OS: Funtoo. I have bound NGINX to port 81 (I want to run it alongside my Apache server for a short time for ease of transition), and it listens at the port (If I point at another port, using wget I get "Connection refused", but using port 81 I get "connected") but it never serves an HTML response of any kind!

When running a wget on the port, from the localhost, I get:

# wget localhost:81
-2014-04-16 23:56:45- http://localhost:81/
Resolving localhost...
Connecting to localhost||:81... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response...

On another computer...

$ wget
-2014-04-16 23:57:19-
Connecting to connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response...

Nothing ever happens after that. The documents exist, it's the normal Funtoo nginx.conf.

UPDATE: I can make it listen to port 80, but it still rattles me that I can't get it to work on any port....

netstat -aWn | grep 81 | grep LISTEN
tcp 60 0* LISTEN

Edit: Configuration files:

user nginx nginx;
worker_rlimit_nofile 6400;

error_log /var/log/nginx/error_log info;

events {
    worker_connections 1024;
    use epoll;

http {
    include /etc/nginx/mime.types;

    # This causes files with an unknown MIME type to trigger a download action in the browser:
    default_type application/octet-stream;

    log_format main
        '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] '
        '"$request" $status $bytes_sent '
        '"$http_referer" "$http_user_agent" '

    client_max_body_size 64m;

    # Don't follow symlink if the symlink's owner is not the target owner.

    disable_symlinks if_not_owner;
    server_tokens off;
    ignore_invalid_headers on;

    gzip off;
    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript application/javascript text/x-js image/x-icon image/bmp;

    sendfile on;
    tcp_nopush on;
    tcp_nodelay on;

    index index.html;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;

Server block:

server {
    listen  *:81;
    root    /usr/share/nginx/html;
    location / {
        index   index.html;
  • Do you have a packet filter enabled (iptables)? If so, did you remember to allow port 81? – Andreas Wiese Apr 17 '14 at 13:13
  • iptables isn't enabled. – Aviator45003 Apr 17 '14 at 13:24
  • 2
    Then relevant parts of your configuration would be helpful, I guess. – Andreas Wiese Apr 17 '14 at 13:28

Try the following server block:

server {
   listen       81 default_server;
    server_name _;    
    root    /usr/share/nginx/html;
    location / {
        index   index.html;

The underscore _ is a wildcard, Also the *:81 likely doesn't do what you expect, just use the port number.

Then test your settings with nginx -t:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Restart nginx:

service nginx restart

Test with netstat:

root@gitlab:~# netstat -napl | grep 80
tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN      7903/nginx      
tcp        0      0*               LISTEN      2662/unicorn.


I installed nginx on a test system. With the stock nginx.conf file and a 1 line change to /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default, I was able to retrieve files from port 81

cat /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default
server {

    listen   81;
    server_name localhost;
    root /usr/share/nginx/www;
    index index.html index.htm;

    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.html;

    location /doc/ {
        alias /usr/share/doc/;
        autoindex on;
        deny all;


Netstat output:

netstat -napl | grep 81
tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN      3432/nginx

Download file:

$ wget localhost:81

Contents of file:

$ cat index.html
<title>Welcome to nginx!</title>
<body bgcolor="white" text="black">
<center><h1>Welcome to nginx!</h1></center>


Test port:

 root@gitlab:# nc -vz localhost 81
 Connection to localhost 81 port [tcp/*] succeeded!
 root@gitlab:# nc -vz localhost 443
 nc: connect to localhost port 443 (tcp) failed: Connection refused
  • Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name tcp 9 0* LISTEN 1026/nginx: master Still no success. Is Recv-Q being 9 a hint of some sort? It goes up every time I try a wget or something like that. The server block is exactly as you prescribed. – Aviator45003 Apr 23 '14 at 20:53
  • I'm not sure what Recv-Q is. Do you have anything in /etc/nginx/sites-available ? – spuder Apr 23 '14 at 21:09
  • 1
    @T.C. Please see my updated answer. – spuder Apr 23 '14 at 21:49
  • no change to my status, even following the new config file. Is it possible there is something blocking ports not port 80? Is there a way I can test this? – Aviator45003 Apr 23 '14 at 23:10
  • 1
    T.C. yes, use nc, see update – spuder Apr 23 '14 at 23:18

Turns out the big problem? Nginx had set worker_processes to 0. I added a line setting it to auto in the top of my nginx.conf, and all was well with the world!

Thank you all for your time and patience.

  • You just saved me from giving up after about 1 hour of frustration—apparently one of my automated variables used for templating Nginx configuration output a 0 for worker_processes, and I was completely flabbergasted after quadruple-checking every other config file, DNS, hosts, etc. – geerlingguy Mar 8 '16 at 2:51

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