Is it possible to capture response headers in access log when using nginx as a reverse proxy?

johndavideriksen nginx-forum at
Thu Nov 25 03:17:29 MSK 2010

Below is a question I originally posted on Stack Overflow. Feel free to
respond there if you use that site:


We are using nginx as a reverse proxy to control and log access to a
Clojure (Java) web service application.

We are able to generate an access_log and capture incoming headers using
nginx just fine. Our Clojure app logs activity via log4j. Trouble is, is
that we can't match an entry in the access_log to an entry generated by
the app.

The app responds to access by sending response headers as well as a
body. We can freely change these response headers. My initial thought
was to generate a UUID that corresponds to each and every web service
request and send that back to the user within the reply header X-Uuid.
My thought was that I could capture this response by creating a custom

log_format lt-custom '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local]  '
                     '"$request" $status $body_bytes_sent '
                     '"$http_referer" "$http_user_agent" $request_time

It's looking like nginx can capture headers in incoming requests but not
outgoing replies (I verified this by replacing $http_x_uuid with

So! Is there a way I can tie my access_log enties and my log4j entries
by capturing outgoing reply headers using nginx? Is there a better way?
I'd rather not have to rely on users generating their own UUIDs.

Thanks so much!

Posted at Nginx Forum:,153136,153136#msg-153136

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