I have nginx configured to serve a single page React.js app as static content. react-router handles routing in browser.

To make it possible for users to enter all urls (not just the domain example.com, but also urls like example.com/some/path, example.com/some/other/path, etc.) directly in the address bar, I am doing,

error_page 404 /index.html

This works perfectly fine everywhere except in Internet Explorer. IE shows 404 page for this.

How do I configure nginx, such that it serves index.html, if the request path cannot be matched to a file in the root directory.


  • Is it possible that IE showing you cached version? – alexus Apr 28 '16 at 19:39

This is a job for try_files.

try_files $uri /index.html;

$uri will load any static resources if they are present and accessible; for any inaccessible URLs, /index.html will be served (with a 200).

  • Which one would be better approach try_files or error_page 404 =200 /index.html as mentioned by Alex_hha below? and why? Thanks – Mir Nazim Apr 29 '16 at 6:38
  • 1
    The end result is probably the same, but nobody really expects error_page to be used in that manner, so it will be confusing to anyone else who looks at it; while try_files is well understood and intended to be used this way. – Michael Hampton Apr 29 '16 at 6:42
  • Also, one day you would want to send 404 (e.g. for unknown image) and with error_page “hack” you'll get big problem… – Alexey Ten Apr 29 '16 at 7:46

As workaround you can use

server {
    listen       80;
    server_name  www.example.net;

    root /vhosts/default/public_html;

    error_page 404 =200 /index.html;

    location / {
        index index.html;

Is it possible that IE showing you cached version?

it seems default behavior for IE. At least for IE11 on Windows 7

P.S. It turns out that your index.html MUST be 512+ bytes

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