Scenario / Questions

I am trying to optimize my nginx configs, so it would be possible to set one variable, and all location paths would update automatically. I have four lines in question:

server_name php.domain.com;
root /srv/web/vhosts/php/web;
error_log /srv/web/vhosts/php/logs/error.log;
access_log /srv/web/vhosts/php/logs/access.log;

What I would like to achieve is to set one variable (in this case ‘php’) and include it to config.

set $variable "php";
server_name $variable.domain.com;
root /srv/web/vhosts/$variable/web;
error_log /srv/web/vhosts/$variable/logs/error.log;
access_log /srv/web/vhosts/$variable/logs/access.log;

However it seams that nginx ignores variables in this config. Am I doing something wrong or it is not possible to use variable in location paths?

Find below all possible solutions or suggestions for the above questions..

Suggestion: 1

Variables can’t be declared anywhere nor be used in any directive.

As the documentation of set directive is :

Syntax:   set $variable value;
Default:  —
Context:  server, location, if

The immediate consequence is that you can’t use custom variables in an http block.

Update : after a discussion and experiments with AlexeyTen in this chatroom.

  • access_log can contain variables with restrictions. Among them, the lack of buffering and the fact that the leading slash must not be declared in a variable.
  • error_log won’t work with variables at all.
  • root directive can contains variables.
  • server_name directive only allows strict $hostname value as a variable-like notation.