Ikeh Akinyemi
Mar 13, 2024 ⋅ 12 min read

How to use Nginx as a reverse proxy for a Node.js server

Ikeh Akinyemi Ikeh Akinyemi is a software engineer based in Rivers State, Nigeria. He’s passionate about learning pure and applied mathematics concepts, open source, and software engineering.

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8 Replies to "How to use Nginx as a reverse proxy for a Node.js server"

  1. Nice one bro. Simple and concise explanation. Keep it up. Thank you. I benefited a lot from this article.

  2. On a grade scale this gets an F only because there is nothing lower. That you copy-pasted a rule for each path is lame to say the least. What was improved by inserting nginx in front of node in this example? Answer: nothing but additional overhead. You said “For Nginx to listen for port 3000 from our Node.js application”… but in no way shape or form does nginx “listen” to node. It is listening to port 80 and forwarding requests to node on port 3000. Then out of the blue you say “For the default port to work…” First, that’s not a port it’s an IP address, but you already had a rule for / to proxy to 3000. Was that not working? Why is it there? You then say “We’ll use the port”. Again, that’s not a port but at least it has a port this time. Finally, you gratuitously threw in the extra “listen [::]:8080 default_server” statement without explanation. You turned what should have been a dirt simple how-to into an incoherent mess full of misstatements and errors of omission.

    1. Hello Rick,

      I have updated the article, fixing issues raised as well as taking you and other readers on a journey on how better to serve NodeJs applications through Nginx.

      Please do leave a comment or feedback and I will duly attend to them.

      1. Thanks for the article! I followed you instructions and it got me set-up exactly the way I wanted.

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for these settings. When I used these with my docker node-app, and it only worked on the main page (www.example.com), but whenever I clicked on http://www.example.com/contactus, the links on my site kept taking me to, which is wrong.

    Can you please help?


  4. sudo nginx -t
    nginx: [emerg] open() “/etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default” failed (2: No such file or directory) in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:60
    nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed

    1. Seems you deleted the default Nginx config file. Visit this gist and copy the default cconfig code. https://gist.github.com/xameeramir/a5cb675fb6a6a64098365e89a239541d.
      Paste this code in /etc/nginx/sites-available/default. If this file is missing, which it most likely is in your case, create it then paste the code from the gist in the file. perform systemctl nginx -t and it should solve your error. I have deleted the default files once or twice before by accident. Happens to the best of us 😉

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