Unsure if Droplet has a HTTP upload limit 413 Request Entity Too Large error in POST requests

I am unsure where the issue lies (so this question might not be particular to DigitalOcean droplets). I am uploading multipart/form-data via a POST request from axos npm package, payload looks something like ::

Form Data
1.  file:

2.  file:

3.  file:

4.  file:

5.  file:

6.  file:

7.  file:

8.  file:

9.  file:

10.  file:

11.  file:

12.  file:

13.  file:

14.  file:

15.  file:

16.  file:

17.  file:

18.  file:

19.  file:

I have a DO Droplet 2 GB Memory / 50 GB Disk / LON1 - Ubuntu 22.10 x64 . Currently runs as a proxy server to another server. It runs Ubuntu, Nodejs (Express) server, very simple server ::

// include dependencies
const express = require('express');
const { createProxyMiddleware } = require('http-proxy-middleware');

// proxy middleware options
/** @type {import('http-proxy-middleware/dist/types').Options} */
const options = {
  target: '', // target host
  changeOrigin: true, // needed for virtual hosted sites
  ws: true, // proxy websockets
  pathRewrite: {
    '^/api/log-handler': '/' // rewrite path
  router: {
    // when == 'dev.localhost:3000',
    // override target '' to 'http://localhost:8000'
    'dev.localhost:3000': 'http://localhost:8000',

// create the proxy (without context)
const exampleProxy = createProxyMiddleware(options);

// mount `exampleProxy` in web server
const app = express();

app.use(express.json({ limit: '500mb' }));
app.use(express.urlencoded({ extended: false, limit: '500mb', parameterLimit: 500000 }));

app.use('/api', exampleProxy);

You can see above, I have tried to increase the size of requests within express…

Also within my nginx config /etc/nginx/nginx.conf I have added ::

http {

        # Basic Settings

        sendfile on;
        tcp_nopush on;
        types_hash_max_size 2048;
        # server_tokens off;

        # server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
        # server_name_in_redirect off;

        include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
        default_type application/octet-stream;

          client_max_body_size          500M;
  client_body_buffer_size       128k;
  keepalive_timeout             65;
  tcp_nodelay                   on;

I’ve added the client_max_body_size in the /etc/nginx/sites-available/default and /etc/nginx/sites-available/ files too just to make sure.

However, on upload i’m still getting this error in the browser window…

Request Entity Too Large
Transferred268 B (67 B size)
Referrer Policystrict-origin-when-cross-origin
Request PriorityHighest

In the response headers of the network tab I see this…




Tue, 30 May 2023 17:10:33 GMT

nginx/1.22.0 (Ubuntu)


Since this server is a proxy to another server, I assume the error lies with the express server, since the response headers tell me the server is nginx etc and my server that this DO droplet forwards the request too isn’t an nginx server.

My question does DO droplets have a limit on http uploads that I might be hitting? Is the error coming from the nginx/nodejs server? Or is it coming from the server -> that the request gets forwarded to (from what I can see there’s no request to that server so the request doesn’t get there but I don’t know it could get eaten up before it gets to the console.log outputs).

Thank you, any advice is super helpful too.

Submit an answer

This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
May 31, 2023

Hey @capb994,

The “413 Request Entity Too Large” error message is coming from your Nginx server. It is not from DigitalOcean or your Express.js server. This error is usually thrown when the size of the HTTP request (i.e., the data being sent in the request body) exceeds the client_max_body_size directive in the Nginx configuration.

To answer your other question, no DigitalOcean wouldn’t be restricting or limiting such uploads.

Location of the Directive: If client_max_body_size is defined in different places in your Nginx configuration, the one defined in the most specific context will be used. For instance, if it’s defined in the http context and also in a server context, the server context will be used. Make sure you’re defining it in the right place.

The Other Server: If the request is being proxied to another server, it’s possible that the error is coming from that server. You should check the configuration of the other server to make sure it’s also able to handle large request bodies.

Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!

Sign up

Get our biweekly newsletter

Sign up for Infrastructure as a Newsletter.

Hollie's Hub for Good

Working on improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth? We'd like to help.

Become a contributor

Get paid to write technical tutorials and select a tech-focused charity to receive a matching donation.

Welcome to the developer cloud

DigitalOcean makes it simple to launch in the cloud and scale up as you grow — whether you're running one virtual machine or ten thousand.

Learn more
DigitalOcean Cloud Control Panel