I am running nginx on ubuntu server, I have it configured as a wildcard SSL frontend proxy to various other services in my network. I port forward 443 on my router to nginx only, I use dynamic DNS to configure various hosts to point to my router IP, and for each host I forward to the respective internal server. This is pretty standard stuff, and works very well, e.g. I expose my security camera NVR, UniFi controller, Plex, etc.

I am in the process of converting my setup to docker, and with nginx as a proxy I ran into a problem:

[emerg] 1#1: host not found in upstream "plex.home.foo.net" in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:80

I found many many references to this "host not found in upstream" error when running nginx as a reverse proxy in docker, with a variety of solutions, most dealing with proxying to other containers, but none that I can get working.

E.g. add an explicit resolver to point to docker google DNS, "resolver", did not make a difference.

E.g. use a variable instead of a FQDN, but nginx does not support variables in "proxy_redirect default" blocks.

E.g. pass in the host name as a parameter "--add-host="plex.home.foo.net:", but that defeats the purpose of DNS.

E.g. use static IP's instead of FQDN's, but that defeats the purpose of DNS.

E.g. https://github.com/nginxinc/docker-nginx/issues/78

Before I spend too much time on this, anybody using nginx as a reverse proxy running in docker but proxying servers outside of docker?

Snippet from nginx.conf:

proxy_http_version 1.1;
proxy_set_header Host $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";

server {
    listen 443 ssl;
    server_name xprotect.foo.net;

    location / {
        proxy_pass http://xprotect.home.foo.net:8081;
        proxy_redirect default;
        proxy_redirect http:// $scheme://;
  • Would software like Squid be more appropriate for what you're trying to achieve? – Tim Apr 16 '18 at 0:45

Thanks John for pointing me here: https://development.robinwinslow.uk/2016/06/23/fix-docker-networking-dns/

nginx.conf resolver did not work:


Docker DNS option did work:


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