Shared nginx configuration for multiple servers

Antoine Bonavita antoine.bonavita at
Wed Apr 6 22:40:15 MSD 2011

>From what I can see, include can go anywhere (which includes the evil
if). The problem is with the directives that are includED. They all
have to be supported inside if, which is unlikely.

Now, regarding your main problem, what about using symbolic links to
provide the desired functionality.

Something like :
include /etc/conf/local.nginx.conf

with /etc/conf/local.nginx.conf being a symbolic link to the file that
is specific for this server.


Join me on my nginx cruise :

On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 7:10 PM, Ondrej Jombik <jombik at> wrote:
> I see no technical problems with this. Variable $hostname is known when
> the server starts, because with $hostname I mean the name of server
> where nginx is running (see gethostname(2) call), not the name of
> virtual host (which is unknown on the server start, indeed)
> If include is not supported inside if(), I'm pretty sure we are lost.
> I see no other way how to accomplish this. Maybe Igor, who knows every
> byte of code knows:-)
> I think this requirement is a desirable feature. I know guys who
> maintain hundreds or thousands of nginx servers. Currently they are
> copying configuration files back and forth, but if they were able to
> make some per-server configuration alternations based on the same
> configuration files set, they would be able to put whole nginx
> configuration into SVN and do just "svn update" on certain webservers.
> Then every webserver will load its specific configuration (in fact main
> configuration with some small per-server differences).
> Anyway, thank you for your reply.
> Ondrej
> On Wed, 6 Apr 2011, Michael Shadle wrote:
>> include isn't supported inside of "if" either, I believe.
>> I wanted to do conditional includes before - but ran into a wall.
>> Someone I believe replied to me off list and said they were trying to
>> add support for that though.
>> (I think it might be how the configuration parser works. $hostname is
>> unknown when the server starts up, and it includes all the includes at
>> the time of start?) I don't know.
>> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM, Ondrej Jombik <jombik at> wrote:
>>> Yes, I can confirm this, it is not evaluated.
>>> So probably I need to do:
>>>    if ($hostname eq 'servername1') {
>>>        include /etc/nginx/conf.d/servername1.conf;
>>>    }
>>> But I read on MANY places that using if() is evil.
>>> Now I do not know what to do.
>>> Can some expert suggest a prefered way?
>>> Thanks
>>> Ondrej
>>> On Wed, 6 Apr 2011, Antoine Bonavita wrote:
>>>> Hello,
>>>> I'm no expert but from what I can see in the code (ngx_conf_file.c),
>>>> the argument to include directive is not "evaluated". So, I would say
>>>> the behavior you are seeing is "as expected" although probably not the
>>>> one you would like...
>>>> May be you can confirm by enabling debug on your install. In the logs
>>>> you should see a line like "include <filename>".
>>>> Good luck.
>>>> Antoine.
>>>> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 1:00 AM, Ondrej Jombik <jombik at> wrote:
>>>>> We have bunch of servers, where we want to share configuration via SVN
>>>>> or GIT (or whatever). So on all server there will be the same
>>>>> configuration files set - this is easy to maintain.
>>>>> Although the most of the configuration is the same on all servers,
>>>>> there
>>>>> is a small set of differences for certain servers.
>>>>> I would like to separate this per-server configuration differences into
>>>>> files called $hostname.conf in the conf.d directory.
>>>>> However this is not working for me:
>>>>>    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/$hostname.conf;
>>>>> Is this supposed to work, or not? If not, what is prefered way to
>>>>> achieve my goal?
> --
> Ondrej JOMBIK
> Platon Technologies Ltd., Hlavna 3, Sala SK-92701
> +421 903 PLATON - info at -
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