Handling upstream response 401

Friscia, Michael michael.friscia at yale.edu
Wed Jul 25 13:14:29 UTC 2018

I have a problem that I thought I knew how to solve but must be just having a mind blank moment.

If the upstream server returns a 401 response I want to make sure Nginx serves the response. Right now it is serving the stale version. What happened is that the upstream page was public but then made secure, so it sends back the 401 redirect for browser login. Nginx is behaving properly in serving stale but I want to change how it works just for 401. We do serve stale for 404 because we don’t see a need to serve a fresh response every time for content that doesn’t exist.

An alternative is to force the upstream app to return 501 instead of 401 but my understanding is that there are technical issues at stake that force me to try to resolve in Nginx.

Any help would be appreciated, I just feel like it’s an obvious fix and I’m forgetting how.

Michael Friscia
Office of Communications
Yale School of Medicine
(203) 737-7932 - office
(203) 931-5381 - mobile

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