nginx fastcgi "Primary script unknown" when configuring userdir

nnyby asked:

I hate configuring nginx. It’s so complicated. How do I get PHP to work in my user dirs? Here’s the relevant part of my nginx.conf:

    location ~ ^/~(.+?)(/.*)?$ {
        autoindex on;
        autoindex_exact_size off;
        alias /home/$1/public_html$2;

        location ~ \.php {
            include /etc/nginx/fastcgi.conf;
            fastcgi_intercept_errors on;
            fastcgi_index index.php;

This gives me the error: FastCGI sent in stderr: "Primary script unknown" while reading response header from upstream in the nginx error log.

Here’s my /etc/nginx/fastcgi.conf:

fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME    $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
fastcgi_param  QUERY_STRING       $query_string;
fastcgi_param  REQUEST_METHOD     $request_method;
fastcgi_param  CONTENT_TYPE       $content_type;
fastcgi_param  CONTENT_LENGTH     $content_length;

fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_NAME        $fastcgi_script_name;
fastcgi_param  REQUEST_URI        $request_uri;
fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_URI       $document_uri;
fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_ROOT      $document_root;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_PROTOCOL    $server_protocol;
fastcgi_param  HTTPS              $https if_not_empty;

fastcgi_param  GATEWAY_INTERFACE  CGI/1.1;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_SOFTWARE    nginx/$nginx_version;

fastcgi_param  REMOTE_ADDR        $remote_addr;
fastcgi_param  REMOTE_PORT        $remote_port;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_ADDR        $server_addr;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_PORT        $server_port;
fastcgi_param  SERVER_NAME        $server_name;

# PHP only, required if PHP was built with --enable-force-cgi-redirect
fastcgi_param  REDIRECT_STATUS    200;

I’m assuming nginx isn’t resolving the script name correctly. I hate having to tell nginx where to look in my filesystem, writing custom regexes for what should be built-in (or at least standardized and documented) functionality.

My answer:

Try using a separate location block for PHP scripts in the userdirs. This does not need to be nested.

location ~ ^/~([^/]+)/(.+\.php)$ {
    alias /home/$1/public_html/$2;
    include /etc/nginx/fastcgi.conf;
    fastcgi_intercept_errors on;
    fastcgi_index index.php;

View the full question and any other answers on Server Fault.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.