Nginx is throwing an 403 Forbidden on Static Files

I have a django app, python 2.7 with gunicorn and nginx.

Nginx is throwing a 403 Forbidden Error, if I try to view anything in my static folder @:


nginx config(/etc/nginx/sites-enabled/myapp) contains:

server {
        listen       80;
        server_name     *;
        access_log /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/error/access.log;
        error_log /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/error/error.log warn;
        connection_pool_size 2048;

        fastcgi_buffer_size 4K;
        fastcgi_buffers 64 4k;

        root /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/myapp/homelaunch/;

        location /static/ {
            alias /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/myapp/homelaunch/static/;

        location / {
            proxy_set_header Host $host;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            add_header P3P 'CP="ALL DSP COR PSAa PSDa OUR NOR ONL UNI COM NAV"';

error.log contains:

2013/11/24 23:00:16 [error] 18243#0: *277 open() "/home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/myapp/homelaunch/static/img/templated/home/img.png" failed (13: Permission denied), client:, server: *, request: "GET /static/img/templated/home/img2.png HTTP/1.1", host: "", referrer: ""

access.log contains - - [24/Nov/2013:23:02:02 +0000] "GET /static/img/templated/base/animg.png HTTP/1.1" 403 141 "" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.8; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0" - - [24/Nov/2013:23:02:07 +0000] "-" 400 0 "-" "-"

I tried just viewing say a .css file in /static/ and it throws an error like this in source:

<head><title>403 Forbidden</title></head>
<body bgcolor="white">
<center><h1>403 Forbidden</h1></center>
Enquirer: CodeTalk


Solution #1:

It appears the user nginx is running as (nginx?) is missing privileges to read the local file /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/myapp/homelaunch/static/img/templated/home/img.png. You probably wanna check file permissions as well as permissions on the directories in the hierarchy.

Respondent: CodeTalk

Solution #2:

MacOs El Capitan: At the top of nginx.conf write user username group_name

My user name is Kamil so i write:

user Kamil staff;

(word ‘staff’ is very important in macOS). This do the trick. After that you don’t need to change any permission in your project folder and files.

Respondent: bryn

Solution #3:

Try specifying a user at the top of your nginx.conf, above the server section.

user www-data;
Respondent: Kamil Kie?czewski

Solution #4:

The minimum fix that worked for me is:

sudo chmod -R 664 /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/myapp/homelaunch/static/
sudo chmod -R a+X /home/ubuntu/virtualenv/myapp/myapp/homelaunch/static/

(BTW, in my case the static folder is called collected_static)

Respondent: eezis

Solution #5:

It seems the web server user doesn’t have read permissions to the static files.
You can solve this in 2 ways:

  1. (easiest, safer) run the nginx as you app user instead of default nginx user. To do this, add the following in nginx.conf

    user your_app_user

    Replace your_app_user with appropriate unix username for your app. In this case the your_app_user already has necessary permissions to the static content.

  2. Another way would be to to grant permissions for the web server user to the static dir.

Respondent: o_c

Solution #6:

After hours upon hours following so many articles, I ran across :

which had a comment to chmod the whole django app dir, so I did:

sudo chmod -R myapp

This fixed it. Unbelievable!

Thanks to those who offered solutions to fix this.

Respondent: user4212639

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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