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My Setup
I am running nginx 0.7.67 on Debian Lenny as a webserver, not as a reverse proxy. I am using php5-fpm to handle my PHP requests, which works fine.

My Aim
I would like to have a WordPress installation that is laid out as described here clean wordpress subversion installation. I would like to have a clean WordPress installation without cluttering my server root directory with all the WordPress files.
That means that my wordpress installation would be in /wordpress and my themes and plugins inside /wordpress-content.

The important point however is that if you navigate to my domain then you would be taken directly to the WordPress blog, without having to specify the subdirectory where WordPress lives.

I found a how-to at the nginx site installing wordpress but unfortunately this is for moving the entire WordPress directory instead of redirecting the traffic to it.

I tried with the following configuration:
example.conf in sites-available

server {
  listen 80;
  access_log      /var/log/nginx/ main;
  root            /var/www/example/htdocs;

  location / {
     try_files $uri $uri/ /wordpress/index.php?q=$uri&$args;

  include /etc/nginx/includes/php5-wordpress.conf;
  include /etc/nginx/includes/deny.conf;

php5-wordpress.conf in includes

location /wordpress {
   try_files $uri $uri/ /wordpress/index.php?q=$uri&$args;

location ~ \.php$ {
       fastcgi_split_path_info ^(/wordpress)(/.*)$;
       fastcgi_ignore_client_abort on;
       fastcgi_pass   unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.socket;
       fastcgi_index  index.php;
       include        /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;


fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME    $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
fastcgi_param  QUERY_STRING       $query_string;
fastcgi_param  REQUEST_METHOD     $request_method;
fastcgi_param  CONTENT_TYPE       $content_type;
fastcgi_param  CONTENT_LENGTH     $content_length;

fastcgi_param  REQUEST_URI        $request_uri;
fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_URI       $document_uri;
fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_ROOT      $document_root;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_PROTOCOL    $server_protocol;

fastcgi_param  GATEWAY_INTERFACE  CGI/1.1;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_SOFTWARE    nginx/$nginx_version;

fastcgi_param  REMOTE_ADDR        $remote_addr;
fastcgi_param  REMOTE_PORT        $remote_port;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_ADDR        $server_addr;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_PORT        $server_port;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_NAME        $server_name;

# PHP only, required if PHP was built with --enable-force-cgi-redirect
fastcgi_param  REDIRECT_STATUS    200;

The problems I have is that when I go to the address "" I get a 403 error as I disabled directory listing. Instead I would like my WordPress to appear then. Also if I navigate to "" I get a "file not found" error. However if I comment out the fastcgi_split_path_info line in my php5-wordpress.conf at least the WordPress installation works inside /wordpress.

I need help how to debug this behavior or where I can find more information.

Update: Added error log entry for the 403 error.

in the error.log I get the following entry for the 403 error:

2010/12/11 07:54:24 [error] 9496#0: *1 directory index of
"/var/www/example/htdocs/" is forbidden, client: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX,
 server:, request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", host: ""

Update 2: Added the nginx.conf below:

user www-data;
worker_processes  1;

error_log  /var/log/nginx/error.log;
pid        /var/run/;

events {
    worker_connections  1024;

http {
    include       /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;

    log_format   main '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local]  $status '
    '"$request" $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
    '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    access_log  /var/log/nginx/access.log;

    sendfile        on;
    #tcp_nopush     on;

    keepalive_timeout  65;
    tcp_nodelay        on;

    gzip  on;

    index index.php index.html;

    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You're just lacking an index directive

server {
  listen 80;

  access_log      /var/log/nginx/ main;

  root            /var/www/example/htdocs;
  index           index.php;

  location / {
     try_files $uri /wordpress$uri/ /wordpress/index.php?q=$uri&$args;

  include /etc/nginx/includes/php5-wordpress.conf;
  include /etc/nginx/includes/deny.conf;
share|improve this answer
and error logging :) error_log /var/log/nginx/site.error error; – Istvan Dec 11 '10 at 14:40
Not really, I've put the index index.php index.html; directive into the http {} block to have it available in every server definition. – GorillaPatch Dec 11 '10 at 16:21
Okay, in that case your error is that the user Nginx runs as does not have permission to read the file and/or execute the directory. You need execute permission on every dir in the file path. – Martin Fjordvald Dec 11 '10 at 22:34
@MartinF No I do not think it is a permission issue. all directories have the permission drwxr-sr-x with the nginx server being in the 'other' group of users. I do not want that any directories are being listed. I thought that $uri/ in the try_files directive looks for the directory and if it is present it uses the file specified by the index directive. – GorillaPatch Dec 12 '10 at 8:38
It does. Thus why it wouldn't give a 403 error if it wasn't because of permissions. Regardless, check your error log for details, without that I can only say what the most common issues are. – Martin Fjordvald Dec 12 '10 at 8:52

Why not just use the steps here: and then have SVN update the wordpress folder only. index.php has not changed for Wordpress in 3 years, you can check the Wordpress trac as I cant link to it, so you can follow the steps for the SVN for all the other stuff like moving wordpress content out but move index.php to the root and change set it up as the codex I linked too says. In the rare chance that index.php gets update its only one file you will manually need to copy again for the root.

I am able to setup Wordpress with its own directory on my nginx server with no problem at all and no tweaking of my .conf files.

share|improve this answer

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