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      How To Configure Nginx as a Web Server and Reverse Proxy for Apache on One Ubuntu 20.04 Server


      The author selected the Electronic Frontier Foundation to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.

      Introduction

      Apache and Nginx are two popular open-source web servers often used with PHP. It can be useful to run both of them on the same virtual machine when hosting multiple websites that have varied requirements. The general solution for running two web servers on a single system is to either use multiple IP addresses or different port numbers.

      Servers that have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses can be configured to serve Apache sites on one protocol and Nginx sites on the other, but this isn’t currently practical, as IPv6 adoption by ISPs is still not widespread. Having a different port number like 81 or 8080 for the second web server is another solution, but sharing URLs with port numbers (such as http://your_domain:81) isn’t always reasonable or ideal.

      In this tutorial you’ll configure Nginx as both a web server and as a reverse proxy for Apache – all on a single server.

      Depending on the web application, code changes might be required to keep Apache reverse-proxy-aware, especially when SSL sites are configured. To avoid this, you will install an Apache module called mod_rpaf which rewrites certain environment variables so it appears that Apache is directly handling requests from web clients.

      We will host four domain names on one server. Two will be served by Nginx: nginx1.your_domain (the default virtual host) and nginx2.your_domain. The remaining two, apache1.your_domain and apache2.your_domain, will be served by Apache. We’ll also configure Apache to serve PHP applications using PHP-FPM, which offers better performance over mod_php.

      Prerequisites

      To complete this tutorial, you’ll need the following:

      • A new Ubuntu 20.04 server configured by following the Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 20.04, with a sudo non-root user and a firewall.
      • Four fully-qualified domain names configured to point to your server’s IP address. See Step 3 of How To Set Up a Host Name with DigitalOcean for an example of how to do this. If you host your domains’ DNS elsewhere, you should create appropriate A records there instead.

      Step 1 — Installing Apache and PHP-FPM

      Let’s start by installing Apache and PHP-FPM.

      In addition to Apache and PHP-FPM, we will also install the PHP FastCGI Apache module, libapache2-mod-fastcgi, to support FastCGI web applications.

      First, update your package list to ensure you have the latest packages.

      Next, install the Apache and PHP-FPM packages:

      • sudo apt install apache2 php-fpm

      The FastCGI Apache module isn’t available in Ubuntu’s repository so download it from kernel.org and install it using the dpkg command.

      • wget https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/multiverse/liba/libapache-mod-fastcgi/libapache2-mod-fastcgi_2.4.7~0910052141-1.2_amd64.deb
      • sudo dpkg -i libapache2-mod-fastcgi_2.4.7~0910052141-1.2_amd64.deb

      Next, let’s change Apache’s default configuration to use PHP-FPM.

      Step 2 — Configuring Apache and PHP-FPM

      In this step we will change Apache’s port number to 8080 and configure it to work with PHP-FPM using the mod_fastcgi module. Rename Apache’s ports.conf configuration file:

      • sudo mv /etc/apache2/ports.conf /etc/apache2/ports.conf.default

      Create a new ports.conf file with the port set to 8080:

      • echo "Listen 8080" | sudo tee /etc/apache2/ports.conf

      Note: Web servers are generally set to listen on 127.0.0.1:8080 when configuring a reverse proxy but doing so would set the value of PHP’s environment variable SERVER_ADDR to the loopback IP address instead of the server’s public IP. Our aim is to set up Apache in such a way that its websites do not see a reverse proxy in front of it. So, we will configure it to listen on 8080 on all IP addresses.

      Next we’ll create a virtual host file for Apache. The <VirtualHost> directive in this file will be set to serve sites only on port 8080.

      Disable the default virtual host:

      • sudo a2dissite 000-default

      Then create a new virtual host file, using the existing default site:

      • sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-default.conf

      Now open the new configuration file:

      • sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/001-default.conf

      Change the listening port to 8080:

      /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

      <VirtualHost *:8080>
          ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
          DocumentRoot /var/www/html
          ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
          CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
      </VirtualHost>
      

      Save the file and activate the new configuration file:

      • sudo a2ensite 001-default

      Then reload Apache:

      • sudo systemctl reload apache2

      Install the net-tools package which contains the netstat command:

      • sudo apt install net-tools

      Verify that Apache is now listening on 8080:

      The output should look like the following example, with apache2 listening on 8080:

      Output

      Active Internet connections (only servers) Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:22 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN 1086/sshd tcp6 0 0 :::8080 :::* LISTEN 4678/apache2 tcp6 0 0 :::22 :::* LISTEN 1086/sshd

      Once you verify that Apache is listening on the correct port, you can configure support for PHP and FastCGI.

