Lua scripts to work around issues with Nginx's WebDAV module and Finder.
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#Nginx WebDAV quirks

This is a set of Lua scripts to work around several compatibility issues with Nginx's WebDAV module and Finder, building upon Rob Peck's earlier work. This includes a Lua implementation of his Nginx configuration, and my additional workaround for Finder's Unicode issues.

See my blog post describing this in further detail.


On the Nginx side, you'll need these modules:

On the Lua side, you'll need these libraries:

On Debian-based distributions for example, these are all available as packages:

sudo apt install libnginx-mod-http-lua libnginx-mod-http-dav-ext lua-expat lua-filesystem

This repository also vendors in Wikimedia's ustring string manipulation module, since I'm not currently aware of a widely available Lua library for converting UTF-8 strings from NFC to NFD form.


Once you've installed the dependencies, clone this repository somewhere convenient like /etc/nginx/webdav-quirks.

Make sure the files are owned and only writable by root, since they're included in the Nginx configuration:

sudo chown -R root:root /etc/nginx/webdav-quirks
sudo chmod -R o-w /etc/nginx/webdav-quirks

Load the required Nginx modules in your configuration, e.g.:

load_module /etc/nginx/modules/ngx_http_lua_module.so;
load_module /etc/nginx/modules/ngx_http_dav_ext_module.so;

Set up lua_package_path and lua_package_cpath to load the required Lua libraries, and also the scripts from this repository. This is assuming Lua files are in /usr/share/lua/5.1, native Lua modules in /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/lua/5.1, and this repository is in /etc/nginx/webdav-quirks:

lua_package_path  '/usr/share/lua/5.1/?.lua;/etc/nginx/webdav-quirks/?.lua';
lua_package_cpath '/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/lua/5.1/?.so';

Include the http.conf script from this repository in the http block, and also the server.conf script in the server or location block handling WebDAV, similar to this:

dav_ext_lock_zone zone=dav:10m;

http {
  # ...
  include /etc/nginx/webdav-quirks/http.conf;

  server {
    # ...
    dav_ext_lock_zone zone=dav;
    create_full_put_path on;
    include /etc/nginx/webdav-quirks/server.conf;

Restart Nginx, and you should have a fully functional WebDAV setup. Check the Nginx error.log to troubleshoot any issues.



I believe this should work with Windows WebDAV clients as well, but I'm unable to test this myself.

#Manual configuration

The Nginx configuration files included from this repository are only suggestive, you can always configure things manually if needed. See the source code of those files for details.

#Disabling Unicode mangling

If you store files using Unicode paths in NFD form instead of NFC, which is uncommon, Finder will not be able to display those files, since paths that it tries to access are always mangled into NFC.

You can disable this mangling with:

set $webdav_quirks_no_mangle_nfc 1;

This enables Finder to load NFD-encoded paths, but it also prevents it from loading any NFC-encoded paths, since as of macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 Finder only seems to support NFD paths with WebDAV.


This work is licensed under multiple licenses:

  • All original source code is licensed under AGPL-3.0-or-later.
  • All original documentation is licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0.
  • The ustring directory is licensed under MIT.

See SPDX headers in individual files for details.