Question

Semi-automating Nginx server block set up on Ubuntu with a script?

  • Posted August 31, 2014

First of all, thanks for this great tutorial: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-set-up-nginx-server-blocks-virtual-hosts-on-ubuntu-14-04-lts

I’m following it to manually create server blocks for multiple domains on the same server.

I can’t help but think I could be saving time by writing a script one time and running a command like “myscript domainnamehere.com” which would end up doing all of the steps for me. Here’s what I currently do:

  1. sudo mkdir -p /var/www/domainnamehere.com/html
  2. sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/domainnamehere.com/html
  3. sudo cp /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-available/domainnamehere.com
  4. sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/domainnamehere.com to add references to the directory made it step #1 and add the domain name to look for next server_name.
  5. sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/domainnamehere.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Obviously #1 and #2 is easy, but #3 and #4 is where I think things can be made more efficient.

Also I know I probably don’t need to use the cp command to copy the site configuration over, it would probably make more sense if the sample file was included in the script so it could easily write to a file with the proper domain name variables.

How would I develop a script that could take an argument (the domain name) and do all of the above for me?

Does this make sense at all? Let me know if you need any clarification about anything. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

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Hey lelandf:

I gave a go at a quick script that works as you describe. I decided to go the route of writing the Nginx server block file directly from the script using a bash here document.

It is by no means a pretty script, but it generally does what you’re manually doing:

#!/bin/bash

domain=$1
root="/var/www/$domain/html"
block="/etc/nginx/sites-available/$domain"

# Create the Document Root directory
sudo mkdir -p $root

# Assign ownership to your regular user account
sudo chown -R $USER:$USER $root

# Create the Nginx server block file:
sudo tee $block > /dev/null <<EOF 
server {
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;

        root /var/www/$domain/html;
        index index.html index.htm;

        server_name $domain www.$domain;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
        }
}


EOF

# Link to make it available
sudo ln -s $block /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

# Test configuration and reload if successful
sudo nginx -t && sudo service nginx reload

You can put that in a file and then make it executable with chmod:

chmod +x script.sh

You should then be able to generate new server blocks by typing:

./script.sh <your_domain_here>

There are definitely improvements that can be made, but let me know how it works out for you.

I have a similar situation that I need to automate the Nginx installation with default port of 8080 instead of 80. The following pre-check needs to be fulfilled.

Any helps are greatly appreciated. Thank you.