Sets the root path of the site, used by various matchers and directives that access the file system. If unset, the default site root is the current working directory.

Specifically, this directive sets the {http.vars.root} placeholder. It is mutually exclusive to other root directives in the same block, so it is safe to define multiple roots with matchers that intersect: they will not cascade and overwrite each other.

This directive does not automatically enable serving static files, so it is often used in conjunction with the file_server directive or the php_fastcgi directive.


root [<matcher>] <path>
  • <path> is the path to use for the site root.

Note that the <path> argument could be confused by the parser as a matcher token if the it begins with /. To disambiguate, specify a wildcard matcher token (*). See examples below.


Set the site root to /home/user/public_html for all requests:

(Note that a wildcard matcher is required here because the first argument is ambiguous with a path matcher.)

root * /home/user/public_html

Set the site root to public_html (relative to current working directory) for all requests:

(No matcher token is required here because our site root is a relative path, so it does not start with a forward slash and thus is not ambiguous.)

root public_html

Change the site root only for requests in /foo/*:

root /foo/* /home/user/public_html/foo

The root directive is commonly paired with file_server to serve static files and/or with php_fastcgi to serve a PHP site:

root * /home/user/public_html