A couple hundred users per host, a few domains each, security headers, HTTPS with let's encrypt, websocket, pass-through, :ref:`web backends <backends>`, htaccess.. at some point a web setup reaches a point, when there are too many feature to handle them all with just one web server software. That's why we're employing two of them back-to-back: nginx and Apache httpd.
_ (` ). ( ). .-------. .-------. _( '`. ----------> | nginx | -----> | httpd | .=(`( Internet ) '-------' '-------' (( (..__.:'-' | => php via php-fpm `( ) ) | => static files ` __.:' ) | => htaccess --' | | .--------------. '----------> | Web Backends | '--------------' => per-user nginx => nodejs, python, ruby, ... => gogs, mattermost, matrix, ... .
nginx handles all the nitty gritty of accepting requests from browsers, making sure HTTPS works properly and passing requests through to configured :ref:`web backends <backends>`. It also connects to apache for more traditional web development needs.
Within nginx each user domain gets their own
server block. On a fresh
uberspace, it might look like this:
By default, this
server block only contains a simple proxy_pass statement
processing all requests via a predefined apache upstream: send everything to
Apache httpd and report back whatever it said.
This configuration can be extended using ":ref:`uberspace web backend set <backends>`" commands.
The original configuration has now been extended with a new
section. By default, all requests are still routed to Apache, but requests
intended for etherpad are passed onto the service directly. This enables you to
get the direct, raw HTTP traffic - including the original headers and WebSocket
100.64.9.2 IP address above is due to our networking setup.
Feel free to :ref:`read up on it <network>`, if you'd like to know more!
Other backend types like
--apache or ones specific to a domain work in a
very similar way. They are documented over in the :ref:`web backends <backends>`
Apache serves requests for more traditional development needs like PHP and
.htaccess files. As you saw in the above examples,
it is reverse proxied using nginx - just like other web backends. Since we try
to handle as much as possible within nginx, which makes our httpd configuration
As mentioned earlier httpd only handles
static files (=>
DocumentRoot) and PHP (=>
SetHandler). Since all of
those are rather ordinary duties for httpd, the configuration is rather simple
in this case. Additionally, since everything else is handled within nginx, the
only dynamic parts of this configuration is the list of domains in
- and the username, of course.
Some probably noticed that static files are handled within httpd, instead of
nginx. Even through nginx easily outperforms httpd when it comes to serving
static files, we need to use httpd in this case. Many applications like
wordpress rely on
.htaccess files to rewrite URLs or protect certain
directories from being accessed. Since those files can only be parsed by
httpd, nginx does not qualify for the job.
We may change this in the future in a backwards-compatible way.
The ASCII art cloud has been copied from asciiart.eu. The
artist goes by the name
a:f. Thank you!