Nginx Fancy Index module

The Fancy Index module makes possible the generation of file listings, like the built-in autoindex module does, but adding a touch of style. This is possible because the module module allows a certain degree of customization of the generated content:

  • Custom headers. Either local or stored remotely (working).
  • Custom footers. Either local or stored remotely (working).
  • Insert readme files either at the top or the bottom of listings (partially working).
  • Add you own CSS style rules (not yet implemented).

This module is designed to work with Nginx, a high performance open source web server written by Igor Sysoev.


  • Sources for Nginx 0.6.x, and its requirements.
  • Patience, and some Coffee™.


  1. Unpack the Nginx sources:

    $ gunzip -c nginx-0.6.6.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
  2. Unpack the sources for the fancy indexing module:

    $ gunzip -c nginx-fancyindex-?.?.?.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
  3. Change to the directory which contains the Nginx sources, run the configuration script with the desired options and be sure to put an --add-module flag pointing to the directory which contains the source of the fancy indexing module:

    $ cd nginx-0.6.6
    $ ./configure --add-module=../nginx-fancyindex-?.?.?  [extra desired options]
  4. Build and install the software:

    $ make

    And then, as root:

    # make install
  5. Configure Nginx by using the modules' configuration directives.


You can test the default built-in style by adding the following lines into a server section in your Nginx configuration file:

location / {
  fancyindex on;              # Enable fancy indexes.
  fancyindex_exact_size off;  # Output human-readable file sizes.



Syntax:fancyindex [on | off]
Default:fancyindex off
Context:http, server, location
Description:Enables or disables fancy directory indexes.


Syntax:fancyindex_localtime [on | off]
Default:fancyindex_localtime off
Context:http, server, location
Description:Defines how to represent file sizes in the directory listing; either accurately, or rounding off to the kilobyte, the megabyte and the gigabyte.


Syntax:fancyindex_exact_size [on | off]
Default:fancyindex_exact_size on
Context:http, server, location
Description:Enables showing file times as local time. Default is “off” (GMT time).


Syntax:fancyindex_header path
Default:fancyindex_header ""
Context:http, server, location
Description:Specifies which file should be inserted at the head of directory listings. If set to an empty string, the default header supplied by the module will be sent.


Syntax:fancyindex_readme path
Default:fancyindex_readme ""
Context:http, server, location
Description:Specifies which file should be inserted alongside with directory listings. If set to an empty string, no extra textual content is included. See fancyindex_readme_mode in order to learn more about how the readme file may be included.



fancyindex_readme_mode pre | asis | top | bottom | div ...


fancyindex_readme_mode top


http, server, location


Controls how to include the readme file specified by fancyindex_readme. Available options are:


Send included readme file inside a preformatted text block (i.e. an HTML <pre> element.


Send included readme file “as-is”, i.e. without altering its contents. This is useful to include raw HTML snippets in the generated listings.


Place readme file contents at the top, before the listings.


Place readme file contents at the bottom, after the listings.


Wrap up all the text generated for the readme (including the enclosing <pre> element, if configured) inside a <div> element. The layer will have the readme CSS class set.


Insert an <iframe> element which references the readme file instead if inlining it in the generated file index. Note that this will instruct the client to perform an additional request in order to fetch the contents of the frame.