nginx is a fast, production level HTTP server. When serving your application with one of the WSGI servers listed in Deploying to Production, it is often good or necessary to put a dedicated HTTP server in front of it. This “reverse proxy” can handle incoming requests, TLS, and other security and performance concerns better than the WSGI server.

Nginx can be installed using your system package manager, or a pre-built executable for Windows. Installing and running Nginx itself is outside the scope of this doc. This page outlines the basics of configuring Nginx to proxy your application. Be sure to read its documentation to understand what features are available.

Domain Name

Acquiring and configuring a domain name is outside the scope of this doc. In general, you will buy a domain name from a registrar, pay for server space with a hosting provider, and then point your registrar at the hosting provider’s name servers.

To simulate this, you can also edit your hosts file, located at /etc/hosts on Linux. Add a line that associates a name with the local IP.

Modern Linux systems may be configured to treat any domain name that ends with .localhost like this without adding it to the hosts file.

/etc/hosts hello.localhost


The nginx configuration is located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf on Linux. It may be different depending on your operating system. Check the docs and look for nginx.conf.

Remove or comment out any existing server section. Add a server section and use the proxy_pass directive to point to the address the WSGI server is listening on. We’ll assume the WSGI server is listening locally at

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name _;

    location / {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Prefix /;

Then Tell Werkzeug it is Behind a Proxy so that your application uses these headers.

Static Files

If your application has static files such as JavaScript, CSS, and images, it will be more efficient to let Nginx serve them directly rather than going through the Python application.

Assuming the static files are expected to be available under the /static/ URL, and are stored at /home/project/static/, add the following to the server block above.

location /static {
    alias /home/project/static;