nginx – Why can't I access my error page directly?

zbr asked:

I have a NodeJS application to which I forward requests using proxy_pass. When the NodeJS application is off, I want to display a custom error page. So I put a 5xx.html file into /var/www/some-folder/errors and forward errors to it.

Now when I try to access while the NodeJS server is off, the 502 error is raised and nginx correctly returns the 5xx.html page.

Now according to nginx.conf (see below), I would assume that if I request, it gets forwarded through the location ^~ /errors/ directive to /var/www/some-folder and then to /errors/5xx.html. But instead of getting the 5xx.html page, I get the default nginx 404 Not Found page.

Why can’t I access the 5xx.html page directly? Thank you.


server {

   location / {
       // some settings

   location ^~ /errors/ {
       root /var/www/some-folder;

   error_page 502 503 504 505 /errors/5xx.html;


My answer:

You can’t access the page directly because you specified in your configuration to not allow such requests.


See the nginx documentation:

Specifies that a given location can only be used for internal requests. For external requests, the client error 404 (Not Found) is returned.

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