nginx — Remove an App/Domain from Sites-Enabled

Application hosting can become messy over time. You may shut down applications, move applications to a new domain, or you need a subdomain for a limited time.

You may need to clean up your nginx configuration here and there to keep your lean setup. Nothing is worse than keeping every nginx config „just in case”.

This tutorial shows you how to remove an nginx configuration from the sites-enabled directory.

nginx Series Overview

Remove an nginx Config from Sites-Enabled

At first, switch to nginx’s sites-enabled directory. On Ubuntu/Debian, this is typically located in /etc/nginx. The installation directory may be different on other operating systems:

cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled  

Print the directory content and list all the files that are currently configured for nginx to route them through to the Internet:


You may remember that a common way to configure the files in sites-enabled is a symlink in your file system. This symlink maps the nginx configuration file from sites-available to sites-enabled. As with any other file on your file system, you can remove it using rm:

sudo rm your-site-config  

Afterwards, you may want to check whether nginx has valid configurations and then reload the service:

sudo nginx -t  
sudo service nginx reload  

If you don’t want to keep the domain configuration around in sites-available, you can also remove it from there. Removing it from sites-enabled tells nginx to not expose this domain to the Internet anymore.

Enjoy coding & make it rock!

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