This feature is only available in the Professional release
This feature is only available on servers running the NginX web server. If your server is using Apache or IIS the button to launch this feature will not be shown. If the server type cannot be detected you will see this feature but you should consult with your host whether it will have any effect and how to use it..
One of the most important aspects of managing a web site hosted on an NginX server is being able to fine-tune your site configuration file. This file is responsible for many web server level tweaks, such as enabling the use of search engine friendly (SEF) URLs, blocking access to system files which should not be accessible from the web, redirecting between pages based on custom criteria and even optimising the performance of your site. On the downside, learning how to tweak all those settings is akin to learning a foreign language. Thetool of Admin Tools is designed to help you create the part of such a file used for security and performance optimisation with a user-friendly interface.
If you ever want to revert to a "safe default", just set all of the options on this page to "Off" and click on "Save and create nginx.conf". This will create a very basic nginx.conf file.
One very important aspect of NginX is that, unlike Apache, the site configuration file is not magically loaded on every request. When using this feature you will have to do two things:
Make sure NginX can load the nginx.conf
file. Admin Tools writes the (partial) NginX
nginx.conf in the root of
your site. By default, NginX won't even know this file is there! You
need to include it in your site's definition file by adding a
directive like this:
The exact path to the file is shown in Admin Tools' NginX Configuration Maker page itself. You only need to do this ONCE.
If your host doesn't allow you to do that they might be giving you a way to add custom NginX configuration variables. In this case use the Preview button in the NginX Configuration Maker page to get the raw NginX configuration commands and give them to your host for inclusion in the NginX configuration.
If you have a choice between these two methods of providing the custom NginX configuration to your server please use the second one. It's harder to manage but it's far more secure. The first method of having your NginX server include a configuration file off the web root is not a good idea as far as security is concerned: a sly attacker could modify that file to their benefit and just wait for the NginX server to restart. Ideally, that first method should only be used on a private test server which is not accessible from the Internet and only for debugging and development purposes.
If your host doesn't allow you to provide custom NginX configuration, sorry, you're out of luck: you will not be able to use this feature of Admin Tools.
Reload or restart your NginX server. Remember that modifying the NginX configuration has NO EFFECT until you reload or restart the NginX server. This is part of what makes NginX so incredibly fast.
FInally, do note that the NginX configuration maker makes the assumption that you've configured PHP to run through FastCGI using the exact method described in NginX's documentation. If you're using a different method to enable PHP on your NginX server the generated configuration may not work on your server or even cause problems accessing your web site.
The top part of the NginX configuration maker page contains the standard toolbar buttons you'd expect:
The NginX Configuration Maker's toolbar
changes you have made in this page's options and creates the new
nginx.conf file. If you already had a
nginx.conf file on your site, it will be
nginx.admintools before the new file
is written to disk.
(visible after clicking the dropdown arrow next to the previous
button) saves the changes you have made in this page's options
without creating a new
nginx.conf file. This
should be used when you have not decided on some options yet, or if
you want to preview the generated
file before writing it to disk.
Reset NginX Maker options will reset all options on the page to the default settings you'd see when first installing Admin Tools. Please note that this is NOT the same as turning off every option! The default settings have several features turned on. Use this button only when you feel you've messed up so bad you don't even know where to begin fixing things.
pops up a dialog where you can
see how the generated
nginx.conf file will look
like without writing it to disk. This dialog shows the saved
configuration. If you have modified any settings they will not be
reflected in there until you click either of the save
This feature comes in handy in a different way as well. It's
generally a bad idea having your server configuration in the public
web root of your site (the
Instead, you can copy the generated code from the preview and insert
it to your server's configuration. The exact way to do that and
whether it needs some manual editing is host- and server-specific.
If unsure, ask your host. NginX is a developer-friendly web server,
not an end-user-friendly server. Make sure you understand what
Thebutton takes you back to the Control Panel page.
Below the toolbar there are several panes with different options, described below. Before you do that, please read the following paragraphs.
Depending on your web server settings, some of these options may
be incompatible with your site. In this case you will get a blank page
or an Internal Server Error 500 error page when trying to access any
part of your site. If this happens, you have to remove the contents of
nginx.conf file from your site's root directory
using an FTP application or the File Manager feature of your hosting
control panel OR remove all custom configuration from your NginX site
configuration file (depending on which method you chose). Then you MUST
reload or restart NginX for the changes to take effect.
We strongly suggest that you begin by setting all options to No and then enable them one by one, creating a new configuration (and reloading your NginX server) after you have enabled each one of them. If you bump into a blank or error page you will know that the last option you tried is incompatible with your host. Unfortunately, there is no other way than trial and error to deduce which options may be incompatible with your server.
When disabled, your web server might list the files and subdirectories of any directory on your site if there is no index.html file inside it. This can pose a security risk, so you should always enable this option to avoid this from happening.
Many attackers try to exploit vulnerable extensions on your site by tricking them into including malicious code hosted on the attacker's server. Enabling this option will protect your server against this kind of attacks. This works by preventing any URL which references an http:// or https:// URL in the query string. Sometimes these are legitimate requests. For example, some gallery components use them. In this case you are recommended to use the RFIShield (Remote File Inclusion protection) in the Web Application Firewall and turn this NginX Configuration Maker option OFF.
