How to Force HTTPS Behind AWS ELB

AllCloud Blog:
Cloud Insights and Innovation

In the most common configurations, when running your web app behind ​Nginx or Apache, ​your https:// request will get redirected to ​https://. Sometimes, you may want to rewrite all HTTP requests to HTTPS.

The Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) supports a HTTP header called X-FORWARDED-PROTO.  All the HTTPS requests going through the ELB will have the value of X-FORWARDED-PROTO equal to “HTTPS“.  For the HTTP requests, you can force HTTPS by adding a simple rewrite rule, as follows:

1. Nginx

In your nginx site config file check if the value of X_FORWARDED_PROTO is https, if not, rewrite it:

server {
listen 80;
location / {
if ($http_x_forwarded_proto != 'https') {
rewrite ^ https://$host$request_uri? permanent;

2. Apache

Same goes for Apache, add this rewrite rule to your site’s config file:

<VirtualHost *:80>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP:X-Forwarded-Proto} !https
RewriteRule ^.*$ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI}

3. IIS (Windows)

Install IIS Url-Rewrite module, using the configuration GUI add these settings

<rewrite xdt:Transform="Insert">
<rule name="HTTPS rewrite behind ELB rule" stopProcessing="true">
<match url="^(.*)$" ignoreCase="false" />
<add input="{HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO}" pattern="^http$" ignoreCase="false" />
<action type="Redirect" redirectType="Found" url="https://{SERVER_NAME}{URL}" />

Simona Miroiu

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