Home » Difference in sites-available vs sites-enabled vs conf.d directories (Nginx)?

Difference in sites-available vs sites-enabled vs conf.d directories (Nginx)?

Solutons:


The sites-* folders are managed by nginx_ensite and nginx_dissite. For Apache httpd users who find this with a search, the equivalents is a2ensite/a2dissite.

The sites-available folder is for storing all of your vhost configurations, whether or not they’re currently enabled.

The sites-enabled folder contains symlinks to files in the sites-available folder. This allows you to selectively disable vhosts by removing the symlink.

conf.d does the job, but you have to move something out of the folder, delete it, or make changes to it when you need to disable something. The sites-* folder abstraction makes things a little more organized and allows you to manage them with separate support scripts.

(unless you’re like me, and one of many debian admins who just managed the symlinks directly, not knowing about the scripts…)

I would like to add to the previous answers that the most important is not how you call the directories (though that is a very useful convention), but what you actually put in nginx.conf. Example configuration:

http {
    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/my_own_conf;
...
}

The only directive used here is include, so there is no internal difference between e.g. conf.d/ and sites-enabled/.

From the documentation above:

Syntax:     include file | mask;
Default:    —
Context:    any

Includes another file, or files matching the specified mask, 
into configuration. Included files should consist of 
syntactically correct directives and blocks.

So, to answer the original question: there is no internal difference, and you may use them in the best way you can, remembering advice from the other answers. And please, don’t forget to choose the ‘right’ answer.

What’s Going On?

You must be using Debian or Ubuntu, since the evil sites-available / sites-enabled logic is not used by the upstream packaging of nginx from http://nginx.org/packages/.

In either case, both are implemented as a configuration convention with the help of the standard include directive in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.

Here’s a snippet of /etc/nginx/nginx.conf from an official upstream package of nginx from nginx.org:

http {
    …
    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
}

Here’s a snippet of /etc/nginx/nginx.conf from Debian/Ubuntu:

http {
    …
    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
}

So, from the point of view of NGINX, the only difference would be that files from conf.d get to be processed sooner, and, as such, if you have configurations that silently conflict with each other, then those from conf.d may take precedence over those in sites-enabled.


Best Practice Is conf.d.

You should be using /etc/nginx/conf.d, as that’s a standard convention, and should work anywhere.

If you need to disable a site, simply rename the filename to no longer have a .conf suffix, very easy, straightforward and error-proof:

sudo mv -i /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf{,.disabled}

Or the opposite to enable a site:

sudo mv -i /etc/nginx/conf.d/example.com.conf{.disabled,}


Avoid sites-available & sites-enabled At All Costs.

I see absolutely no reason to be using sites-available / sites-enabled:

  • Some folks have mentioned nginx_ensite and nginx_dissite scripts — the names of these scripts are even worse than the rest of this debacle — but these scripts are also nowhere to be found — they’re absent from the nginx package even in Debian (and probably in Ubuntu, too), and not present in a package of their own, either, plus, do you really need a whole non-standard third-party script to simply move and/or link the files between the two directories?!

  • And if you’re not using the scripts (which is, in fact, a smart choice as per above), then there comes the issue of how do you manage the sites:

  • Do you create symbolic links from sites-available to sites-enabled?

  • Copy the files?

  • Move the files?

  • Edit the files in place in sites-enabled?

The above may seem like some minor issues to tackle, until several folks start managing the system, or until you make a quick decision, only to forget about it months or years down the line…

Which brings us to:

  • Is it safe to remove a file from sites-enabled? Is it soft link? A hard link? Or the only copy of the configuration? A prime example of configuration hell.

  • Which sites have been disabled? (With conf.d, just do an inversion search for files not ending with .conffind /etc/nginx/conf.d -not -name "*.conf", or use grep -v.)

Not only all of the above, but also note the specific include directive used by Debian/Ubuntu — /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/* — no filename suffix is specified for sites-enabled, unlike for conf.d.

  • What this means is that if one day you decide to quickly edit a file or two within /etc/nginx/sites-enabled, and your emacs creates a backup file like default~, then, suddenly, you have both default and default~ included as active configuration, which, depending directives used, may not even give you any warnings, and cause a prolonged debugging session to take place. (Yes, it did happen to me; it was during a hackathon, and I was totally puzzled of why my conf wasn’t working.)

Thus, I’m convinced that sites-enabled is pure evil!

Related Solutions

Performance issue with this code [closed]

In short: You should create,open,use,close,dispose Connections where you're using them. The best way is to use the using-statement. By not closing the connection as soon as possible, the Connection-Pool needs to create new physical connections to the dbms which...

