Rails 3 shows 404 error instead of index.html (nginx + unicorn)

Miko asked:

I have an index.html in public/ that should be loading by default but instead I get a 404 error when I try to access http://example.com/

The page you were looking for doesn’t exist.

You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved.

This has something to do with nginx and unicorn which I am using to power Rails 3

When take unicorn out of the nginx configuration file, the problem goes away and index.html loads just fine.

Here is my nginx configuration file:

upstream unicorn {
    server unix:/tmp/.sock fail_timeout=0;

server {
    server_name example.com;
    root /www/example.com/current/public;
    index index.html;

    keepalive_timeout 5;

    location / {
        try_files $uri @unicorn;

    location @unicorn {
        proxy_pass http://unicorn;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_redirect off;

My config/routes.rb is pretty much empty:

Advertise::Application.routes.draw do |map|
  resources :users

The index.html file is located in public/index.html and it loads fine if I request it directly: http://example.com/index.html

To reiterate, when I remove all references to unicorn from the nginx conf, index.html loads without any problems, I have a hard time understanding why this occurs because nginx should be trying to load that file on its own by default.

Here is the error stack from production.log:

Started GET "/" for at 2010-08-08 12:06:29 -0700
  Processing by HomeController#index as HTML
Completed   in 1ms

ActionView::MissingTemplate (Missing template home/index with {:handlers=>[:erb, :rjs, :builder, :rhtml, :rxml, :haml], :formats=>[:html], :locale=>[:en, :en]} in view paths
/usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-rc2/gems/actionpack-3.0.0.beta4/lib/action_view/paths.rb:14:in `find'
  /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-rc2/gems/actionpack-3.0.0.beta4/lib/action_view/lookup_context.rb:79:in `find'
  /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-rc2/gems/actionpack-3.0.0.beta4/lib/action_view/base.rb:186:in `find_template'
  /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-rc2/gems/actionpack-3.0.0.beta4/lib/action_view/render/rendering.rb:45:in `_determine_template'
  /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-rc2/gems/actionpack-3.0.0.beta4/lib/action_view/render/rendering.rb:23:in `render'
  /usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-rc2/gems/haml-3.0.15/lib/haml/helpers/action_view_mods.rb:13:in `render_with_haml'

nginx error log for this virtualhost comes up empty:

2010/08/08 12:40:22 [info] 3118#0: *1 client closed keepalive connection

My guess is unicorn is intercepting the request to index.html before nginx gets to process it.

My answer:

The problem is here:

    try_files $uri @unicorn;

This should read:

    try_files $uri $uri/ @unicorn;

Which also eliminates the need to use an evil if, and doesn’t require you to have Rails serve static files (which is slow).

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