Fix to “413 Request Entity Too Large” error in Nginx webserver and what causes it

nginx_413_request_entity_too_large-fix

If you administer NGINX caching server serving static files content and redirecting some requests to Apache and you end up with errors when uploading big files (using HTTP PUT method), even though in Apache's PHP  upload_max_filesize is set to relatively high number upload_max_filesize = 60M.

Here is what happens during hand shake of web-browser -> server interaction 'till status is returned:
 

Web browser or Webcrawler robot goes through the following phases while talking to Web server:

 

1. Obtain an IP address from the IP name of the site (base on site URL without the leading 'http://'). 
This is provided by domain name servers (DNSs) configured for PC.
2. Open an IP socket connection to that IP address.
3. Write an HTTP data stream through that socket
(4) Receive an HTTP data stream back from the Web server in response. 
This data stream contains status codes whose values are determined by the HTTP protocol
whether successful. 

 

In the case the is recognized and reported to client 'web browser', causing the error.

The fix is to also increase max file upload limit in NGINX this is done via:
 
client_max_body_size variable in /usr/local/nginx/nginx.conf (or /etc/nginx/nginx.conf whether Nginx is installed from package).
Here is extract from nginx.conf

http {
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;
    sendfile        on;
    keepalive_timeout  65;

 

    server {
        client_max_body_size 60M;
        listen       80;
        server_name  localhost;

        # Main location
        location / {
            proxy_pass         http://127.0.0.1:8000/;
        }
    }
}


To make new configuration active Restart Nginx:

/etc/init.d/nginx restart

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