Rule Types

There are many types of rules available on Cherokee, and each one allows you to define specific ways of matching HTTP requests. Further more, the behavior can be combined by defining complex rules that apply boolean operations to the basic rule types, so the possibilities are endless. Some times a specific behavior can be achieved following completely different paths: for instance, you can match the requests for a specific file type either by using the Extensions rule type or the Regular Expressions type. Be advised that some rule types are inherently more efficient than others, so you should stick to the simplest and fastest approach.

This is the list of available rule types:

  • Directory: The entry Directory encloses a group of directives which will apply only to the named directory and sub-directories of that directory.

  • Extensions: The entry Extensions doesn’t care about directories, it will just look for the extension of the object requested.

  • Regular Expressions: The Request entry provides a powerful way to apply custom options to requests. It is a complement for the Directory and Extension entries. Basically, there are two differences between them:

    • It uses regular expressions to define the requests in which the configuration will be applied.

    • These entries are able to use the connection parameters (both pathinfo and query string). In this way it is possible to set rules based on parameter values.

  • Header: This type of rule is used to modify the behavior in response to the contents of HTTP headers. A regular expression is needed to match against. This kind of rule can be used to provide alternative contents to a specific type of users. For example, it can check if the HTTP referer header refferences specific domains to allow or deny the delivery of the requested information.

  • File Exists: This type of rule will only be applied if a certain file (or a file among a list of provided file names) is present. An I/O cache specific setting for the rule can be configured in the Rule tab. If enabled, it will speed up the file detection during the rule evaluation. This improves performance but is not recommended when the directory contents change dynamically. This type of rule can also be used to match any file. For example, it can be configured to serve static files and fall through to another rule if the HTTP request is for a resource of dynamic nature.

  • HTTP method: These rules are applied whenever the selected HTTP method is used. You can configure these to respond to a request of type GET, POST, HEAD, PUT, OPTIONS, DELETE, TRACE, CONNECT, COPY, LOCK, MKCOL, MOVE, NOTIFY, POLL, PROPFIND, PROPPATCH, SEARCH, SUBSCRIBE, UNLOCK or UNSUBSCRIBE.

  • Incoming IP/Port: If the server is running on several ports, this rule type will let you specify to which port’s pettitions will it apply.

  • SSL / TLS: This rule type is applied to incomming HTTPS connections.

  • Full Path: Full path request to which content the configuration will be applied. This means you can pinpoint a list of files that will be specifically targeted by this rule type.

  • Connected from: will let you discriminate connections based on the IP or SubNet from which these are originated.

  • URL Argument: will allow you to match a Regular Expressions to the URL arguments, be it a specific one or any of the possible arguments.

  • GeoIP: If GeoIP support is present, this type of rules can be added. The GeoIP library has to be present at build time for this to happen. If enabled, specific behavior can be offered depending on the country of origin of the requests to the web server. Note that the country is determined by matching the IPs to the actual list of countries handled by the library, so the usage of proxies on the user side will render this resolution mechanism inaccurate. An initial country must be added to the rule, and more selections can be added in further steps.