      Step 3 — Configuring Apache to Use mod_fastcgi

      Apache serves PHP pages using mod_php by default, but it requires additional configuration to work with PHP-FPM.

      Note: If you are trying this tutorial on an existing installation of LAMP with mod_php, disable it first with sudo a2dismod php7.4.

      We will be adding a configuration block for mod_fastcgi, which depends on mod_action. mod_action is disabled by default, so we first need to enable it:

      Rename the existing FastCGI configuration file:

      • sudo mv /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/fastcgi.conf /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/fastcgi.conf.default

      Create a new configuration file:

      • sudo nano /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/fastcgi.conf

      Add the following directives to the file to pass requests for .php files to the PHP-FPM UNIX socket:

      /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/fastcgi.conf

      <IfModule mod_fastcgi.c>
        AddHandler fastcgi-script .fcgi
        FastCgiIpcDir /var/lib/apache2/fastcgi
        AddType application/x-httpd-fastphp .php
        Action application/x-httpd-fastphp /php-fcgi
        Alias /php-fcgi /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php-fcgi
        FastCgiExternalServer /usr/lib/cgi-bin/php-fcgi -socket /run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock -pass-header Authorization
        <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
          Require all granted
        </Directory>
      </IfModule>
      

      Save the changes and perform a configuration test:

      Note: If you see the warning Could not reliably determine the server's fully /
      qualified domain name, using 127.0.1.1. Set the /'ServerName' directive globally/
      to suppress this message.
      , you can safely ignore it for now. We’ll configure server names later.

      Reload Apache as long as Syntax OK is displayed:

      • sudo systemctl reload apache2

      Now let’s make sure we can serve PHP from Apache.

      Step 4 — Verifying PHP Functionality

      Let’s make sure that PHP works by creating a phpinfo() file and accessing it from a web browser.

      Create the file /var/www/html/info.php, which contains a call to the phpinfo function:

      • echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" | sudo tee /var/www/html/info.php

      Note that if you followed the initial server setup in the Prerequisites section, then you likely enabled the Apache firewall. Let’s go ahead and make sure that we can access our IP on port 8080, which is not currently accessible. We’ll restrict public access to this port in Step 10.

      First allow port 8080 through the firewall:

      Since we are going to secure our Apache domains, let’s go ahead and make sure TLS traffic on port 443 can enter.

      Allow Apache Full to permit traffic on ports 80 and 443:

      • sudo ufw allow "Apache Full"

      Now check your firewall status:

      If you followed the prerequisites, then the output will look like this:

      Output

      To Action From -- ------ ---- OpenSSH ALLOW Anywhere Apache Full ALLOW Anywhere 8080 ALLOW Anywhere OpenSSH (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6) Apache Full (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6) 8080 (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)

      You will see that port 8080 and Apache Full are allowed alongside any other firewall rules. Now let’s view our info.php page.

      To see the info.php in a browser, go to http://your_server_ip:8080/info.php. This will give you a list of the configuration settings PHP is using. You’ll see output similar to this:

      phpinfo Server API

      phpinfo PHP Variables

      At the top of the page, check that Server API says FPM/FastCGI. About two-thirds of the way down the page, the PHP Variables section will tell you the SERVER_SOFTWARE is Apache on Ubuntu. These confirm that mod_fastcgi is active and Apache is using PHP-FPM to process PHP files.

      Step 5 — Creating Virtual Hosts for Apache

      Let’s create Apache virtual host files for the domains apache1.your_domain and apache2.your_domain. To do that, we’ll first create document root directories for both sites and place some default files in those directories so we can easily test our configuration.

      First, create the document root directories:

      • sudo mkdir -v /var/www/apache1.your_domain /var/www/apache2.your_domain

      Then create an index file for each site:

      • echo "<h1 style="color: green;">Apache 1</h1>" | sudo tee /var/www/apache1.your_domain/index.html
      • echo "<h1 style="color: red;">Apache 2</h1>" | sudo tee /var/www/apache2.your_domain/index.html

      Then create a phpinfo() file for each site so we can test that PHP is configured properly.

      • echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" | sudo tee /var/www/apache1.your_domain/info.php
      • echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" | sudo tee /var/www/apache2.your_domain/info.php

      Now create the virtual host file for apache1.your_domain:

      • sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/apache1.your_domain.conf

      Add the following code to the file to define the host:

      /etc/apache2/sites-available/apache1.your_domain.conf

          <VirtualHost *:8080>
              ServerName apache1.your_domain
              ServerAlias www.apache1.your_domain
              DocumentRoot /var/www/apache1.your_domain
              <Directory /var/www/apache1.your_domain>
                  AllowOverride All
              </Directory>
          </VirtualHost>
      

      The line AllowOverride All enables .htaccess support.

      These are only the most basic directives. For a complete guide on setting up virtual hosts in Apache, see How To Set Up Apache Virtual Hosts on Ubuntu 18.04.

      Save and close the file. Then create a similar configuration for apache2.your_domain. First create the file:

      • sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/apache2.your_domain.conf

      Then add the configuration to the file:

      your_domain.conf’>/etc/apache2/sites-available/apache2.your_domain.conf

          <VirtualHost *:8080>
              ServerName apache2.your_domain
              ServerAlias www.apache2.your_domain
              DocumentRoot /var/www/apache2.your_domain
              <Directory /var/www/apache2.your_domain
                  AllowOverride All
              </Directory>
          </VirtualHost>
      

      Save the file and exit the editor.

      Now that both Apache virtual hosts are set up, enable the sites using the a2ensite command. This creates a symbolic link to the virtual host file in the sites-enabled directory:

      • sudo a2ensite apache1.your_domain
      • sudo a2ensite apache2.your_domain

      Check Apache for configuration errors again:

      You’ll see Syntax OK displayed if there are no errors. If you see anything else, review the configuration and try again.

      Reload Apache to apply the changes once your configuration is error-free:

      • sudo systemctl reload apache2

      To confirm the sites are working, open http://apache1.your_domain:8080 and http://apache2.your_domain:8080 in your browser and verify that each site displays its index.html file.

      You’ll see the following results:

      apache1 index page

      apache2 index page

      Also, ensure that PHP is working by accessing the info.php files for each site. Visit http://apache1.your_domain:8080/info.php and http://apache2.your_domain:8080/info.php in your browser.

      You’ll see the same PHP configuration spec list on each site as you saw in Step 4.

      We now have two websites hosted on Apache at port 8080. Let’s configure Nginx next.

      Step 6 — Installing and Configuring Nginx

      In this step we’ll install Nginx and configure the domains nginx1.your_domain and nginx2.your_domain as Nginx’s virtual hosts. For a complete guide on setting up virtual hosts in Nginx, see How To Set Up Nginx Server Blocks (Virtual Hosts) on Ubuntu 20.04.

      Install Nginx using the apt package manager:

      Then remove the default virtual host’s symlink since we won’t be using it any more:

      • sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

      We’ll create our own default site later (nginx1.your_domain).

      Now we’ll create virtual hosts for Nginx using the same procedure we used for Apache. First create document root directories for both the websites:

      • sudo mkdir -v /usr/share/nginx/nginx1.your_domain /usr/share/nginx/nginx2.your_domain

      We’ll keep the Nginx web sites in /usr/share/nginx, which is where Nginx wants them by default. You could put them under /var/www/html with the Apache sites, but this separation may help you associate sites with Nginx.

      As you did with Apache’s virtual hosts, create index and phpinfo() files for testing after setup is complete:

      • echo "<h1 style="color: green;">Nginx 1</h1>" | sudo tee /usr/share/nginx/nginx1.your_domain/index.html
      • echo "<h1 style="color: red;">Nginx 2</h1>" | sudo tee /usr/share/nginx/nginx2.your_domain/index.html
      • echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" | sudo tee /usr/share/nginx/nginx1.your_domain/info.php
      • echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" | sudo tee /usr/share/nginx/nginx2.your_domain/info.php

      Now create a virtual host file for the domain nginx1.your_domain:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/nginx1.your_domain

      Nginx calls server {. . .} areas of a configuration file server blocks. Create a server block for the primary virtual host, nginx1.your_domain. The default_server configuration directive makes this the default virtual host which processes HTTP requests which do not match any other virtual host.

      your_domain’>/etc/nginx/sites-available/nginx1.your_domain

      server {
          listen 80 default_server;
      
          root /usr/share/nginx/nginx1.your_domain;
          index index.php index.html index.htm;
      
          server_name nginx1.your_domain www.nginx1.your_domain;
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
          }
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
              include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
          }
      }
      

      Save and close the file. Now create a virtual host file for Nginx’s second domain, nginx2.your_domain:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/nginx2.your_domain

      Add the following to the file:

      your_domain’>/etc/nginx/sites-available/nginx2.your_domain

      server {
          root /usr/share/nginx/nginx2.your_domain;
          index index.php index.html index.htm;
      
          server_name nginx2.your_domain www.nginx2.your_domain;
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
          }
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock;
              include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
          }
      }
      

      Save and close the file.

