Htaccess strange behaviour with Nginx

Termos asked:

I have a site running on Nginx (v1.0.14) serving as reverse proxy which proxies requests to Apache (v2.2.19). So Nginx runs on port 80, Apache is on 8080.

Overall site works fine except that i cannot block access to certain directories with .htaccess file.

For example i have ‘my-protected-directory’ on ‘’
Inside it i have htaccess with following code:

<Files *>
order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from <--- my ip address here

When i try to access this page with my ip ( i get 404 error which is not what i expect:

However everything works as expected when this page is served directly by Apache. I can see this page, everyone else can’t.

Nginx config ( is site ip.):

user  apache;
worker_processes  4;
error_log  logs/error.log;
pid        logs/;

events {
    worker_connections  1024;

http {
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;

    log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
                      '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                      '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    sendfile        on;
    keepalive_timeout  65;
    gzip  on;
    gzip_min_length 1024;
    gzip_http_version 1.1;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_comp_level 5;
    gzip_types    text/plain text/css
                  application/x-javascript text/xml
                  application/xml application/xml+rss
                  text/javascript image/x-icon;

    server {
    listen       80;
    access_log  logs/host.access.log  main;

    # serve static files
    location ~* ^.+.(jpg|jpeg|gif|png|ico|css|zip|tgz|gz|rar|bz2|doc|xls|exe|pdf|ppt|txt|tar|mid|midi|wav|bmp|rtf|js)$ {
      root    /var/www/vhosts/;
      proxy_set_header Range "";
      expires 30d;

    # pass requests for dynamic content to Apache
    location / {
      proxy_redirect               off;
      proxy_set_header X-Real-IP  $remote_addr;
      proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      proxy_set_header Range "";

Update 2: mod_rpaf is installed and ip address get determined correctly

Could please anyone tell me what is wrong and how this can be fixed ?

My answer:

You placed the root directive under location instead of server. This is one of the most common nginx misconfigurations. And in this case it will be directly responsible for your 404 error.

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