HowTo: Nginx Redirect All HTTP Request To HTTPS Rewrite Rules

by on December 1, 2012 · 6 comments· LAST UPDATED December 1, 2012

in , ,

I have setup nginx as a secure reverse proxy server. How do I redirect all requests (traffic) to under nginx web server?

Tutorial details
DifficultyIntermediate (rss)
Root privilegesYes
Estimated completion timeN/A

The syntax is as follows. You need to add the following in location or server directives:

if ($host ~* ^(example\.com|www\.example\.com)$ ){
  rewrite ^/(.*)$$1 permanent;

OR better use the following rewrite:

rewrite ^ https://$server_name$request_uri? permanent;

Edit nginx.conf, enter:
# vi nginx.conf
You need to define both http and https server as follows:

## our http server at port 80
server {
      listen default;
      ## redirect http to https ##
      rewrite        ^ https://$server_name$request_uri? permanent;
## Our https server at port 443. You need to provide ssl config here###
server {
      access_log  logs/ main;
      error_log   logs/;
      index       index.html;
      root        /usr/local/nginx/html;
      ## start ssl config ##
      listen ssl;
     ## redirect www to nowww
      if ($host = '' ) {
         rewrite  ^/(.*)$$1  permanent;
    ### ssl config - customize as per your setup ###
     ssl_certificate      ssl/;
     ssl_certificate_key  ssl/;
     ssl_protocols        SSLv3 TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
     ssl_ciphers RC4:HIGH:!aNULL:!MD5;
     ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
     keepalive_timeout    70;
     ssl_session_cache    shared:SSL:10m;
     ssl_session_timeout  10m;
    ## PROXY backend
      location / {
        add_header           Front-End-Https    on;
        add_header  Cache-Control "public, must-revalidate";
        add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=2592000; includeSubdomains";
        proxy_pass  http://exampleproxy;
        proxy_next_upstream error timeout invalid_header http_500 http_502 http_503;
        proxy_set_header        Host            $host;
        proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

Save and close the file. Reload or restart the nginx:
# nginx -s reload
Test it:
$ curl -I
$ curl -I

Sample outputs:

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Server: nginx
Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2012 23:49:52 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 178
Connection: keep-alive
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jared December 2, 2012 at 1:14 am

An even better way to redirect would be with this:

return 301$request_uri;


2 David Gómez (@emsLinux) December 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Excelent tip!

Please write more stuff about NGINX, I love it.


3 Sukoon February 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

This is the best redirect tutorial for nginx on the web. Great work!!


4 karnd01 August 19, 2014 at 7:16 pm

need to change $server_name to $host as $server_name will default to the first and not the particular name the user typed in.

may seem trivial but when getting into public vs internal dns entries and routing of traffic you may need to user the hostname that got you here.


5 Jon September 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Doesn’t work on Ubuntu 14.04.


6 Komu February 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm

To redirect on the same port:
Lets assume your IP address is and your app is running on port 3000 and you want nginx to listen on port 7000.

    server {
        listen 7000 ssl;
        ssl_certificate /path/to/ssl_certificate.cer;
        ssl_certificate_key /path/to/ssl_certificate_key.key;
        ssl_client_certificate /path/to/ssl_client_certificate.cer;
        # this line is important, for u to handle http and https on same port
        # see:
        error_page 497 301 =307$request_uri;
        # in order to preserve the http VERB that the request came with,
        # we use error response redirection
        # see:
        location / {
            proxy_pass_header Server;
            proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
            proxy_redirect off;
            proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Protocol $scheme;


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