      Enable both sites by creating symbolic links to the sites-enabled directory:

      • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/nginx1.your_domain /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/nginx1.your_domain
      • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/nginx2.your_domain /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/nginx2.your_domain

      Test the Nginx configuration to ensure there are no configuration issues:

      Then reload Nginx if there are no errors:

      • sudo systemctl reload nginx

      Now access the phpinfo() file for both Nginx virtual hosts in a web browser by visiting http://nginx1.yourdomain/info.php and http://nginx2.yourdomain/info.php. Look under the PHP Variables sections again.

      [“SERVER_SOFTWARE”] should say nginx, indicating that the files were directly served by Nginx. [“DOCUMENT_ROOT”] should point to the directory you created earlier in this step for each Nginx site.

      At this point, we have installed Nginx and created two virtual hosts. Next we will configure Nginx to proxy requests meant for domains hosted on Apache.

      Step 7 — Configuring Nginx for Apache’s Virtual Hosts

      Let’s create an additional Nginx virtual host with multiple domain names in the server_name directives. Requests for these domain names will be proxied to Apache.

      Create a new Nginx virtual host file to forward requests to Apache:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

      Add the following code block; it specifies the names of both Apache virtual host domains and proxies their requests to Apache. Remember to use the public IP address in proxy_pass:

      /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

      server {
          listen 80;
          server_name apache1.your_domain www.apache1.your_domain apache2.your_domain www.apache2.your_domain;
      
          location / {
              proxy_pass http://your_server_ip:8080;
              proxy_set_header Host $host;
              proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
          }
      }
      

      Save the file and enable this new virtual host by creating a symbolic link:

      • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/apache

      Test the configuration to ensure there are no errors:

      If there are no errors, reload Nginx:

      • sudo systemctl reload nginx

      Open the browser and access the URL http://apache1.your_domain/info.php in your browser. Scroll down to the PHP Variables section and check the values displayed.

      The variables SERVER_SOFTWARE and DOCUMENT_ROOT confirm that this request was handled by Apache. The variables HTTPXREAL_IP and HTTPXFORWARDED_FOR were added by Nginx and should show the public IP address of the computer you’re using to access the URL (if you accessed Apache directly on port 8080 you would not see these variables).

      We have successfully set up Nginx to proxy requests for specific domains to Apache. Next, let’s configure Apache to set the REMOTE_ADDR variable as if it were handling these requests directly.

      Step 8 — Installing and Configuring mod_rpaf

      In this step you’ll install an Apache module called mod_rpaf which rewrites the values of REMOTE_ADDR, HTTPS and HTTP_PORT based on the values provided by a reverse proxy. Without this module, some PHP applications would require code changes to work seamlessly from behind a proxy. This module is present in Ubuntu’s repository as libapache2-mod-rpaf but it is outdated and doesn’t support certain configuration directives. Instead, we will install it from source.

      Move to your home directory and install the packages needed to build the module:

      • sudo apt install unzip build-essential apache2-dev

      Download the latest stable release from GitHub:

      • wget https://github.com/gnif/mod_rpaf/archive/stable.zip

      Extract the downloaded file:

      Change into the new directory containing the files:

      Compile and install the module:

      Next, create a file in the mods-available directory that will load the rpaf module:

      • sudo nano /etc/apache2/mods-available/rpaf.load

      Add the following code to the file to load the module:

      /etc/apache2/mods-available/rpaf.load

      LoadModule rpaf_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/mod_rpaf.so
      

      Save the file and exit the editor.

      Create another file in this directory called rpaf.conf that will contain the configuration directives for mod_rpaf:

      • sudo nano /etc/apache2/mods-available/rpaf.conf

      Add the following code block to configure mod_rpaf, making sure to specify the IP address of your server:

      /etc/apache2/mods-available/rpaf.conf

          <IfModule mod_rpaf.c>
              RPAF_Enable             On
              RPAF_Header             X-Real-Ip
              RPAF_ProxyIPs           your_server_ip 
              RPAF_SetHostName        On
              RPAF_SetHTTPS           On
              RPAF_SetPort            On
          </IfModule>
      

      Here’s a brief description of each directive. See the mod_rpaf README file for more information.

