NGINX Unit
v. 1.28.0

Unit 1.27.0 Released§

We are pleased to announce NGINX Unit 1.27. This release brings a new level of maturity to Unit for serving static assets. We love using Unit as a cloud-native web server, and this release brings some missing features to this use case.

  • Redirecting HTTP requests to HTTPS
  • Configurable filename for path-only URIs

Redirecting HTTP Requests to HTTPS§

Since we added TLS support and certificate management to Unit, we’ve been asked to simplify redirecting plaintext HTTP requests to the TLS-enabled listener. This is now possible by configuring the location value of a route action to contain variables. Indeed, a new variable, $request_uri, is now available that contains the path-and-query parts of the original URI, preserving any encoding needed by the browser.

A full example is provided below.

{
    "listeners": {
        "*:443": {
            "tls": {
                "certificate": "example.com"
            },
            "pass": "routes"
        },
        "*:80": {
            "pass": "routes"
        }
     },

    "routes": [
        {
            "match": {
                "scheme": "http"
            },
            "action": {
                "return": 301,
                "location": "https://${host}${request_uri}"
            }
        }
}

This configuration enables Unit to listen on plaintext and TLS-enabled ports, ensuring that any requests received on the plaintext port notify the browser to resubmit on the TLS-enabled port. See more details in the documentation.

Configurable Filename for Path-Only URIs§

While it is conventional for index.html to represent the resource to be served when a path-only URI is requested, i. e. one without a filename suffix, this convention is rooted in history. It comes from a time in the early 1990s when HTTP was used exclusively to index and navigate HTML pages.

You can now use a different default filename by specifying the index for a route action. A full example is provided below.

"routes": [
    {
        "match": {
            "uri": "/cms/*"
        },
        "action": {
            "share": "/var/cms$uri",
            "index": "default.html"
        }
    },
    {
        "action": {
            "share": "/var/www$uri"
        }
    }
]

This configuration enables Unit to serve default.html for path-only URIs made to /cms/* and the default index.html filename for all other path-only URIs. See more details in the documentation.

Full Changelog§

This release also includes a number of bug fixes. The full changelog can be seen below.

Changes with Unit 1.27.0                                         02 Jun 2022

    *) Feature: ability to specify a custom index file name when serving
       static files.

    *) Feature: variables support in the "location" option of the "return"
       action.

    *) Feature: support empty strings in the "location" option of the
       "return" action.

    *) Feature: added a new variable, $request_uri, that includes both the
       path and the query parts as per RFC 3986, sections 3-4.

    *) Feature: Ruby Rack environment parameter "SCRIPT_NAME" support.

    *) Feature: compatibility with GCC 12.

    *) Bugfix: Ruby Sinatra applications don't work without custom logging.

    *) Bugfix: the controller process could crash when a chain of more than
       four certificates was uploaded.

    *) Bugfix: some Perl applications failed to process the request body,
       notably with Plack.

    *) Bugfix: some Spring Boot applications failed to start, notably with
       Grails.

    *) Bugfix: incorrect Python protocol auto detection (ASGI or WSGI) for
       native callable object, notably with Falcon.

    *) Bugfix: ECMAScript modules did not work with the recent Node.js
       versions.

Platform Updates§

Official packages are now available for the following Linux distributions:

Docker images have been updated to use the latest language versions:

  • Go 1.18
  • PHP 8.1
  • Ruby 3.1

Community, Roadmap and Open Issues§

We continue to receive valuable bug reports and feature requests to our GitHub issues page. Although we are a small team, every issue is reviewed, and we aim to respond within 2-3 days. Since the last release, we refreshed our GitHub README with a super-quick-start guide and added contribution guidelines to help you get involved. For other discussions, please join us at the #unit-users channel on the NGINX Community Slack or the mailing list.

Although this release focuses on bug fixes and web server features, we have advanced in several other projects that you can expect to see in forthcoming releases this year:

  • Custom logging (which brings lots of new variables and places you can use them)
  • JavaScript-in-the-configuration (already available as an experimental patch)
  • Statistics API to provide true observability for Unit
  • CLI tool for easier command-line management of Unit

Finally, you may have noticed our new mascot, the “tribot” - we hope you like it too! If you’re lucky, you can even find a T-shirt at NGINX events this year!