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Ok, an example url is

the p uri is a constant. all urls have it.

the view is one of many optional uri.

i've tried to understand url rewriting and regex, but i'm just not getting it. I need to be back to writing code, but unfortunately i just keep coming back to nginx.conf for more punishment.

my goal, is to rewrite the urls as so:

I would show you the things i tried but its just copy and pasting alot of previous examples, proving how pathetic I am at grasping the concepts of regex and url rewriting.

If someone could take a few minutes to explain the regex part, or link me to a good tutorial on understanding it i would appreciate.

No, i don't expect you to do the work for me, but i humbly ask for a little help grasping the concepts of rewriting and the variables to use in nginx conf. I can see that one is called $uri, but have no idea what any of it means. I also need to add a regex to deny direct access of php scripts in the /socket and /private, but allow access via ajax. i'm sure that i can probably apply whatever knowledge learned about regex to that task.

the location blocks of my nginx conf

location ~ \.(hh|php)$ {
    fastcgi_keep_conn on;
    fastcgi_index  index.php;
    fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    include        fastcgi_params;
location ~* .(png|gif|ico|css|js)$ {
    expires 365d;
location ~ .(aspx|jsp|cgi)$ {
    return 410;
location /socket {
    return 405;
location /private {
    return 405;
location / {
    # include /etc/nginx/naxsi.rules;
    index index.php;
    try_files    $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri?;
    limit_req zone=one burst=5;

location /Denied {
    return 418;
error_page 500 /error.php?type=500;
error_page 501 /error.php?type=501;
error_page 502 /error.php?type=502;
error_page 503 /error.php?type=503;
error_page 400 /error.php?type=400;
error_page 401 /error.php?type=401;
error_page 403 /error.php?type=403;
error_page 404 /error.php?type=404;
error_page 405 /error.php?type=405;
error_page 406 /error.php?type=406;
error_page 413 /error.php?type=413;
error_page 414 /error.php?type=414;
error_page 418 /error.php?type=418;
share|improve this question
If possible, you should have the application handle translating the pretty URLs into whatever needs to be done. – Michael Hampton May 27 '14 at 13:35

I believe that this website may help you greatly:

share|improve this answer
That's ok. Were you able to apply it to your rewrite rules? – Vasili Syrakis May 28 '14 at 1:22
No, i haven't tried yet. Thanks to the syntax highlighting and the explanation i'm beginning to grasp whats going on in the regex. unfortunately, view is only an argument of account. i also have a few more to rewrite – r3wt May 28 '14 at 1:26
When you get around to writing some rules, if you need more help I would try the regex tag of stackoverflow, people jump on regex questions very quickly :) – Vasili Syrakis May 28 '14 at 1:28
based on what you gave me, i've determined that this will work for what i need: ^\?p=([^&]*)&([^&]*)=([^&]*). Now that i know the regex pattern, i still don't know what to put in the nginx.conf. – r3wt May 28 '14 at 1:28

You need

location /yourlocations {
   if ($args ~* "p=[a-z]*&view=[a-z]*") {
        rewrite ^$arg_p/$arg_view? last;


Also if you want to capture the "view" you should make the program that view is an argument like: so you can have the following thing:

location /yourlocations {
       if ($args ~* "p=[a-z]*&second=[a-z]*&third=[a-z]*") {
            rewrite ^$arg_p/$arg_second/$arg_third? last;

share|improve this answer
thanks, i tried it but it didn't work – r3wt May 28 '14 at 1:38
Try to use if ($args ~* "p=[a-z]*&view=[a-z]*"), that is, remove the /? part from the start. $args is the part of the URL after ? sign, so matching /? there is pointless. – Tero Kilkanen May 28 '14 at 9:39
@TeroKilkanen My bad, wrote it without verifying... – timmeyh May 28 '14 at 13:37

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