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I cannot get Passenger to start my Nodejs (iojs) application on restarting nginx. I've followed the tutorials and installed the prerequisites:

$ nginx -V
nginx version: nginx/1.8.0
configure arguments: --with-cc-opt='-g -O2 -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -Wformat ……… --add-module=/tmp/buildd/nginx-1.8.0/debian/modules/passenger/ext/nginx

in the http block enabled:

 passenger_root /usr/lib/ruby/vendor_ruby/phusion_passenger/locations.ini;
 passenger_ruby /usr/bin/passenger_free_ruby;
 passenger_nodejs /usr/local/bin/node;
 passenger_default_user staging;
 passenger_default_group www-data;

Then in the server block:

upstream instance {
    # point to node instance
    server 127.0.0.1:9000;
}

# for websockets
map $http_upgrade $connection_upgrade {
    default upgrade;
    '' close;
}

server {
    listen 3000;
    server_name localhost;

    set $app_root /home/staging/public_html;

    root $app_root/tmp;
    passenger_enabled on;

    # point to where the app.js file is
    passenger_app_root $app_root;
    passenger_sticky_sessions on;

    location / {
            proxy_pass http://instance;
            proxy_http_version 1.1;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For  $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
            proxy_set_header Connection $connection_upgrade;
            proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
    }

    # all static non-scripts are here
    location /public/ {
        alias $app_root/app/assets/;
    }
}

Then restarting nginx I try to load up the page & in the error logs I see:

… Starting Passenger watchdog...
… Starting Passenger core...
… Passenger core running in multi-application mode.
… Passenger core online, PID 26585
… Starting Passenger UstRouter...
… Passenger UstRouter online, PID 26590
… [error] 26736#0: *3 connect() failed (111: Connection refused) while connecting to upstream, client: 188.102.152.94, server: localhost, request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "http://127.0.0.1:9000/", host: "staging.chatterplot.com:3000"

Going to the url gives me a 502 bad gateway.

I haven't seen any nginx server block examples that are similar so I get the feeling I'm doing some things very wrong.

1

It turns out the reason passenger wasn't starting was because it seems that it requires the location / block not to proxy request but to handle it itself. The following configuration did the trick.

map $http_upgrade $connection_upgrade {
    default upgrade;
    '' close;
}

server {
    listen 3000;
    server_name localhost;

    set $app_root /home/user/public_html/dist;
    root $app_root/public;

    passenger_enabled on;
    passenger_sticky_sessions on;
    passenger_app_type node;
    passenger_app_root /home/user/public_html/dist;
    passenger_app_env production;
}

One other thing which wasn't clear to me from the beginning is that passenger/nginx takes the public directory and makes everything there accessible without /public in the url.

So any requests with /public/images/logo.png are simply /images/logo.png

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