# Nginx Deployment

# Introduction

Although Sanic can be run directly on Internet, it may be useful to use a proxy server such as Nginx in front of it. This is particularly useful for running multiple virtual hosts on the same IP, serving NodeJS or other services beside a single Sanic app, and it also allows for efficient serving of static files. SSL and HTTP/2 are also easily implemented on such proxy.

We are setting the Sanic app to serve only locally at, while the Nginx installation is responsible for providing the service to public Internet on domain example.com. Static files will be served from /var/www/.

# Proxied Sanic app

The app needs to be setup with a secret key used to identify a trusted proxy, so that real client IP and other information can be identified. This protects against anyone on the Internet sending fake headers to spoof their IP addresses and other details. Choose any random string and configure it both on the app and in Nginx config.

from sanic import Sanic
from sanic.response import text
app = Sanic("proxied_example")
def index(request):
    # This should display external (public) addresses:
    return text(
        f"{request.remote_addr} connected to {request.url_for('index')}\n"
        f"Forwarded: {request.forwarded}\n"
if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(host="", port=8000, workers=8, access_log=False)

Since this is going to be a system service, save your code to /srv/sanicexample/sanicexample.py.

For testing, run your app in a terminal.

# Nginx configuration

Quite much configuration is required to allow fast transparent proxying, but for the most part these don't need to be modified, so bear with me.

Upstream servers need to be configured in a separate upstream block to enable HTTP keep-alive, which can drastically improve performance, so we use this instead of directly providing an upstream address in proxy_pass directive. In this example, the upstream section is named by server_name, i.e. the public domain name, which then also gets passed to Sanic in the Host header. You may change the naming as you see fit. Multiple servers may also be provided for load balancing and failover.

Change the two occurrences of example.com to your true domain name, and instead of YOUR SECRET use the secret you chose for your app.

upstream example.com {
  keepalive 100;
  #server unix:/tmp/sanic.sock;
server {
  server_name example.com;
  listen 443 ssl http2 default_server;
  listen [::]:443 ssl http2 default_server;
  # Serve static files if found, otherwise proxy to Sanic
  location / {
    root /var/www;
    try_files $uri @sanic;
  location @sanic {
    proxy_pass http://$server_name;
    # Allow fast streaming HTTP/1.1 pipes (keep-alive, unbuffered)
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_request_buffering off;
    proxy_buffering off;
    # Proxy forwarding (password configured in app.config.FORWARDED_SECRET)
    proxy_set_header forwarded "$proxy_forwarded;secret=\"YOUR SECRET\"";
    # Allow websockets and keep-alive (avoid connection: close)
    proxy_set_header connection "upgrade";
    proxy_set_header upgrade $http_upgrade;

To avoid cookie visibility issues and inconsistent addresses on search engines, it is a good idea to redirect all visitors to one true domain, always using HTTPS:

# Redirect all HTTP to HTTPS with no-WWW
server {
  listen 80 default_server;
  listen [::]:80 default_server;
  server_name ~^(?:www\.)?(.*)$;
  return 301 https://$1$request_uri;
# Redirect WWW to no-WWW
server {
  listen 443 ssl http2;
  listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
  server_name ~^www\.(.*)$;
  return 301 $scheme://$1$request_uri;

The above config sections may be placed in /etc/nginx/sites-available/default or in other site configs (be sure to symlink them to sites-enabled if you create new ones).

Make sure that your SSL certificates are configured in the main config, or add the ssl_certificate and ssl_certificate_key directives to each server section that listens on SSL.

Additionally, copy&paste all of this into nginx/conf.d/forwarded.conf:

# RFC 7239 Forwarded header for Nginx proxy_pass
# Add within your server or location block:
#    proxy_set_header forwarded "$proxy_forwarded;secret=\"YOUR SECRET\"";
# Configure your upstream web server to identify this proxy by that password
# because otherwise anyone on the Internet could spoof these headers and fake
# their real IP address and other information to your service.
# Provide the full proxy chain in $proxy_forwarded
map $proxy_add_forwarded $proxy_forwarded {
  default "$proxy_add_forwarded;by=\"_$hostname\";proto=$scheme;host=\"$http_host\";path=\"$request_uri\"";
# The following mappings are based on
# https://www.nginx.com/resources/wiki/start/topics/examples/forwarded/
map $remote_addr $proxy_forwarded_elem {
  # IPv4 addresses can be sent as-is
  ~^[0-9.]+$          "for=$remote_addr";
  # IPv6 addresses need to be bracketed and quoted
  ~^[0-9A-Fa-f:.]+$   "for=\"[$remote_addr]\"";
  # Unix domain socket names cannot be represented in RFC 7239 syntax
  default             "for=unknown";
map $http_forwarded $proxy_add_forwarded {
  # If the incoming Forwarded header is syntactically valid, append to it
  "~^(,[ \\t]*)*([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+=([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+|\"([\\t \\x21\\x23-\\x5B\\x5D-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF]|\\\\[\\t \\x21-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF])*\"))?(;([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+=([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+|\"([\\t \\x21\\x23-\\x5B\\x5D-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF]|\\\\[\\t \\x21-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF])*\"))?)*([ \\t]*,([ \\t]*([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+=([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+|\"([\\t \\x21\\x23-\\x5B\\x5D-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF]|\\\\[\\t \\x21-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF])*\"))?(;([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+=([!#$%&'*+.^_`|~0-9A-Za-z-]+|\"([\\t \\x21\\x23-\\x5B\\x5D-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF]|\\\\[\\t \\x21-\\x7E\\x80-\\xFF])*\"))?)*)?)*$" "$http_forwarded, $proxy_forwarded_elem";
  # Otherwise, replace it
  default "$proxy_forwarded_elem";


For installs that don't use conf.d and sites-available, all of the above configs may also be placed inside the http section of the main nginx.conf.

Reload Nginx config after changes:

sudo nginx -s reload

Now you should be able to connect your app on https://example.com/. Any 404 errors and such will be handled by Sanic's error pages, and whenever a static file is present at a given path, it will be served by Nginx.

# SSL certificates

If you haven't already configured valid certificates on your server, now is a good time to do so. Install certbot and python3-certbot-nginx, then run

certbot --nginx -d example.com -d www.example.com

Reference: Using Free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates with NGINX (opens new window)

# Running as a service

This part is for Linux distributions based on systemd. Create a unit file /etc/systemd/system/sanicexample.service

Description=Sanic Example
ExecStart=/usr/bin/env python3 sanicexample.py

Then reload service files, start your service and enable it on boot:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start sanicexample
sudo systemctl enable sanicexample
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