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Pay close attention to what version of nginx a book or web resource is based on as behavior may change between releases [1]

For the last few weeks I've been trying to figure out how to properly configure caching for nginx sites and have had hit/miss (pun intended) results. The notes here are my attempt to keep up with what has worked so I can go from there.

Caching FastCGI content

From the FastCGI module wiki page:

The cache honors backend's Cache-Control, Expires, and etc. since version 0.7.48, Cache-Control: private and no-store only since 0.7.66, though. Vary handling is not implemented.

From the http_proxy_module page:

Parameters of caching can also be set directly in the response header. This has a higher precedence than setting of caching time using the directive. The X-Accel-Expires header field sets caching time of a response in seconds. The value 0 disables the caching of a response. If a value starts with the prefix @, it sets an absolute time in seconds since Epoch, up to which the response may be cached. If header does not include the X-Accel-Expires field, parameters of caching may be set in the header fields Expires or Cache-Control. If a header includes the Set-Cookie field, such a response will not be cached. Processing of one or more of these response header fields can be disabled using the proxy_ignore_headers directive.