      • RPAF_Header – The header to use for the client’s real IP address.
      • RPAF_ProxyIPs – The proxy IP to adjust HTTP requests for.
      • RPAF_SetHostName – Updates the vhost name so ServerName and ServerAlias work.
      • RPAF_SetHTTPS – Sets the HTTPS environment variable based on the value contained in X-Forwarded-Proto.
      • RPAF_SetPort – Sets the SERVER_PORT environment variable. Useful for when Apache is behind a SSL proxy.

      Save rpaf.conf and enable the module:

      This creates symbolic links of the files rpaf.load and rpaf.conf in the mods-enabled directory. Now do a configuration test:

      Reload Apache if there are no errors:

      • sudo systemctl reload apache2

      Access the phpinfo() pages http://apache1.your_domain/info.php and http://apache2.your_domain/info.php in your browser and check the PHP Variables section. The REMOTE_ADDR variable will now also be that of your local computer’s public IP address.

      Now let’s set up TLS/SSL encryption for each site.

      Step 9 — Setting Up HTTPS Websites with Let’s Encrypt (Optional)

      In this step we will configure TLS/SSL certificates for both the domains hosted on Apache. We’ll obtain the certificates through [Let’s Encrypt](https://letsencrypt.org]. Nginx supports SSL termination so we can set up SSL without modifying Apache’s configuration files. The mod_rpaf module ensures that the required environment variables are set on Apache to make applications work seamlessly behind a SSL reverse proxy.

      First we will separate the server {...} blocks of both the domains so that each of them can have their own SSL certificates. Open the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache in your editor:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

      Modify the file so that it looks like this, with apache1.your_domain and apache2.your_domain in their own server blocks:

      /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

          server {
              listen 80;
              server_name apache1.your_domain www.apache1.your_domain;
      
              location / {
                  proxy_pass http://your_server_ip:8080;
                  proxy_set_header Host $host;
                  proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
                  proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
                  proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
              }
          }
          server {
              listen 80;
              server_name apache2.your_domain www.apache2.your_domain;
      
              location / {
                  proxy_pass http://your_server_ip:8080;
                  proxy_set_header Host $host;
                  proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
                  proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
                  proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
              }
          }
      

      We’ll use Certbot to generate our TLS/SSL certificates. Its Nginx plugin will take care of reconfiguring Nginx and reloading the config whenever necessary.

      Install certbot using snapd

      • sudo snap install --classic certbot

      Once it’s installed, use the certbot command to generate the certificates for apache1.your_domain and www.apache1.your_domain:

      • sudo certbot --agree-tos --no-eff-email --email your-email --nginx -d apache1.your_domain -d www.apache1.your_domain

      This command tells Certbot to use the nginx plugin, using -d to specify the names we’d like the certificate to be valid for.

      Now execute the command for the second domain:

      • sudo certbot --agree-tos --no-eff-email --email your-email --nginx -d your_domain -d www.apache2.your_domain

      Access one of Apache’s domains in your browser using the https:// prefix; visit https://apache1.your_domain/info.php or https://apache2.your_domain/info.php.

      Look in the PHP Variables section. The variable SERVER_PORT has been set to 443 and HTTPS set to on, as though Apache was directly accessed over HTTPS. With these variables set, PHP applications do not have to be specially configured to work behind a reverse proxy.

      Now let’s disable direct access to Apache.

      Step 10 — Blocking Direct Access to Apache (Optional)

      Since Apache is listening on port 8080 on the public IP address, it is accessible by everyone. It can be blocked by working the following IPtables command into your firewall rule set.

      • sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 8080 ! -s your_server_ip -j REJECT --reject-with tcp-reset

      Be sure to use your server’s IP address in place of the highlighted example. Once port 8080 is blocked in your firewall, test that Apache is unreachable on it. Open your web browser and try accessing one of Apache’s domain names on port 8080. For example: http://apache1.your_domain:8080

      The browser should display an “Unable to connect” or “Webpage is not available” error message. With the IPtables tcp-reset option in place, an outsider would see no difference between port 8080 and a port that doesn’t have any service on it.

      Note: IPtables rules do not survive a system reboot by default. There are multiple ways to preserve IPtables rules, but the easiest is to use iptables-persistent in Ubuntu’s repository. Explore this article to learn more about how to configure IPTables.

