Nginx is serving only static files, yet, some of file names contains '?'. Yes, the question mark.

All URLs that contains '?' yield 404 even though file actually exists. e.g.

> GET /foo?lang=ar.html HTTP/1.1
< HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found

While a file named foo?lang=ar.html does exists in the expected location.

I wonder if there is a way to tell Nginx to treat the entire request as URL including what is currently translated as query string.

The only solution I have in mind is to write a small web server that does this and have nginx reverse proxy that web server, but I prefer get it done with nginx alone.

  • 2
    Well, a question mark is a special character that denotes the start of the query string, so it can never be part of the file name.. I can't test right now but maybe try replacing it in the URL with the escaped version, %3f. Oct 5, 2012 at 16:40
  • @ShaneMadden That will work, but how would you be able to differentiate between a filename and just an URI pointing to a CGI accepting parameters? Looks like this is going to be an administrative nightmare. :) Edit: It will definetly work. Just tried it on my webserver and I got an GET /header.php%3fbla HTTP/1.1" 404. Oct 5, 2012 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


You can use try_files with either $request_uri or $uri$is_args$args depending on whether you want to have the urlencoded bits decoded or not when looking for the filename.

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