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Redirect HTTP Requests To HTTPS On Nginx

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 27, 2020
CentOS Debian Linux Guides Quickstart Guides Ubuntu Web Servers

Introduction

This Quickstart guide describes how to redirect non-secure HTTP requests to secure HTTPS on Nginx.

Prerequisites

  • You have a Vultr Linux instance running Nginx.
  • You have a domain name (e.g example.com), whose DNS A records for "@" and "www" point to the IP of your instance.
  • Ideally, you should also have a valid SSL certificate installed on your instance. See our guide to install a free Let's Encrypt certificate.

Configure the Redirect

Locate your server block configuration file. By default, this is /etc/nginx/nginx.conf, however it's common for that file to have an include directive:

include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;

If you have a similar line, you may need to review several files in /etc/nginx/conf.d/ to locate the listen 80 (HTTP) server block for your site. You may have multiple blocks or files if you host multiple sites.

Step by Step

The basic steps are:

  1. Adjust your listen 80 server block to redirect all traffic to HTTPS. Add a line similar to this:

    return 301 https://example.com$request_uri;
    
  2. Add a listen 443 ssl server block to handle the HTTPS traffic. Move any statements needed from your listen 80 server block to this new block.

Example

Here is a simplified example of both blocks. Note that both http://example.com and http://www.example.com will redirect to https://example.com.

http {
    server {
        listen 80;
        server_name example.com www.example.com;

        # Redirect all port 80 (HTTP) requests to port 443 (HTTPS).
        return 301 https://example.com$request_uri;
    }

    server {
        listen 443 ssl;
        server_name example.com;

        ssl_certificate     /path/to/cert-crt.crt;
        ssl_certificate_key /path/to/cert-key.key;

        # all other site settings go here (e.g. ssl, logs, site root)
    }
}

Additional Resources

For more information about how to configure server blocks, see the Nginx documentation and this detailed nginx.conf example file.

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