Configure nginx to serve apps in production

For now i have a app with both flask , angular and a postgres database running inside a dockers containers and communicating well.

The next step is to serve all those app using nginx in production, but how??

I was told me to use nginx server. but don’ have any clue about nginx and how it works . so let me understand how it works and try to make it work for me . hope will not send many hours on this as i do in the past parts. the goal was to deploy the side with docker containers in production to digital ocean.

Part One : The flask app should be serve by wsgi

First attempt

Following this tuto

create a wsgi file and run the application like this :

from run import app as application

if __name__ == "__main__":, debug=True)

Note that I need to import app as applicaation and run it . if it was jus import app it could not run.

Then we create .ini config file for the project;

Let’s place that in our project directory and call it myproject.ini:

I was create all the files and tried to run the project with this command :

uwsgi --chdir api/ --ini api/api.ini

I run into the following error : To start the wsgi file from parent directory but how to work the uwsgi with python?? After googling I found a good advice and they suggested my to go back to the doc and read how uwsgi works. Here are my findings.:* here

  • uwsgi is an application server for hosting python application for production.

  • he uWSGI project aims at developing a full stack for building hosting services.

  • Application servers (for various programming languages and protocols), proxies, process managers and monitors are all implemented using a common api and a common configuration style.

Here is what is said in his documentation.

The uWSGI project aims at developing a full stack for building hosting services. Application servers (for various programming languages and protocols), proxies, process managers and monitors are all implemented using a common api and a common configuration style.

now we need to configure it to host our application.

here is how our configuration look like

http-socket =
#for the docker configuration
chdir = /api/api
wsgi-file =
callable = application
processes = 4
threads = 2
stats =

The first line tell to use http-socket at the localhost with the port. we are not going to use http because we are serving our frontend by another server.

chdir : tell the working directory of our project(The working direcory refer to the application folder in the docker container) wsgi : to specifie our wsgi file callable : is our application imported in the first lign of Application is runned in 2 threads of 4 processes.

For ssl and https i should read this and now the following tutorial gives step by step instruction to deploy to digital ocean . With this the flask application was running and now I need to work on the frontend part.

Part Two : nginx is serving the angular files.

Ressources 1, Ressources 2

#for the nginx with angular it working now.. I managed to mak it work but once in digital ocean i start getting 502 errros bad gateway:

It was due to a bad configuration in the .config file of nginx

nothing was fixed .

How to fix it?

in nginx.conf

server name and proxy pass should be the same

remove the dns config

okey ! the next day i decide to learn how nginx config works on digital ocean. started with this

so my nginx.config should look like this .

http {

    # http context

    server {

        # first server context


 http {

    # http context

    server {

        # first server context


    server {

        # second server context




Then going to add the following ligns in the sever block.

  • listen: The ip address / port combination that this server block is designed to respond to. If a request is made by a client that matches these values, this block will potentially be selected to handle the connection.

  • server_name: This directive is the other component used to select a server block for processing. If there are multiple server blocks with listen directives of the same specificity that can handle the request, Nginx will parse the “Host” header of the request and match it against this directive.

so in listen i have to put the ip adress of my digital ocean dyno and the port 80 where nginx is running. listen; but it was not a god idea/

i noticed also that i had 2 listen blocks in my config, may be that is why it was not working. so let keep investigating?

serv_name it not understood yet, still confusing. NB : But this should be the server name configured in the dns

The next is the location context. this is what is said there :

each location is used to handle a certain type of client request, and each location is selected by virtue of matching the location definition against the client request through a selection algorithm.

here are others important information about server and location.

While server contexts are selected based on the requested IP address/port combination and the host name in the “Host” header, location blocks further divide up the request handling within a server block by looking at the request URI. The request URI is the portion of the request that comes after the domain name or IP address/port combination.

So, if a client requests on port 80, the http,, and port 80 would all be used to determine which server block to select. After a server is selected, the /blog portion (the request URI), would be evaluated against the defined locations to determine which further context should be used to respond to the request.

acccording to that information here is how my .config file looks like

  location / {
              include  /etc/nginx/mime.types;
              root   /usr/share/nginx/html;
               index  index.html index.htm;
  #all request staring with adra and api are passed to the backend
           location /api {
                 proxy_set_header        Host $host;

           location /adra {
                 proxy_set_header        Host $host;
           # to load css and javascript
           location ~ \.css {
               add_header  Content-Type    text/css;
           location ~ \.js {
               add_header  Content-Type    application/x-javascript;

I have 4 location;

the 2 with both /api , /adra are related to the api in the flask file

the second location I added them when I was trying to solve a problem of css files they was not read , and was served as text files.

Getting 502 error acces not authorise: Now need to understedand n th proxy_pass thing , may be that is why I’m getting the 502 error.


Sets the protocol and address of a proxied server and an optional URI to which a location should be mapped. As a protocol, “http” or “https” can be specified. The address can be specified as a domain name or IP address, and an optional port:

for the docker and nginx i head about the reverse proxy thing . Found this recent question, I’m sure it give the answer to my problem.

For those that weren’t aware, whenever you use docker-compose up, it automatically creates a default docker network if you don’t specify any in the docker-compose.yaml. Docker containers in the same network automatically get a DNS entry created for the container name. That means you can access the other containers in the network using something like http://mycontainername:8080.

it means that in the proxy pass should be the adress on which you app are acccesible inside the docker.

for my case for the flask app I change it to http://api:8000 and for nginx it need to be changed to : http://nginx_demo:8080. But I keep geeting the error, then I decided Removed the proxy_pass in the location / directive.

Rerun the server and sart getting 403 error. Gettinng 403 error adding right file right now files are not served . the problem is with nginx it’s looking for file in /etc/nginx/ while all my file are in /usr/share/nginx/html attend to find the solution here by changing the way files are server in .config Another tips to solve this problem was to modify the acess right of html folder.

I did this in my comand in the docker config of nginx.

chmod -R 0755 /usr/share/nginx/html/

And I managed to solve the error of acess right on files. Then I satrted getting a 404 errors for files not found Again it was a problem with nginx config.

I removed the root, index and in the / location directive and move them to server directive and it start serving statics files..

after passing throught all those type of errors I was able to see the static files and index.html by the end of the day.