PHP has a fun and annoying feature known as "Easter Eggs". By passing a special URL parameter, PHP will display a picture instead of the actual page requested. Whereas this is considered fun, it is also widely exploited by attackers to figure out the version of your PHP installation (these images change between different versions of PHP) and launch hacking attacks targeting your specific PHP version. By enabling this option you completely disable access to those Easter Eggs and make it even more difficult for attackers to figure out the details of your server.
Note: You are advised to also set
php.ini file to prevent accidental
leaks of your PHP version.
These two files are left behind after any Joomla! installation or upgrade and can be directly accessed from the web. They are used by attackers to tell the Joomla! version you are using, so that they can tailor an attack targeting your specific Joomla! version. Enabling this option will "hide" those files when accessed from the web (a 404 Not Found page is returned), tricking attackers into believing that these files do not exist and making it slightly more difficult for them to deduce information about your site. This option also hides the web.config.txt file included in Joomla! 3 and later for use with the IIS server.
Turning on this option will protect you against clickjacking. It does so by preventing your site's pages to be loaded in a, Frame, IFrame or Object tag unless this comes from a page inside your own site. Please note that if your site relies on its pages being accessible through frames / iframes displayed on other sites (NOT on your site displaying content from other sites, that's irrelevant!) then you should not enable this option. If unsure, enable it.
When enabled, it will block any site access attempt if the remote program sends one of the user agent strings in the User agents to block, one per line option. This feature is designed to protect your site against common bandwidth-hogging download bots and otherwise legitimate tools which are more usually used for hacking sites than their benign intended functionality.
The user agent strings to block from accessing your site. You don't have to enter the whole UA string, just a part of it. The default setting includes several usual suspects.
You can type new entries by clicking at the end of the list, type the entry and press ENTER to accept it. Delete items using the X button next to each entry.
Do note that some server with mod_security or mod_evasive installed will throw an "Access forbidden" message if you try to save the configuration settings when this field contains the word "WGet". If you come across this issue it is not a bug with Admin Tools or Joomla!, it is a server-level protection feature kicking in. Just avoid including the word Wget and you should be out of harm's way.
The following is the default list of user agents to block. It is very thorough and seems to be reducing the number of attacks enormously. If you are upgrading from an earlier version you might want to try it out.
WebBandit webbandit Acunetix binlar BlackWidow Bolt 0 Bot mailto:email@example.com BOT for JCE casper checkprivacy ChinaClaw clshttp cmsworldmap comodo Custo Default Browser 0 diavol DIIbot DISCo dotbot Download Demon eCatch EirGrabber EmailCollector EmailSiphon EmailWolf Express WebPictures extract ExtractorPro EyeNetIE feedfinder FHscan FlashGet flicky GetRight GetWeb! Go-Ahead-Got-It Go!Zilla grab GrabNet Grafula harvest HMView ia_archiver Image Stripper Image Sucker InterGET Internet Ninja InternetSeer.com jakarta Java JetCar JOC Web Spider kmccrew larbin LeechFTP libwww Mass Downloader Maxthon$ microsoft.url MIDown tool miner Mister PiX NEWT MSFrontPage Navroad NearSite Net Vampire NetAnts NetSpider NetZIP nutch Octopus Offline Explorer Offline Navigator PageGrabber Papa Foto pavuk pcBrowser PeoplePal planetwork psbot purebot pycurl RealDownload ReGet Rippers 0 SeaMonkey$ sitecheck.internetseer.com SiteSnagger skygrid SmartDownload sucker SuperBot SuperHTTP Surfbot tAkeOut Teleport Pro Toata dragostea mea pentru diavola turnit vikspider VoidEYE Web Image Collector Web Sucker WebAuto WebCopier WebFetch WebGo IS WebLeacher WebReaper WebSauger Website eXtractor Website Quester WebStripper WebWhacker WebZIP Wget Widow WWW-Mechanize WWWOFFLE Xaldon WebSpider Yandex Zeus zmeu CazoodleBot discobot ecxi GT::WWW heritrix HTTP::Lite HTTrack ia_archiver id-search id-search.org IDBot Indy Library IRLbot ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1 LinksManager.com_bot linkwalker lwp-trivial MFC_Tear_Sample Microsoft URL Control Missigua Locator panscient.com PECL::HTTP PHPCrawl PleaseCrawl SBIder Snoopy Steeler URI::Fetch urllib Web Sucker webalta WebCollage Wells Search II WEP Search zermelo ZyBorg Indy Library libwww-perl Go!Zilla TurnitinBot sqlmap
Enabling this option will include a set of options recommended by Joomla! to protect against (obsolete) common exploits which no longer have any effect on Joomla! 2.5 and later. It's still a good idea to enable this option as a means to reduce the number of unnecessary requests to your site.
Enabling this option will allow your site to use SEF (a.k.a. "beautiful") URLs, with or without index.php in them. You are recommended to leave this option turned on unless you have a custom URL forwarding setup already in place.