PHP files are DOWNLOADING instead of EXECUTING on nginx

Hi All,

It looks like Nginx can’t pass the php file to php-fpm.sock which results in download of php files instead of execution. Please help.

I set cgi.fix_pathinfo=0 inside /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini

I set listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock inside /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

My Droplet: Ubuntu 14.04 x64\Laravel 4\nginx\PHP-FPC

All packages seem to be latest - I got everything yesterday via apt-get update/upgrade.

//////////////////Start nginx config /etc/nginx/sites-available/default////////////

server {
        listen 80 default_server;
        listen [::]:80 default_server ipv6only=on;

        root /var/www/laravel/public;
        index index.php index.html index.htm;

        server_name MY_SERVER_IP_IS_HERE;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

        location ~ \.php$ {
                try_files $uri /index.php =404;
                fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
                fastcgi_index index.php;
                fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
                include fastcgi_params;

//////////////////End nginx config/////////////////

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Your config file looks proper. Try clearing your browser’s cache or using Incognito Mode (if you’re using Chrome) or even a different browser, does it download the file as well?

Hey Folks, just ran into this myself working with Wordpress. Try using:

location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?q=$uri&$args;

Referenced it from a working server, then ran a quick search for additional info. Chris_O from StackExchange recommends adding this to your php location block as well if you’re running php-fpm. – If you don’t already have it in your php-fpm.conf.

location ~ \.php {
        try_files $uri =404;


In my case, I forgot didn’t install PHP yet. Make sure you already installed it by typing php -v. If there is no version information about your PHP, then you should install it with:

  1. sudo apt update
  2. sudo apt install php-fpm