc|xls|exe|pdf|ppt|txt|tar|mid|midi|wav|bmp|rtf|js)$ {        expires max;    }    # Dynamic content, forward to Apache    location / {        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;        proxy_set_header Host $host;        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:8080;    }}EOFln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/domain.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/domain.com

Restart Nginx and it’s done.

/etc/init.d/nginx restart

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