NodeJS module for interacting programmatically with an nginx configuration file
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nginx-conf is a node module for making changes to an nginx configuration file programmatically.


npm install nginx-conf

There are no dependencies and this library is tested on node v0.8 - v8.


Pretend you have an nginx config file like this one.

Note that all public methods are prefixed with _ so that they (hopefully) don't clash with nginx's directives.

Note: *_content_by_lua_block directives are supported in >=v1.3.0.

var NginxConfFile = require('nginx-conf').NginxConfFile;

NginxConfFile.create('/etc/nginx.conf', function(err, conf) {
  if (err) {

  //reading values
  console.log(conf.nginx.user._value); //www www
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.server.listen._value); //

  //if there is more than one directive in a scope (e.g. location), then
  //you access them via array index rather than straight property access
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.server.location[3].root._value); // /spool/www

  //writing values
  //NginxConfFile.create() automatically sets up a sync, so that whenever
  //a value is changed, or a node is removed/added, the file gets updated

  conf.on('flushed', function() {
    console.log('finished writing to disk');

  //listen to the flushed event to determine when the new file has been flushed to disk = 1000;

  //don't write to disk when something changes
  conf.die('/etc/nginx.conf'); = 2000; //change remains local, not in /etc/nginx.conf

  //write to a different file'/etc/nginx.conf.bak');

  //force the synchronization

  //adding and removing directives
  conf.nginx.http._add('add_header', 'Cache-Control max-age=315360000, public');
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.add_header._value); //Cache-Control max-age=315360000, public

  conf.nginx.http._add('add_header', 'X-Load-Balancer lb-01');
  conf.nginx.http._add('add_header', 'X-Secure true');
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.add_header[0]._value); //Cache-Control max-age=315360000, public
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.add_header[1]._value); //X-Load-Balancer lb-01
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.add_header[2]._value); //X-Secure true

  conf.nginx.http._remove('add_header'); //removes add_header[0]
  conf.nginx.http._remove('add_header', 1); //removes add_header[1]

  //if there's only one directive with a name, it is always flattened into a property
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.add_header._value); //X-Load-Balancer lb-01
  console.log(conf.nginx.http.add_header[0]); //undefined

  //adding a new block
  conf.nginx.http.server._add('listen', '80');

  //that'll create something like this:
    server {
      listen 80;

  //multiple blocks
  conf.nginx.http.server[1]._add('listen', '443');

    server {
      listen 80;
    server {
      listen 443;

  // blocks with values:
  conf.nginx.http.server[1]._add('location', '/');
  conf.nginx.http.server[1].location._add('root', '/var/www/');

    server {
      location / {
        root /var/www/;

  // lua blocks also work, but you can't put a mismatched "{" or "}" in a comment!
  conf.nginx.http.location._addVerbatimBlock('rewrite_by_lua_block', '{\n\
  ngx.say("this is a lua block!")\n\
  res = ngx.location.capture("/memc",\n\
    { args = { cmd = "incr", key = ngx.var.uri } }\n\


Support for comments is supported-ish. Comments are attached to directives, and will always be rendered above the directive when using toString() (or _getString()).

Comments can be added, removed and updated via the _comments array on a node.

console.log(; // 1
console.log([0]); // use [ kqueue | rtsig | epoll | /dev/poll | select | poll ];

//remove the comment, 1);

//add a new one
conf.nginx.event.use._comments.push('my new comment');
console.log(; // 1
console.log([0]); //my new comment

//update a comment's text
conf.nginx.event.use._comments[0] = 'updated';
console.log([0]); //updated

If the comment is in a weird place (like in the middle of a directive), it'll still be attached to the node. If it's after the directive (after the semicolon or closing brace), it will be attached to the next node, or ignored if it's at the end of the file.

Assuming this nginx configuration:

foo #comment

You will have this object structure:

console.log(; //bar
console.log([0]); //comment

But if the comment comes after:

foo bar;
console.log(; //bar
console.log(; //0


git clone
cd nginx-conf
npm install
npm test