Compare a pointer to an integer in C [closed]

Here's what I think you meant to post, it still doesn't compile though, since you can't compare a pointer to a char /* *Description: Construction of a social network */ #include <stdio.h> #include <strings.h> #include <stdlib.h> #define SIZE...

Autocomplete json in textbox

If you are using jQuery UI, the jQuery documentation on autocomplete is straightforward. Put your array as the source: and it should work automatically. IMHO, You seriously need to spend some time for googling and looking into the documentations. jQuery UI...

having all my scores and names in one big array

You need to initialize your array outside of your loop: name_arr = [] while int(students)>int(student): name = input ("what is your name ") score = input ("what is your score ") student = student + 1 name_arr.append(name) name_arr.append(score)...

pacman “exists on filesystem” error

After pacman finally deprecated the --force option and made the surrogate --overwrite option work as expected, the following usage pattern should be noted. A command to reproduce the --force option that blindly overwrites anything that conflicts is this: sudo...

How to determine the maximum number to pass to make -j option?

nproc gives the number of CPU cores/threads available, e.g. 8 on a quad-core CPU supporting two-way SMT. The number of jobs you can run in parallel with make using the -j option depends on a number of factors: the amount of available memory the amount of memory...

Number of Nearest ‘True’ in a matrix or list of list

Definitely not the best way to do it, but it's one that works: import numpy as np mas1 = np.array([[True, False, True], [ False, True, True], [ False, True, False]]) mas_answer = np.ndarray(shape=mas1.shape) for i in range(mas1.shape[0]): for j in...

Trying to display Json data from a web url into a table

You can take this json and put it in the loop through length of the json and show data into the table. This is how i solved it <?php try{ $url="the json url goes here"; // path to your JSON file $data = file_get_contents($url); // put the contents of the...

View v is unreachable statement

Anything else is written after the return keyword it's unreachable. Remove return super.getView(position, convertView, parent); from the first line of your function. This is a warning, telling you that static analysis of the code shows that some of your code...

index out of range but is in fact in range [closed]

Well try to debug your code by yourself first. Anyhow for your question Why is this happening? : It gives you error in postCode = split_address[4] because your list has 4 elements 0,1,2,3 and you are accessing the 4th element which is not present.. you don't...

Ubuntu update error: “waiting for unattended-upgr to exit”

I would first try a softer way. Stop the automatic updater. sudo dpkg-reconfigure -plow unattended-upgrades At the first prompt, choose not to download and install updates. Make a reboot. Make sure any packages in an unclean state are installed correctly. sudo...

how to Styling classes with the same name in a file css [closed]

You need to use :nth-of-type(n) selector. // For First Right Class Div #container .right:nth-of-type(1) { } // For First Left Class Div #container .left:nth-of-type(1) { } Hence for every div you need to change n value. Your question is extremely unclear but I...

Java – different parameters resulting to different outputs

What I think you're trying to achieve is that when you call your method "horn" with some parameter it has to either use "Beep!" or "Boop!". First of: void horn(a,b) Is not a valid function signature in Java, in a java function you always have to specify what...

Cannot use method returned value into another method

Using @super's suggestion and a little warning fixing. The two important changes are in the line as suggested by @super: printf("r=%.3f; phi=%.3fn",distanta(),phi()); The variables 'r' and 'unghi' are both variables local to member functions and cannot be...

Class has no member speak? [closed]

void::speak(); //THE GLOBAL SCOPE HAS NO SPEAK It's interpreting this as void ::speak() where leading an identifier (a name) with :: indicates to C++, "Look in the global scope of all names". :: is the "scope resolution operator" In the header file, you should...

Convert code with multiple lines into one line

Read the docs! A simple statement is comprised within a single logical line. Several simple statements may occur on a single line separated by semicolons. Search Stack Overflow! How to put multiple statements in one line? Or google, to find converters for more...

How to POSITION my Marker to Always Follow the Slider-Handle?

Youc can set a position to image using Jquery See fiddle //set a begining position to img var slider = $(".slider")[0]; var sliderPos = slider.value / slider.max; var pixelPostion = slider.clientWidth * sliderPos; $(".img").css("left",pixelPostion-7 + "px");...

css nth-child() check board pattern [closed]

This is pretty simple, as the pattern is repeated over 2 rows of 4, you just need to apply styles to 8n + i for the chequered pattern: .flex { display: flex; width: 400px; /* width of four squares */ flex-direction: row; flex-wrap: wrap; } .square { width:...