Permission denied to Rails when accessing app through https

  • Posted on June 4, 2014
  • TintinAsked by Tintin


I am trying to get my Rails 4 working with SSL. I retrieved an SSL certificate from and the installation on the server seems to have been successful.

However, I can’t get my app to work with https. It only works with http at this moment.

When I try to access it in the browser through https I am getting this error:

2014/06/04 18:05:56 [error] 23306#0: *3 “/home/rails/public/index.html” is forbidden (13: Permission denied), client:, server:, request: “GET / HTTP/1.0”, host: “

This would be my NGINX configuration file in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:

user www-data; worker_processes 4; pid /var/run/;

events { worker_connections 1024; }

http { sendfile on; tcp_nopush on; tcp_nodelay on; keepalive_timeout 65; types_hash_max_size 2048; server_tokens off;

    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

    include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type application/octet-stream;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/error.log;

    gzip on;
    gzip_disable "msie6";
    gzip_types text/plain text/xml text/css text/comma-separated-values;
    upstream app_server { server fail_timeout=0; }

    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;

    server {
            listen 80;
            rewrite ^ https://$server_name$request_uri? permanent;

    server {
            listen 443;
            root /home/rails/public;

            ssl on;
            ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/;
            ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/;


What am I missing here and how can this be fixed?

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That’s it, thank you! Yes, you guessed right. I am using Unicorn and NginX.

Hi Timo, <br> <br>How are you running the app? Are you using Unicorn, Passenger, or something similar? You have an upstream set but no proxy_pass. You probably need to adjust the server block listening on 443 to act as a reverse proxy for what ever is acting as an upstream server. Something like: <br> <br><pre> <br>server { <br> listen 443; <br> server_name; <br> root /home/rails/public; <br> index index.htm index.html; <br> <br> ssl on; <br> ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/; <br> ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/; <br> <br> location / { <br> try_files $uri/index.html $uri.html $uri @app; <br> } <br> <br> location @app { <br> proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for; <br> proxy_set_header Host $http_host; <br> proxy_redirect off; <br> proxy_pass http://app_server; <br> } <br>} <br></pre>