HowTo: Nginx Webserver Send Charset utf-8 Under Unix

Posted on in Categories last updated November 11, 2012

I was told that to improve resource download parallelization in IE8 I need to send the character set to the HTTP Content-Type response header. How do I set charset utf-8 under nginx web server running on Unix like operating systems?

You need to use the ngx_http_charset_module. This module provides the specified charset to the “Content-Type” response header field. You can view such header using nothting but standard wget or curl command:

curl -I


wget --server-response -O /dev/null

How do I enable charset HTTP-header in Nginx?

Open your nginx.conf, enter:
# vi nginx.conf
Append/modify the following directive in http, server, or location:

charset UTF-8;

Save and close the file. Reload the nginx web server, enter:
# /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx -s reload

How do I test charset HTTP-header?

Type the following command:
$ wget --server-response -O /dev/null
$ curl -I
Sample outputs:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: nginx
Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2012 16:42:51 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Connection: keep-alive
X-Whom: l2-com-cyber
Vary: Cookie
Last-Modified: Mon, 05 Nov 2012 16:38:02 GMT
Cache-Control: max-age=311, must-revalidate
X-Galaxy: Andromeda-1
X-Origin-Type: DynamicViaDAL

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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