NGINX rewrite script

Hi, Sometimes I’ve to add hundreds of redirects to my NGINX server block. Such a script could definitely make my work easier. I didn’t find ready-made solutions. I’m writing a script that gets addresses from a file and creates rewrite rules for NGINX based on it. The file just contains the old address and the new address separated by a space, for example:

old.html new.html
oldpage newpage
error.php 404

So I should get something like this:

rewrite ^/old.html$ permanent;
rewrite ^/oldpage$ permanent;
rewrite ^/error.php$ permanent;

For now, my script looks like this:

if [ "$#" -eq 0 ]; then
    echo "Usage: ./ <domain> <file>"

sed -e 's/$/ permanent;/' -i $FILE #end of each line

It does nothing but add “permanent ;” to the end of each line. How do I add “rewrite ^/” to the beginning of each line? I tried this way, but it doesn’t work :

REW=“rewrite ^/” sed -i -e “s/^/‘${REW}’/” $FILE

I also have no idea how to add “$” in the beginning of the new address.

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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December 19, 2021
Accepted Answer

Hi there,

There are probably multiple ways to do it, but I would personally use a for loop to loop through each of the lines fo the file and then use printf to construct the redirect rule as follows:


if [ "$#" -eq 0 ]; then
    echo "Usage: ./ <domain> <file>"

IFS=$'\n' # bash specific
for line in $(cat ${FILE})
    old=$(echo $line | awk '{print $1}')
    new=$(echo $line | awk '{print $2}')
    printf "rewrite ^/%s$ https://${DOMAIN}/%s permanent;\n" "$old" "$new"


Quick rundown:

  • It sets the IFS (Internal field separator) variable as separators so that the for loop would go through each separate line
  • Then we start the for loop
  • Using awk we get the old and the new URLs as we follow the conversion that the first one is the old URL and the second is the new one
  • Finally, we use the printf to construct the rules

This will print the results on the screen and you can copy them from there. Or alternatively, when running the script you could send the STDOUT to a file: bash file.txt > new_rules.txt.

Hope that this helps! Best, Bobby

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