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Right, sorry for the previous, recent questions I've asked about nginx, this is just doing my head in.

I've enabled PHP using fastcgi_php and it works just fine, however, when I access to a PHP file, e.g.

(which applies to var/www/

Which includes the phpinfo() and nginx throws an 404 error... if I access to a normal file, e.g.

It seems fine... how come nginx won't process with the PHP files?

This is the etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

server {
    listen   80;
    server_name *;

    access_log /var/www/;
    error_log  /var/www/;

    root   /var/www/;

    location / {
        index  index.html index.htm index.php;

    error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
    location = /50x.html {
        root   /var/www/nginx-default;

    # deny access to .htaccess files, if Apache's document root
    # concurs with nginx's one
    location ~ /\.ht {
        deny  all;

    # Enable PHP
    include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_php;

I have no clue what to do further...


My /etc/nginx/fastcgi_php

location ~ \.php$ {
    fastcgi_pass   unix:/var/run/php-fastcgi/php.sock;
    fastcgi_index  index.php;
    fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
share|improve this question
What does error log say? – quanta Sep 30 '11 at 17:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First make sure you have installed php-cgi apt-get install php5-cgi. Next create a startup script for fastCGI PHP.

Create the file /etc/init.d/fastcgi-php with the following content:


PHP_CGI_NAME=`basename $PHP_CGI`

start() {
    echo -n "Starting PHP FastCGI: "
    mkdir $BIND_DIR
    chown -R $USER $BIND_DIR
    start-stop-daemon --quiet --start --background --chuid "$USER" --exec /usr/bin/env -- $PHP_CGI_ARGS
    echo "$PHP_CGI_NAME."
stop() {
    echo -n "Stopping PHP FastCGI: "
    killall -q -w -u $USER $PHP_CGI
    rm -rf $BIND_DIR
    echo "$PHP_CGI_NAME."

case "$1" in
        echo "Usage: php-fastcgi {start|stop|restart}"
        exit 1
exit $RETVAL

Finally run the following commands (all as root if in Debian, or with sudo if in Ubuntu)

chmod 755 /etc/init.d/fastcgi-php
update-rc.d fastcgi-php defaults
/etc/init.d/fastcgi-php start


/etc/init.d/nginx reload

Now check if the info.php file shows up correctly.

Otherwise please post the output of the domains error log and access log.

share|improve this answer
It works! However, I got two errors when doing your steps update-rc.d: warning: /etc/init.d/fastcgi-php missing LSB information and - /etc/init.d/fastcgi-php: line 1: !#/bin/bash: No such file or directory. Is there anything to worry about? – MacMac Sep 30 '11 at 16:37
One another thing, if access to a PHP file that doesn't exist, I get this output in my browser: No input file specified. – MacMac Sep 30 '11 at 16:39
Sorry my fault: The first line should be #!/bin/bash instead of !#/bin/bash I also corrected it in my answer. – George Tasioulis Sep 30 '11 at 16:41
Regarding the No input file specified try adding error_page 404 /404.html; above error_page 500 502 503 504 /50x.html; in your /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/` file and restart nginx. – George Tasioulis Sep 30 '11 at 16:46
I did that, didn't prevent the No input file specified error. The file also exists in /var/www/ – MacMac Sep 30 '11 at 17:00

You have fundamentally misunderstood how PHP works with Nginx. Your assumption that Apache == Nginx is incorrect. Nginx does not embed PHP within itself so if you try to access a PHP file then it's PHP throwing the 404 and not Nginx.

Sadly you have hidden your PHP configuration with include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_php; so I can't actually tell you if you've configured Nginx correctly, so please do provide your full configuration.

Meanwhile, you can verify that PHP is actually throwing the 404 by checking the returned headers and checking if you have X-Powered-By: PHP/5.3.8. If this is present then you need to verify that you're sending PHP the proper file path via the SCRIPT_FILENAME fastcgi_param. If that one is correct then PHP cannot read the file due to improper permissions, this can either be read access on the file itself or execute access on any of the parent directories.

share|improve this answer
Updated my post, sorry for not including the configuration file. – MacMac Sep 30 '11 at 13:56
Remove the trailing slash from your root directive as $fastcgi_script_name; already starts with a /. Other than that the last paragraph with file permissions still apply. – Martin Fjordvald Sep 30 '11 at 14:14
I'm sorry, could you clarify that part? – MacMac Sep 30 '11 at 14:16
I don't see which trailing slash apart from \. one and the file directories. – MacMac Sep 30 '11 at 14:30

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