Question

Not able to start NGINX services, unknown directive "<!DOCTYPE" in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site1:6

I installed the NGINX and configured it was working. Later if wanted to change the /etc/hosts , /etc/hostconf & hostname. It was wrong from my part changing after the configuration has been completedm, i relasied this issue but latter. I was able to restore the infromation about etc/hosts , hostname etc but the servies of nginx is not starting up.

root@ip-172-31-21-204:~# nginx -t
nginx: [emerg] unknown directive "<!DOCTYPE" in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site1:6
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed
journalctl -xe

Feb 27 20:43:13 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 109320ms.
Feb 27 20:45:03 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 121150ms.
Feb 27 20:46:19 ip-172-31-21-204 sshd[2345]: Invalid user user from 92.255.85.237 port 61852
Feb 27 20:46:19 ip-172-31-21-204 sshd[2345]: Received disconnect from 92.255.85.237 port 61852:11: Bye Bye [preauth]
Feb 27 20:46:19 ip-172-31-21-204 sshd[2345]: Disconnected from invalid user user 92.255.85.237 port 61852 [preauth]
Feb 27 20:47:04 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 119330ms.
Feb 27 20:49:03 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 124670ms.
Feb 27 20:51:08 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 126880ms.
Feb 27 20:51:55 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[480]: DHCPREQUEST for 172.31.21.204 on ens5 to 172.31.16.1 port 67
Feb 27 20:51:55 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[480]: DHCPACK of 172.31.21.204 from 172.31.16.1
Feb 27 20:51:55 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[480]: bound to 172.31.21.204 -- renewal in 1635 seconds.
Feb 27 20:53:15 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 110250ms.
Feb 27 20:55:05 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 116830ms.
Feb 27 20:57:02 ip-172-31-21-204 dhclient[556]: XMT: Solicit on ens5, interval 111480ms.
Feb 27 20:57:19 ip-172-31-21-204 kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=ens5 OUT= MAC=02:36:35:9d:52:f8:02:31:52:19:17:48:08:00 SRC=162.142.125.176 DST=172.31.21.204 LEN=44
root@ip-172-31-21-204:~# systemctl status nginx
● nginx.service - A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Sun 2022-02-27 20:32:05 UTC; 18min ago
     Docs: man:nginx(8)
  Process: 2263 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/nginx -t -q -g daemon on; master_process on; (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Feb 27 20:32:05 ip-172-31-21-204 systemd[1]: Starting A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server...
Feb 27 20:32:05 ip-172-31-21-204 nginx[2263]: nginx: [emerg] unknown directive "<!DOCTYPE" in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site1:6
Feb 27 20:32:05 ip-172-31-21-204 nginx[2263]: nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed
Feb 27 20:32:05 ip-172-31-21-204 systemd[1]: nginx.service: Control process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
Feb 27 20:32:05 ip-172-31-21-204 systemd[1]: nginx.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Feb 27 20:32:05 ip-172-31-21-204 systemd[1]: Failed to start A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server.
root@ip-172-31-21-204:~# cat /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site1
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Welcome to nginx!</title>
<style>
    body {
        width: 35em;
        margin: 0 auto;
        font-family: Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;
    }
</style>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Welcome to nginx!</h1>
<p>If you see this page, the nginx web server is successfully installed and
working. Further configuration is required.</p>

<p>For online documentation and support please refer to
<a href="http://nginx.org/">nginx.org</a>.<br/>
Commercial support is available at
<a href="http://nginx.com/">nginx.com</a>.</p>

<p><em>Thank you for using nginx.</em></p>
</body>
</html>

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Hi there,

Your HTML code should not be added to the Nginx configuration file.

In the Nginx config file you should only have the following:

server {
  listen 80 default_server; 

  server_name .yourdomain.com;

  root /var/www/html;

  index index.php index.html index.htm;

}

Then in the /var/www/html directory you need to create a file called index.html and in that file add your HTML code.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Best,

Bobby