How can you configure Nginx to handle user authentication? nginx

How can you configure Nginx to handle user authentication?

Nov. 13, 2023

How to Configure Nginx to Handle User Authentication

Nginx is a powerful web server known for its performance, scalability, and extensive feature set. One of its notable features is the capability to handle user authentication, allowing you to restrict access to certain areas of your website or web application.

Step 1: Install Nginx

Firstly, ensure you have Nginx installed on your server. If it's not already installed, you can use the following commands:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install nginx

Step 2: Create User Password File

To handle user authentication, Nginx requires a file containing the usernames and passwords of the users allowed to access protected areas. You can create this file using the htpasswd command-line tool:

$ sudo apt install apache2-utils
$ sudo htpasswd -c /etc/nginx/.htpasswd username

Replace username with the desired username. You will be prompted to set a password for the user, which will be stored securely in the .htpasswd file.

Step 3: Configure Nginx

Next, we need to configure Nginx to enable user authentication for specific locations. Open your Nginx configuration file, usually located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf or /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf, and add the following code inside the relevant server block:

location /protected { auth_basic "Restricted Content"; auth_basic_user_file /etc/nginx/.htpasswd; }

In this example, we're protecting the /protected location, but you can customize it according to your needs. Make sure to specify the correct path to your .htpasswd file.

Step 4: Restart Nginx

After making changes to the configuration, save the file and restart Nginx for the changes to take effect:

$ sudo service nginx restart

Step 5: Testing the Configuration

You can now test the configuration by accessing the protected area in your browser. Nginx should prompt you for a username and password before granting access.


Configuring Nginx for user authentication is a valuable security measure to control access to specific parts of your website or application. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily implement user authentication in your Nginx server.