The $NGINX/paa/http.conf file contains the configuration options defined in the following table.

$NGINX/paa/http.conf configuration options
$NGINX/paa/http.conf configuration options
Parameter Definition Default Value


Properties file that stores configuration data used to connect the agent to the PingAccess engine nodes.



Determines whether the agent is enabled or disabled for a specific server configuration. Valid values are on or off.

To control which blocks that the agent protects, you can set the paa_enabled parameter on:

  • Specific server blocks within the NGINX server
  • Specific location blocks

For example, if you want to set up an unprotected passthrough resource that PingAccess should always allow access to, you can set paa_enabled to off in the location block that represents the unprotected resource. This expedites request processing because the agent doesn't need to request a decision from the PingAccess engine.


You can apply this parameter globally to the http block. The agent follows the most specific value that you set.

If you set the paa_enabled parameter to off globally, ensure that the paa_enabled parameter is set to on for the PingAccess reserved application context root. By default, this context root is /pa.



Defines the upstream that the PingAccess agent uses to route policy decision requests to PingAccess policy servers.



Defines the maximum size of the response header, in bytes, that the PingAccess agent can receive from a PingAccess policy server.



Defines the thread pool to use for blocking operations performed by the agent.


This only includes policy cache lookup operations when using the ZeroMQ multiprocess policy cache.


  • You do not have to make any changes to http.conf if you followed the PingAccess agent for NGINX Installation steps.
  • Changes to the paa_upstream parameter will impact how the agent communicates with PingAccess. Incorrect changes might lead to a non-functional agent.
  • The upstream pingaccess-policy-server contains the directive pingaccess_servers. This directive indicates that the servers for the containing upstream are defined by the file. The agent only allows this directive to be specified for a single upstream.

The configured files can contain the following parameters. file parameters file parameters
Parameter Definition Default Value


The URI scheme used to connect to the engine node. Valid values are http and https.


The PingAccess host name.

The value in the agent node's PingAccess Host field.


The port that the agent connects to on the PingAccess host. This value is defined in the PingAccess file.

Defined in the PingAccess Admin UI


The unique agent name that identifies the agent in PingAccess.

Defined in the PingAccess Admin UI


The password used to authenticate the agent to the engine.

Defined in the PingAccess Admin UI


The base64-encoded public certificate used to establish HTTPS trust by the agent to the PingAccess engine.


If you're having difficulty connecting an agent to the PingAccess engine, verify that the Agent Trusted Certificate is configured correctly in Agent Management.

Generated by PingAccess


The number of connections that a single web server worker process maintains to the PingAccess engine that's defined in the parameter.



The maximum amount of time (in milliseconds) that a request to PingAccess can take from the agent. If this time is exceeded, the client receives a generic 500 Server Error response.



The maximum amount of time (in milliseconds) that the agent can take to connect to the PingAccess engine. If this time is exceeded, the client receives a generic 500 Server Error response.



The maximum amount of time (in milliseconds) that a web server worker process waits for a response to a policy cache request sent to other web server worker processes.


The network port web server processes use to publish policy cache requests to other web server worker processes. This port is bound to the localhost network only.


The network port that web server processes use to receive policy cache requests from other web server worker processes. This port is bound to the localhost network only.



The maximum number of tokens stored in the policy cache for a single web server worker process. A value of 0 means there is no maximum.



Determines whether policy decision caching is enabled or disabled. A value of 1 disables caching, forcing the agent to communicate with the PingAccess host whenever a policy decision needs to be made.


Disabling caching has a significant impact on the scalability of the PingAccess policy servers because the policy server must process every rule evaluation. Only use this option as a last resort because of the performance penalty.



The host name and port of the PingAccess server where the agent should send requests in the event of a failover from the PingAccess host.


If this parameter is set, the upstream block name in $NGINX/paa/http.conf needs to be modified to a name that will be found in the certificate associated with the PingAccess agent HTTPS listener.

For example, if your PingAccess certificate contains the name pa.nginx, set the upstream name to upstream pa.nginx.

Defined in the PingAccess Admin UI


The number of seconds to wait before the agent should retry connecting to a failed PingAccess server.



The number of times to retry a connection to a PingAccess server after an unsuccessful attempt. If all retries fail, the agent marks the PingAccess server as failed for the duration of the agent.engine.configuration.failover.failedRetryTimeout value and tries another PingAccess server if one is available.



Controls the type of policy cache used by the agent. There are three valid values for this property:

The AUTO cache type determines the appropriate cache to use based on the number of worker processes. If there's only one worker process, the agent uses the STANDALONE cache. If there are two or more worker processes, the agent uses the ZMQ cache.
The STANDALONE cache type doesn't share policy cache entries across worker processes.
The ZMQ cache type allows the agent to share policy cache entries across all worker processes using ZeroMQ for inter-process communication.



Determines whether the vnd-pi-agent agent inventory header is sent along with each request to the PingAccess policy server.

This header contains the following fields:

The PingAccess agent version.
The type of PingAccess agent retrieved using the NGINX_VER_BUILD macro.
The host name of the PingAccess agent retrieved using the ServerName directive.

For more information, see Agent inventory logging.



Specifies additional values to include in the vnd-pi-agent agent inventory header.

This parameter uses the following syntax:


The specified header fields are case-sensitive.

Not present by default.


Add comments to the files if necessary. Lines beginning with the # or ! characters are ignored by the agent.

Changes to the file require a restart of the web server.

For more information on how to improve agent performance, see Agent Tuning in the PingAccess Performance tuning reference guide.