I am basically trying to implement the Apache MultiViews behaviour so that my URLs do not require the .php extension.

As far as I can see from other questions answered here on Server Fault, I should have this problem sorted, but something is clearly wrong in my nginx config.

The behaviour is almost correct;

  • I can browse to /path/to/app/ and the index.php file is correctly parsed
  • I can browse to /path/to/app/function.php and the file is correctly parsed
  • I can browse to /path/to/app/media/some.jpg and it is served as static content
  • If I browse to /path/that/doesnt/exist I get a 404 as expected

However, if I browse to /path/to/function the try_files directive correctly matches it to function.php but downloads it as a static file.

Here is the config file:

server {
  listen   80;
  server_name  app;
  root   /path/to/app;
  index  index.php index.html index.htm;

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

  location / {
    allow all;
    try_files $uri $uri/ $uri.php =404;

  location ~ \.php$ {
    include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
    fastcgi_pass  unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_index index.php;

  location ~ /\.ht {
    deny all;

Looks like I was just misunderstanding the way try_files works; the =404 was not required and was causing nginx to not parse the file as php once it was matched. Removing it so that the line was just try_files $uri $uri/ $uri.php; fixed the issue

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