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I have an nginx instance set up behind multiple load balancing proxies, and I am using real_ip to get the clients IP address in remote_addr for processing by my Python application.

However in my logs I would like to log the proxy server that actually made the request, but $remote_addr has now been overwritten, and I can't find anything that says a copy of it is made.

How would I be able to accomplish this?

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You can only do this if you do not use the real ip module. Then your Python app has to implement the functionality. – Michael Hampton Mar 10 '13 at 4:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your setup may have changed since you posted this question, but I had the same problem and there is finally a solution available. I'll post it here in case Google brings someone else to this page.

As @Michael Hampton♦ indicates in his answer to my own version of this question, nginx has added the variable $realip_remote_addr to the Real_IP module. It holds the original value of $remote_addr, allowing you to use/log both the originating client's IP and the IP of the server that sent the actual request to nginx. This was added to version 1.9.7, as of November 2015.

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The module itself seams to not support that. However, reverse proxies (for which real_ip is mostly used) may provide a HTTP header field containing the proxies IP address.

Unfortunately, you cannot check whether the address has been rewritten or not, so a client not connecting through a real_ip-enabled proxy could forge the header field.

Check your proxy's doc, maybe you can use a HTTP header field for the IP address.

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No such luck unfortunately. The proxy in this case doesn't have a setting to have it forward the incoming address as a header :/ – X-Istence Mar 12 '13 at 6:27
Then you might want to emulate real_ip's behaviour by setting the variables yourself. Maybe a nicely placed if with a simple set will do the trick. – Lukas Mar 12 '13 at 12:03

Dont really get if you want to log at nginx side or inside your application>

For nginx side you can use $http_x_forwarded_for in nginx log_format definition, something like this:

log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] [$msec] [$request_time] "$request" '
                  '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                  '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';
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This doesn't work if you use the real ip module, at that point $remote_addr contains the same thing as X-Forwarded-For. I want to log the proxy servers address, and send the real IP on to the remote server as REMOTE_ADDR on uwsgi. – X-Istence Mar 12 '13 at 6:26

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