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A Redis backed rate limit module for Nginx web servers.
C Perl Shell
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A Redis backed rate limit module for Nginx web servers.

This implementation is based on the following Redis module:

Which offers a straightforward implementation of the fairly sophisticated generic cell rate algorithm, in 130 lines of C, without external dependencies.

This module is not distributed with the Nginx source.


This module is still under early development but is already production ready.


upstream redis {

   # Or: server unix:/var/run/redis/redis.sock;

   # a pool with at most 1024 connections
   keepalive 1024;

geo $limit {
    default 1; 0; 0;

map $limit $limit_key {
    0 "";
    1 $remote_addr;

rate_limit_status 429;

location = /limit {
    rate_limit $limit_key requests=15 period=1m burst=20;
    rate_limit_pass redis;

location = /limit_b {
    rate_limit $limit_key requests=20 period=1m burst=25;
    rate_limit_prefix b;
    rate_limit_pass redis;

location = /quota {
    rate_limit $limit_key requests=15 period=1m burst=20;
    rate_limit_quantity 0;
    rate_limit_pass redis;
    rate_limit_headers on;


Note: You will need to install the Redis module first, see the install instructions here.

You can install this module manually by recompiling the standard Nginx core as follows:

  1. Grab the nginx source code from (this module is tested on version 1.17.2).
  2. Clone this repository into a newly created directory (for e.g. ./rate-limit-nginx-module)
  3. Build the nginx source with this module:
tar -xzvf nginx-1.17.2.tar.gz
cd nginx-1.17.2/

git clone rate-limit-nginx-module

# Here we assume you would install you nginx under /opt/nginx/.
./configure --prefix=/opt/nginx \

make -j2
make install

Test suite

The following dependencies are required to run the test suite:

  • Nginx version >= 1.9.11

  • Perl modules:

  • Nginx modules:

    • ngx_http_rate_limit_module (i.e., this module)
  • Redis modules:

  • Applications:

    • redis: listening on the default port, 6379.

To run the whole test suite in the default testing mode:

cd /path/to/rate-limit-nginx-module
export PATH=/path/to/your/nginx/sbin:$PATH
prove -I/path/to/test-nginx/lib -r t

To run specific test files:

cd /path/to/rate-limit-nginx-module
export PATH=/path/to/your/nginx/sbin:$PATH
prove -I/path/to/test-nginx/lib t/sanity.t

To run a specific test block in a particular test file, add the line --- ONLY to the test block you want to run, and then use the prove utility to run that .t file.

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