Nginx allows you to map file extensions to mime types. As the documentation says, it even comes with a pre built list of mime types (pasted at the end of the question).

I've always trusted this list, and things work great, but now I've noticed that some types are missing.

What about application/javascript and application/json?

It uses the old deprecated application/x-javascript, and I imagine that it's to ensure IE support... but is it really ok?

Also, what types should be gzipped?

I've always used the list in the following snippet, although I admit that it was just part of an example nginx conf file, that I used as an example a few years ago, when I first started working with nginx.

Should I also include application/json?

http {
    include mime.types;
    default_type application/octet-stream;

    gzip_types text/plain text/xml text/css
               text/javascript application/x-javascript

    # text/html is included in the gzip list by default                   

    # ...

The default mime types in /etc/nginx/mime.types.

types {
    text/html                             html htm shtml;
    text/css                              css;
    text/xml                              xml;
    image/gif                             gif;
    image/jpeg                            jpeg jpg;
    application/x-javascript              js;
    application/atom+xml                  atom;
    application/rss+xml                   rss;

    text/mathml                           mml;
    text/plain                            txt;
    text/vnd.sun.j2me.app-descriptor      jad;
    text/vnd.wap.wml                      wml;
    text/x-component                      htc;

    image/png                             png;
    image/tiff                            tif tiff;
    image/vnd.wap.wbmp                    wbmp;
    image/x-icon                          ico;
    image/x-jng                           jng;
    image/x-ms-bmp                        bmp;
    image/svg+xml                         svg svgz;
    image/webp                            webp;

    application/java-archive              jar war ear;
    application/mac-binhex40              hqx;
    application/msword                    doc;
    application/pdf                       pdf;
    application/postscript                ps eps ai;
    application/rtf                       rtf;
    application/vnd.ms-excel              xls;
    application/vnd.ms-powerpoint         ppt;
    application/vnd.wap.wmlc              wmlc;
    application/vnd.google-earth.kml+xml  kml;
    application/vnd.google-earth.kmz      kmz;
    application/x-7z-compressed           7z;
    application/x-cocoa                   cco;
    application/x-java-archive-diff       jardiff;
    application/x-java-jnlp-file          jnlp;
    application/x-makeself                run;
    application/x-perl                    pl pm;
    application/x-pilot                   prc pdb;
    application/x-rar-compressed          rar;
    application/x-redhat-package-manager  rpm;
    application/x-sea                     sea;
    application/x-shockwave-flash         swf;
    application/x-stuffit                 sit;
    application/x-tcl                     tcl tk;
    application/x-x509-ca-cert            der pem crt;
    application/x-xpinstall               xpi;
    application/xhtml+xml                 xhtml;
    application/zip                       zip;

    application/octet-stream              bin exe dll;
    application/octet-stream              deb;
    application/octet-stream              dmg;
    application/octet-stream              eot;
    application/octet-stream              iso img;
    application/octet-stream              msi msp msm;

    audio/midi                            mid midi kar;
    audio/mpeg                            mp3;
    audio/ogg                             ogg;
    audio/x-m4a                           m4a;
    audio/x-realaudio                     ra;

    video/3gpp                            3gpp 3gp;
    video/mp4                             mp4;
    video/mpeg                            mpeg mpg;
    video/quicktime                       mov;
    video/webm                            webm;
    video/x-flv                           flv;
    video/x-m4v                           m4v;
    video/x-mng                           mng;
    video/x-ms-asf                        asx asf;
    video/x-ms-wmv                        wmv;
    video/x-msvideo                       avi;
  • If nginx's defaults need to be updated, you should take it up with the nginx developers. Feb 14, 2014 at 21:29
  • 1
    I might. This question is more about finding out what other people are doing. That is if they are using the default list or not.
    – tompave
    Feb 14, 2014 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


The most comprehensive, modern, and compatible configuration is found in the h5bp GitHub repository.

application/x-javascript is old and not needed for Internet Explorer support.

I won't paste the configurations here, because some people might copy/paste them. Instead I directly link to the master files within the h5bp repository. This ensures that people will always copy/paste the latest version:

Generally it's wise to only set the MIME/gzip types that you're really going to serve. This will speed up nginx because it can fall back very fast and the list is short.

  • Why do you say that? For instance, for a .woff file, both Google Web Fonts and Wikipedia use application/x-font-woff but H5BP uses application/font-woff.
    – Alix Axel
    May 12, 2014 at 7:10
  • 1
    Might be, but they are both wrong, correct MIME type for WOFF actually is application/font-woff. May 12, 2014 at 8:45

I've compiled a list that is shorter and I believe more appropriate for today's standards:

types {
    application/atom+xml                atom;
    application/dart                    dart;
    application/gzip                    gz;
    application/java-archive            jar war ear;
    application/javascript              js jsonp;
    application/json                    json;
    application/owl+xml                 owl owx;
    application/pdf                     pdf;
    application/postscript              ai eps ps;
    application/rdf+xml                 rdf;
    application/rss+xml                 rss;
    application/vnd.ms-fontobject       eot;
    application/x-7z-compressed         7z;
    application/x-bittorrent            torrent;
    application/x-chrome-extension      crx;
    application/x-font-otf              otf;
    application/x-font-ttf              ttc ttf;
    application/x-font-woff             woff;
    application/x-opera-extension       oex;
    application/x-rar-compressed        rar;
    application/x-shockwave-flash       swf;
    application/x-web-app-manifest+json webapp;
    application/x-x509-ca-cert          crt der pem;
    application/x-xpinstall             xpi;
    application/xhtml+xml               xhtml;
    application/xml                     xml;
    application/xml-dtd                 dtd;
    application/zip                     zip;

    audio/midi                          kar mid midi;
    audio/mp4                           aac f4a f4b m4a;
    audio/mpeg                          mp3;
    audio/ogg                           oga ogg;
    audio/vnd.wave                      wav;
    audio/x-flac                        flac;
    audio/x-realaudio                   ra;

    image/bmp                           bmp;
    image/gif                           gif;
    image/jpeg                          jpe jpeg jpg;
    image/png                           png;
    image/svg+xml                       svg svgz;
    image/tiff                          tif tiff;
    image/webp                          webp;
    image/x-icon                        cur ico;

    text/cache-manifest                 appcache manifest;
    text/css                            css less;
    text/csv                            csv;
    text/html                           htm html shtml;
    text/mathml                         mml;
    text/plain                          txt;
    text/rtf                            rtf;
    text/vcard                          vcf;
    text/vtt                            vtt;
    text/x-component                    htc;
    text/x-markdown                     md;

    video/3gpp                          3gp 3gpp;
    video/avi                           avi;
    video/mp4                           f4p f4v m4v mp4;
    video/mpeg                          mpeg mpg;
    video/ogg                           ogv;
    video/quicktime                     mov;
    video/webm                          webm;
    video/x-flv                         flv;
    video/x-matroska                    mkv;
    video/x-ms-wmv                      wmv;

I've deliberatly ommited all the Office related types.

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