nginx and rewriting based on GET-parameter (URL-parameters/arguments)

When rewriting URLs in Apache through mod_rewrite, you have the possibility of using RewriteCond to only apply rewrites if the original resource has been called with a particular argument in the URL (such as “/file?oid=..”).

The solution in nginx was however a bit different, but thanks to Rewriting URL-params in nginx I got on the right track from the start.

In nginx this information is available through the $args variable, which will contain the complete query string. In Will’s example above he’ll replace the query string, but I were interested in inserting a specific parameter instead (and include the previous query string, so I couldn’t just do the “set $args ..” that he does in the example).

My first try was to simply use $1 in the rewrite destination, but this didn’t work – as rewrite will reset the captured patterns from the previous regular expression (since the rewrite source also is a regular expression). But by introducing my own, temporary variable I were able to save the value from the matching regular expression (for the GET parameter) and use it in my rewrite destination.

The following example shows how I ended up solving the issue. This will rewrite the URL only if the “oid” parameter is found at the beginning of the query string when the URL is requested, and the location = /oldURL limits the rewrite to requests for the old resource.

location = /oldURL {
    if ($args ~ "^oid=(\d+)") {
        set $key1 $1;
        rewrite ^.*$  /newURL?param1=foo¶m2=bar&key1=$key1 last;

This will rewrite a request for /oldURL?oid=123&what=cheese to /newURL?param1=foo&param2=bar&key1=123&oid=123&what=cheese — if you want to exclude the previous arguments, you can either just set $args directly to key1=$1 and just use param1=foo and param2=bar in the rewrite destination:

        set $args key1=$1;
        rewrite ^.*$  /newURL?param1=foo¶m2=bar last;

This might be cleaner, depending on what you’re trying to do.

How To Dismantle An Atomic HTTP Query .. String.

Following up on yesterday’s gripe about PHPs (old and now useless) automagic translation of dots in GET and POST parameters to underscores, today’s edition manipulates the query string in place instead of returning it as an array.

This is useful if you have a query string you want to pass on to another service, and for some reason the default behaviour in PHP will barf barf and barf. That might happen because of the dot translation issue or that some services (such as Solr) rely on a parameter name being repeatable (in PHP the second parameter value will overwrite the first).

function http_dismantle_query($queryString, $remove)
    $removeKeys = array();

    if (is_array($remove))
        foreach($remove as $removeKey)
            $removeKeys[$removeKey] = true;
        $removeKeys[$remove] = true;

    $resultEntries = array();
    $segments = explode("&", $queryString);

    foreach($segments as $segment)
        $parts = explode('=', $segment);

        $key = urldecode(array_shift($parts));

        if (!isset($removeKeys[$key]))
            $resultEntries[] = $segment;

    return join('&', $resultEntries);

I’m not really sure what I’ll call the next function in this series, but there sure are loads of candidates out there.