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Add web content, Configure Server Blocks

Set up web content location

Let’s set up some directories where each of our static sites will be located.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/
Note this is a subdomain, but it is the same for a domain or subdomain.

Now that we have our directories, we will reassign ownership of the web directories to our normal user account. This will let us write to them without sudo.

sudo chown -R ec2_user:ec2_user /var/www/

The permissions of our web roots should be correct already if you have not modified your umask value, but we can make sure by typing:

sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www

Create a Sample Page

Now that we have our directory structure set up, let’s create a default page for each of our sites so that we will have something to display.

Create an index.html file in your first domain:

nano /var/www/

Inside the file, we’ll create a really basic file that indicates what site we are currently accessing. It will look like this:

        <title>Welcome to!</title>
        <h1>Success! The server block is working!</h1>
Save and close the file when you are finished. To do this in nano, press CTRL+o to write the file out, then CTRL+x to exit.

Create Server Block Files for Each Domain

We need to create the domain (or sub domain) configuration files in the sites-available and sites-enabled directories.

cd /etc/nginx/
sudo mkdir sites-available and mkdir sites-enabled
Image Sites Available

Inside sites-available, we need to create a server block for each domain. The filename should be the domain name. So for this domain, the file /etc/nginx/sites-available/ would look like this

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/;
    index index.html index.htm;
    location / {
            try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

This is all we need for basic http. The root should be pointing to the folder we created where the index.html will be located. server_name can be followed by any subdomains also pointing to the same site, i.e. www.

Enabling Server Blocks and Restart Nginx

Now that we have our server block files, we need to enable them. We can do this by creating symbolic links from these files to the sites-enabled directory, which Nginx reads from during startup.

We can create these links by typing:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Next, test to make sure that there are no syntax errors in any of your Nginx files:

sudo nginx -t
sudo systemctl restart nginx

Server Block for an API

If you have a api running on it's own sub-domain, like, you'll want to create a server block for it as well.

Image Server Block

server {
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;


        location / {
            proxy_pass http://localhost:9080/;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port $server_port;
Note that 9080 is the port that you have configured your app to run on.