Is it possible to return a 403 response code after the auth_request nginx module returns with 403, so that a forbidden directive is also shown to the user instead of a 500 internal server error, which is not very informative.


This might help:

If you want to display your own page instead of the default error page provided by DotCloud, you have to use a few tricks.

First, note that this will only work for stacks that embed a Nginx server. For other stacks, DotCloud load balancers will be the only layer between your user and your app, and for now, it can only serve a default error page.

You need to tell Nginx to do all those things:

use a custom static page for 502 and 504 errors; remap the error code to e.g. 500 (else, the DotCloud load balancers will serve the default 502 and 504 pages); intercept the errors sent by the uwsgi/fastcgi (else, our custom static page won’t be used); reduce the default timeout, so your timeout handler will kick in before the platform-wide timeout handler. Assuming your error pages are in /static/502.html and /static/504.html, you can use the following nginx.conf snippets:


fastcgi_read_timeout 10;
fastcgi_intercept_errors on;
error_page 502 =500 /static/502.html;
error_page 504 =500 /static/504.html;


uwsgi_read_timeout 10;
uwsgi_intercept_errors on;
error_page 502 =500 /static/502.html;
error_page 504 =500 /static/504.html;


For Ruby applications, since Passenger will use error code 500, no rewriting is needed. The default Nginx configuration already provides a handler for that (errorpage 500 /static/500.html). Also, since Passenger does not expose a configuration variable to change the timeout, you cannot provide a custom 504 page.

Once you enable intercept_errors in Nginx, you can no longer generate your own error pages for e.g. HTTP codes 500, 403, etc. You have to define static pages for those errors in Nginx as well. This limitation will be lifted in a future version of the services.

Source: http://docs.dotcloud.com/guides/5xx/

Otherwise, Check out this page on http://wiki.nginx.org/NginxVariableTutorialCn06 that provides a decent tutorial on it. [Although I recommend translating the page via google chrome...]

  • hi Foxtrot, see my answer and thanks a lot for your help!
    – joecks
    Jan 23 '12 at 16:15
  • Anytime, up vote if it helped at all :)
    – Zero
    Jan 23 '12 at 16:27

Thanks Zero Stack for your help, but I just stumbled upon the answer by my self, it seems I made a config mistake in first place. I configures nginx as an transparent ssl proxy to serve http content via a ssl connection. For authentication I used the auth_request module, which is not included in the standard packages of nginx.

So now, always when I refused a request by my authentication server, nginx served a 500er page, which sees odd, since the module should have set a 403 error code. But I could not figure out why nginx interpreted that as an 500 error. By chance I found out that I should have configured proxy_pass to NOT intercept error pages!

The solution to my specific problem is to set:

proxy_intercept_errors off;

Hmm any opinion, what to do with the bounty?

  • 1
    If my reply helped you to the direct answer, I wouldn't mind it :P I don't know if you can give a bounty to yourself lol
    – Zero
    Jan 23 '12 at 16:28

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