Janik von Rotz

2 min read

Nginx SSL website

This post is part of my Your own Virtual Private Server hosting solution project.
Get the latest version of this article here: https://gist.github.com/9408793.


This best practice shows you the most advanced SSL configurations for your Nginx website. For productive usage it’s recommended to use only public-signed certificates.



Create a ssl folder to store key and cert files

sudo mkdir /etc/nginx/ssl

Upload your key and cert files into this folder.

Now we need to generate stronger DHE parameter:

cd /etc/ssl/certs
sudo openssl dhparam -out dhparam.pem 4096

Add this Nginx configuration to your website config.


        # set ssl port
        listen 443;
        # basic ssl configuration
        ssl on;
        ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/[certificate.crt.ca.bundle];
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/[host].key;

        # Force to use stronger DHE parameters 
        ssl_dhparam /etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem;
        # limitation of ssl protocols and algortyhtms
        # we don't want to support SSL v2 and SSL v3, it's known to be insecure
        # FIPS 140-2 compliance, TLS1+ only
        ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
        # don't let the client decide what ciphers to use, we've told the server which to allow
        ssl_ciphers 'EECDH+AESGCM:EDH+AESGCM:AES256+EECDH:AES256+EDH';
        ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
        # reduce ssl cpu load
        # we want to enable ssl session resumption to avoid
        # having to start the handshake from scratch each page load
        # so first we enable a shared cache, named SSL (creative!) that is 10mb large
        ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m;
        # save things in the cache for10 minutes
        # if you're not making a request at least every 10 minutes, this isn't going
        # to accomplish anything anyway
        ssl_session_timeout 10m;

If you wish to redirect all http traffic to https you can add this additional Nginx server configuration.


      listen 80;
      server_name [host];

      return 301 https://[host]$request_uri;

Test config and reload Nginx service.

sudo nginx -t && sudo service nginx reload


Nginx converting rewrite rules Configuring HTTPS servers Strong SSL Security on nginx by Raymii

Categories: Security
Tags: certificate , compliance , private key , nginx , openssl , security , web server , ssl
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