So I would like to proxy_pass requests to an https backend server, however, every time I try to reload nginx server with https:// configured backend I get the following error:

nginx: [emerg] https protocol requires SSL support

This is the nginx config


    listen 8080;

    root /opt/nginx_1.17.0/nginx_ok/html;
    server_name www.frontedndomain.com;

    index index.php index.html;

            location /health-monitor/ {
                    add_header Custom-Header test;

            location ~* ^\/([a-z][a-z]\/)?abc\/?(.*)? {
                    error_log /opt/nginx_1.17.0/nginx_ok/logs/proxy_error.log;
                    add_header X-query-string $is_args$query_string;
                    resolver_timeout 15s;
                    proxy_pass https://backenddomain.com;
                    proxy_ssl on;
                    proxy_http_version 1.1;
                    proxy_set_header Accept-Encoding "";
                    proxy_set_header Cache-Control no-cache;
                    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
                    proxy_set_header Connection 'upgrade';
                    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
                    subs_filter_types *;

Originally I've built nginx for source and this is the output of nginx -V

nginx version: nginx/1.16.0 built by gcc 4.8.5 20150623 (Red Hat 4.8.5-36) (GCC) configure arguments: --prefix=/opt/nginx_1.17.0/nginx_ok/ --sbin-path=/opt/nginx_1.17.0/nginx_ok/sbin/nginx --with-openssl=/opt/nginx_1.17.0/openssl-1.1.1c/ --add-module=/opt/nginx_1.17.0/ngx_http_substitutions_filter_module/ --with-zlib=/opt/nginx_1.17.0/zlib-1.2.11/

Can someone please outline what I'm missing from this config please. I would like to also forward a query string to the backend.

  • 1
    Why not just use prebuild version of nginx for your platform? – Alexey Ten Aug 12 '19 at 14:38
  • BTW, there is no proxy_ssl directive in ngx_http_proxy_module – Alexey Ten Aug 12 '19 at 14:40
  • @AlexeyTen He's adding in that old third party nginx module ngx_http_substitutions_filter_module. It's not clear why, as there aren't any substitutions being done here. – Michael Hampton Aug 13 '19 at 3:33
  • 1
    This module is included in nginx-full or nginx-extras package in Debian/Ubuntu. – Alexey Ten Aug 13 '19 at 12:36

The issue was resolved by adding the following directive

proxy_ssl_server_name on;

This allowed for the request to be handled by the server specified in the certificate's SNI at the upstream endpoint.

| improve this answer | |
  • I can confirm this works. – hayd Jan 29 at 21:13

You are listening on a port 8080 with no SSL (http) and trying to proxy to an SSL enabled host on port 443 (https). if this worked it would essentially make encryption pointless as it would be encrypted only on your end and not while the packets are in transit to your client. The solution is to make sure you have certificates installed and ssl enabled for the port in question and that any proxy_pass does not forward from non-ssl enabled ports to ssl enabled ones.

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  • I understand your point and it's very valid, only in this case this reverse proxy is sitting behind a load balancer with SSL being terminated there. I will try changing the proxy to listen on port 443 and bind SSLs to check if it works, but still would rather have the reverse proxy listening on http port and proxying requests to an HTTPS backend. – joebegborg07 Aug 13 '19 at 7:39

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