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I'm having quite a bit of trouble configuring nginx to serve my Rails app's static files; I mean all the files in the app's public/ folder, not just the files in Rails' asset pipeline. It seems I'm able to get things mostly working but I can't figure out how to put everything together. My app is installed in a subdir on the server (/dashboard) and not the web root.

Here are excerpts from my various config files:

map Dashboard::Application.config.relative_url_root || "/" do
  run Rails.application


config.relative_url_root = "/dashboard"
config.assets.prefix = "/dashboard/assets/"


location /dashboard/ {

    root /srv/XXX/dashboard/public;

    location /dashboard/assets/ {
        gzip_static on;
        expires max;
        add_header Cache-Control public;

    try_files $uri @unicorn;

    error_page 500 502 503 504 /500.html;
    client_max_body_size 4G;
    keepalive_timeout 10;

location @unicorn {
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP  $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_redirect off;
    proxy_pass http://unicorn_server;

upstream unicorn_server {
    server unix:/srv/XXX/dashboard/tmp/sockets/unicorn.sock fail_timeout=0;

With this configuration I'm able to serve the Rails app itself using unicorn and the files inside the public/assets/ folder using nginx, but the rest of the files in the public/ folder are routed to Rails and end up returning a 404 status code. I know this is because the server is looking for (for example) /dashboard/robots.txt which doesn't exist inside the public/ folder. I believe I need to use alias to manipulate the paths however I haven't been able to put everything together to get Rails to correctly serve the app and nginx to serve the static files.

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