Understanding the Nginx map directive

Hold on Cowboy

This blog post is pretty old. Be careful with the information you find in here. It's likely dead, dying, or wildly inaccurate.

When switching to Nginx I needed to have a variable that signified if the site was in HTTP or HTTPS mode. So I found this little bit of code. map $scheme $fastcgi_https { ## Detect when HTTPS is used default off; https on; }

This works great, but I really didn’t understand it until now so let’s take it line by line.

Line 1 

map $scheme $fastcgi_https { ## Detect when HTTPS is used This is where all the glory happens. $scheme is an internal variable within Nginx and is either HTTP or HTTPS (maybe some other ones in the future like SPDY). Then you have $fastcgi_https, this is the name of the variable we’re creating for future use in our config files. Nothing but comments after that stuff.

Line 2 and 3 

default off; https on; This is our map of values. When Nginx’s $sheme variable is equal to “HTTPS”, then the $fastcgi_https variable will equal “on”, otherwise the variable just equals “off”.

Not too complex, but I just didn’t pick up on the format until now. Read more at http://wiki.nginx.org/HttpMapModule

Did this help you out? It took me a few days to piece together all this information together, I hope this saves you some time (who knows, maybe the future me will be thankful I wrote this down). Let me know your thoughts. shanestillwell@gmail.com