Solving “502 Bad Gateway” with nginx & php-fpm

After upgrading php-fpm, my PHP-based sites were returning “502 Bad Gateway” errors. This can happen when the php5-fpm package reconfigures itself to listen on a different socket. Here’s how you can solve it.

Check to make sure that php-fpm is running with ps aux | grep php – if you can’t see any php-fpm processes in the output, then you may need to re-install php-fpm. If php-fpm is running okay, then skip this first step.

sudo apt-get remove php5 php5-cgi php5-fpm
sudo apt-get install php5 php5-cgi php5-fpm

The thing to notice here is that the order in which you install the packages is important. In the past I have found that installing them in the wrong order causes the packages to be configured incorrectly.

Next, get php-fpm to listen on the correct host/port. In /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf change the listen value to match the fastcgi_pass location in your Nginx configuration. For example, I changed mine from:

listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock


listen =

If you are configuring php-fpm to listen on a Unix socket, you should also check that the socket file has the correct owner and permissions. While I wouldn’t recommend it, you can simply give read-write permissions to all with sudo chmod go+rw /var/run/php5-fpm.sock.

Restart php-fpm with sudo service php5-fpm restart and everything should work normally again.

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27 thoughts on “Solving “502 Bad Gateway” with nginx & php-fpm

  1. I migrated my ubuntu from 13.04 to all the way down to 14.04 and the fastcgi sock broken. I had to change nginx config and php conf to use localhost:9000 as per author instruction. Worked. Thanks.

  2. Thanks! It’s works!

  3. ?????? ????? says:

    Sometimes it is simply need to check the owner of /var/run/php5-fpm.sock. It may cause the 502 if its owner is root

  4. Rafael A'ig says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your solution. Worked great!

  5. Lukman abdul faqih says:

    i following your article after i changed the config on /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf on debian weeezy after that i restarted my fpm service and nginx wow my script phpinfo is running rite now before that i got 502 Bad Gateway

    502 Bad Gateway

    502 Bad Gateway

  6. this line –

    listen =

    had caused me 502 by itself!

  7. Thanks for the information.This helped me

  8. Unfortunately, this is not working for me?

    Here is my information. I hope someone can spot something wrong!

    I just installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu 12.04.3 and updated it (on a local VM).

    I installed nginx sucessfully.
    ray@Web-Server:/etc/nginx/sites-available$ nginx -v
    nginx version: nginx/1.4.5

    I installed php5-cli and php5-fpm.
    ray@Web-Server:/etc/nginx/sites-available$ php -v
    PHP 5.3.10-1ubuntu3.10 with Suhosin-Patch (cli) (built: Feb 28 2014 23:14:25)
    Copyright (c) 1997-2012 The PHP Group
    Zend Engine v2.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2012 Zend Technologies

    I added the info.php file to /usr/share/nginx/html/info.php

    I did the following:

    cd /etc/nginx
    sudo rm sites-enabled/default
    sudo cp sites-available/default sites-available/my-default
    sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/my-default sites-enabled/default

    my-default looks like this:

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

    root /usr/share/nginx/html;
    index index.html index.htm;

    # Make site accessible from http://localhost/
    server_name localhost;

    location / {
    # First attempt to serve request as file, then
    # as directory, then fall back to displaying a 404.
    try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
    # Uncomment to enable naxsi on this location
    # include /etc/nginx/naxsi.rules

    location ~ .php$ {
    fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+.php)(/.+)$;
    # fastcgi_pass;
    fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
    fastcgi_index index.php;
    include fastcgi_params;

    Everything else is commented out in the file.

    So I was successful in browsing to the default nginx but info.php is taking the 502 Bad Gateway error?

    Some of my “ps -A” output is:

    906 tty4 00:00:00 getty
    913 tty5 00:00:00 getty
    920 tty2 00:00:00 getty
    921 tty3 00:00:00 getty
    923 tty6 00:00:00 getty
    936 ? 00:00:00 acpid
    937 ? 00:00:00 cron
    938 ? 00:00:00 atd
    948 ? 00:00:00 whoopsie
    959 ? 00:00:00 php5-fpm
    960 ? 00:00:00 php5-fpm
    961 ? 00:00:00 php5-fpm
    962 ? 00:00:00 php5-fpm
    963 ? 00:00:00 php5-fpm
    993 tty1 00:00:00 getty
    998 ? 00:00:00 sshd
    1139 ? 00:00:00 sshd
    1140 pts/0 00:00:00 bash
    1664 ? 00:00:00 nginx
    1665 ? 00:00:00 nginx
    1666 ? 00:00:00 nginx
    1667 ? 00:00:00 nginx
    1668 ? 00:00:00 nginx

    /var/log/nginx/error.log =

    2014/03/08 14:07:02 [crit] 1668#0: *29
    connect() to unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock failed (2: No such file or
    directory) while connecting to upstream, client:, server:
    localhost, request: “GET /info.php HTTP/1.1″, upstream:
    “fastcgi://unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock:”, host: “″

    From the Web Server, I can ping just fine.

    I also tried uncommenting the # fastcgi_pass; but then nginx would not even start up!!




    • wildlyinaccurate says:

      You can find out exactly where php-fpm is listening by running `grep ‘listen =’ /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf`. Once you figure out the listen address, just change the value of `fastcgi_pass` in your nginx configuration. Keep in mind that you can only have one `fastcgi_pass` directive, so when you uncomment one, make sure the other is commented out or removed.

      And remember to restart nginx when you’ve made any configuration changes!

  9. Saved my day! :)

  10. solved, Thanks a lot

  11. Rolando Quintero F. says:


  12. good!! thanks!

  13. Thanks a lot. This helped me as well.

  14. tuannguyen261 says:

    You are save my life! Thanks you. Keep up your work!

  15. Nasimuddin Ansari says:

    It helped me too !

  16. aufdenschlips says:

    Great advice! Thank you!
    Have a good one!

  17. That’s was really a saving read! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Cameron Taylor says:

    Your a God! – I would never have found this!

  19. Hristo Hristov says:

    Thanks! Saved me a bunch of time. I had to run this in the final step:

    sudo /etc/init.d/php5-fpm restart

  20. Paulo Souza says:

    Thanks a lot!

  21. Thanx, that’s work !

  22. Thank you. In my case, I actually had to do the opposite of what you described. My new install was configured to listen via TCP where nginx was attempting to connect via sockets.

  23. Wow, thank you! I’m new to Linux and I’ve been looking for a solution to this problem for 2 days now and this works perfect! One thing I’d like to know, what’s the difference between this “.sock” path and the ip:port value?

    • Hi Sander,

      Unix sockets use the local filesystem to create a connection and perform slightly better because they don’t have the overhead of the TCP/IP stack. Internet sockets (IP:port) are more flexible and portable.

      I don’t think the performance difference is noticeable unless the server is handling very high traffic.

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