NGINX Forked Operations do not get handled in the Same Session as the Master Process?

Ege Görgün ege.gorgun at
Mon Sep 28 18:59:19 UTC 2020

Hi everyone,

I hope you and your loved ones are in good health during these uncertain times.

I've been trying to integrate our physical HSM (hardware security module) devices with NGINX to offload the SSL connections through the keys that we store in our HSM devices. I've 2 scenarios with 2 different results that need your attention:

  1.  When I configure NGINX configuration file (i.e. etc/nginx/nginx.conf) with the following and start NGINX as a foreground process, SSL connections get handled correctly and I'm able to see the logs written to the HSM driver's log file:

master_process off;

daemon off;

  1.  When I remove the above mentioned parameters and run NGINX as a background process, however, I believe forked operations do not get handled in the same session as the master process of NGINX and therefore they don't see our preloaded softcard or the key objects inside it. The following is reported when an SSL connection is attempted to be made:

*1 SSL_do_handshake() failed (SSL: error:8207A060:PKCS#11 module:pkcs11_private_encrypt:Key handle invalid error:141EC044:SSL routines:tls_construct_server_key_exchange:internal error) while SSL handshaking, client:, server:

Since nothing gets written to the HSM driver's log file, I believe the driver doesn't even receive any requests orginating from NGINX.

Here's what we are using:

  *   Thales nShield Connnect 6000+ HSM devices with the latest firmware
  *   Ubuntu v18.04 server distribution
  *   NGINX v1.16.1
  *   OpenSSL v1.1.1d
  *   OpenSC v0.20.0
  *   Libp11 v0.4.10
  *   p11-kit v0.23.21
  *   libengine-pkcs11-openssl v0.4.10-1 (OpenSSL engine for PKCS#11 modules)

Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.



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