Devops. I've never asked for this.

Better syntax highlighting and snippets for nginx in vim

I’m editing nginx configuration files. A lot. Naturally, I’ve tried several plugins for my favorite editor vim – but ran around a lot of problems:

  • Most of the plugins available are outdated.
  • Even syntax highlighting of the current vim plugin distributed with the nginx release has some deficits.
  • I’ve been tired of copying around secure ssl_cipher directives, etc.

So, I’ve created a new, super-cool and mega-advanced vim plugin for nginx!

Ladies and gentlemen: Please welcome, chr4/nginx.vim!


The plugin is based on the recent vim plugin distributed with nginx-1.12.0 and additionally features the following syntax improvements:

  • Highlight IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
  • Mark insecure ssl_protocols as errors
  • Inline template syntax highlight for ERB and Jinja
  • Inline syntax highlight for LUA
  • Improve integer matching
  • Syntax highlighting for proxy_next_upstream options
  • Syntax highlighting for sticky options
  • Syntax highlighting for upstream server options
  • More to come!


  • Remove annoying delimiters, resulting in strange word boundaries


A server block with highlighted insecure SSL options:

nginx server block with SSL configuration

An upstream block with highlighted options:

nginx upstream configuration

Embedded highlighting for ERB and Jinja templates:

Embedded highlighting for ERB and Jinja templates

Embedded LUA syntax highlighting:

Embedded LUA highlighting


The plugin comes with useful snippets which can be accessed using e.g. vim-snipmate.

Select a decent cipher for your requirements (all of them can provide SSLLabs A+ ratings)

  • ciphers-paranoid<tab>: Even-more-secure ciphers (elliptic curves, no GCM), not compatible with IE < 11, OpenSSL-0.9.8, Safari < 7, Android != 4.4
  • ciphers-modern<tab>: High security ciphers (elliptic curves), not compatible with IE < 11, OpenSSL-0.9.8, Safari < 7, Android < 4.4 (recommended)
  • ciphers-compat<tab>: Medium security ciphers with good compatibility (No IE on WinXP) but TLSv1 and SHA required
  • ciphers-old<tab>: Low security ciphers (using weak DES and SHA ciphers, TLSv1), but compatible with everything but IE6 and Java6
  • ssl-options<tab>: Bootstrap secure SSL options


# High-security ciphers (elliptic curves), less compatibility
# No IE < 10, OpenSSL-0.9.8, Safari < 7, Android < 4.4
ssl_protocols TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

Or add a robots.txt file with robots.txt<tab>:

# Tell bots to not index this site
location /robots.txt {
    default_type text/plain;
    return 200 'User-agent: *\nDisallow: /\n';

It also has auto-completion for location and server blocks with location<tab> resp. server<tab>, and many more!


Just plug it in using your favorite vim package manager

For example vim-plug (which I’m currently using):

Plug 'chr4/nginx.vim'

" Optionally, if you like Jinja template syntax highlighting
Plug 'lepture/vim-jinja'

For further information and installation options, please consult the README.

Feedback and further improvements welcome! Just file an issue or pull request on Github, or contact me