      Now let’s configure Nginx to serve static files for the Apache sites.

      Step 11 — Serving Static Files Using Nginx (Optional)

      When Nginx proxies requests for Apache’s domains, it sends every file request for that domain to Apache. Nginx is faster than Apache at serving static files like images, JavaScript and style sheets. So let’s configure Nginx’s apache virtual host file to directly serve static files but send PHP requests on to Apache.

      Open the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache in your editor:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

      You’ll need to add two additional location blocks to each server block, as well as modify the existing location sections. Additionally, you’ll need to tell Nginx where to find the static files for each site.

      If you’ve decided not to use SSL and TLS certificates, modify your file so it looks like this:

      /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

      server {
          listen 80;
          server_name apache2.your_domain www.apache2.your_domain;
          root /var/www/your_domain;
          index index.php index.htm index.html;
      
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
          }
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              proxy_pass http://your_server_ip:8080;
              proxy_set_header Host $host;
              proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
          }
      
          location ~ /.ht {
              deny all;
          }
      }
      
      server {
          listen 80;
          server_name apache1.your_domain www.apache1.your_domain;
          root /var/www/your_domain;
          index index.php index.htm index.html;
      
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
          }
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              proxy_pass http://your_ip_address:8080;
              proxy_set_header Host $host;
              proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
          }
      
          location ~ /.ht {
              deny all;
          }
      }
      

      If you also want HTTPS to be available, use the following configuration instead:

      /etc/nginx/sites-available/apache

      server {
          listen 80;
          server_name apache2.your_domain www.apache2.your_domain;
          root /var/www/your_domain;
          index index.php index.htm index.html;
      
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
          }
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              proxy_pass http://your_server_ip:8080;
              proxy_set_header Host $host;
              proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
          }
      
          location ~ /.ht {
              deny all;
          }
      
          listen 443 ssl;
          ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/your_domain/fullchain.pem;
          ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/your_domain/privkey.pem;
          include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf;
          ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem;
      }
      
      server {
          listen 80;
          server_name apache1.your_domain www.apache1.your_domain;
          root /var/www/your_domain;
          index index.php index.htm index.html;
      
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php;
          }
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              proxy_pass http://your_ip_address:8080;
              proxy_set_header Host $host;
              proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
              proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
          }
      
          location ~ /.ht {
              deny all;
          }
      
          listen 443 ssl;
          ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/your_domain/fullchain.pem;
          ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/your_domain/privkey.pem;
          include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf;
          ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem;
      }
      

      The try_files directive makes Nginx look for files in the document root and directly serve them. If the file has a .php extension, the request is passed to Apache. Even if the file is not found in the document root, the request is passed on to Apache so that application features like permalinks work without problems.

      Warning: The location ~ /.ht directive is very important; this prevents Nginx from serving the contents of Apache configuration files like .htaccess and .htpasswd, which contain sensitive information.

      Save the file and perform a configuration test:

      Reload Nginx if the test succeeds:

      • sudo service nginx reload

      To verify things are working, you can examine Apache’s log files in /var/log/apache2 and see the GET requests for the info.php files of apache2.your_domain and apache1.your_domain. Use the tail command to see the last few lines of the file, and use the -f switch to watch the file for changes:

      • sudo tail -f /var/log/apache2/other_vhosts_access.log

      Now visit apache1.your_domain/info.php or apache2.your_domain/info.php in your browser and then look at the output from the log. You’ll see that Apache is indeed replying (your port will be 80 or 443 depending on whether or not you secured the instance):

      Output

      apache2.your_domain:80 your_server_ip - - [27/Aug/2020:18:18:34 -0400] "GET /info.php HTTP/1.0" 200 20414 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_10_5) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/84.0.4147.135 Safari/537.36"

      Then visit the index.html page for each site and you won’t see any log entries from Apache. Nginx is serving them.

      When you’re done observing the log file, press CTRL+C to stop tailing it.

      With this setup, Apache will not be able to restrict access to static files. Access control for static files would need to be configured in Nginx’s apache virtual host file, but that’s beyond the scope of this tutorial.

      Conclusion

      You now have one Ubuntu server with Nginx serving nginx1.your_domain and nginx2.your_domain, along with Apache serving apache1.your_domain and apache2.your_domain. Though Nginx is acting as a reverse-proxy for Apache, Nginx’s proxy service is transparent and connections to Apache’s domains appear be served directly from Apache itself. You can use this method to serve secure and static sites.



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