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I tried to mointor my nginx proxy in one VM with this config in

# cat /etc/monit/conf.d/nginx 
check process nginx with pidfile /run/nginx.pid
    start program = "/usr/sbin/service nginx start" with timeout 60 seconds
    stop program  = "/usr/sbin/service nginx stop"
    if failed host somedomain_here.org port 443 protocol http for 3 cycles then restart

But I only get these errors in /var/log/monit.log

error    : 'nginx' failed protocol test [HTTP] at [somedomain_here.org]:443 [TCP/IP] -- Connection refused  

although the domain has https. it seems like the proxy itself cannot access the sites that it proxies to other vms on the same host.

How can I monitor nginx?

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You can check for the pid if nginx is still running with this config in /etc/monit/conf.d/nginx instead:

check process nginx with pidfile /var/run/nginx.pid
    start program = "/etc/init.d/nginx start"
    stop program = "/etc/init.d/nginx stop"

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