Troubleshooting common issues

This page describes how to troubleshoot common problems with NGINX Ingress Controller.

This page describes how to troubleshoot common issues with NGINX Ingress Controller. Instruction for specific resources is available in the Troubleshooting section.

Common issues

Problem Area Symptom Troubleshooting Method Common Cause
Startup NGINX Ingress Controller fails to start. Check the logs. Misconfigured RBAC, a missing default server TLS Secret.
Ingress resource and annotations The configuration is not applied Check the events of the Ingress resource, check the logs, check the generated config. Invalid values of annotations.
VirtualServer and VirtualServerRoute resources The configuration is not applied. Check the events of the VirtualServer and VirtualServerRoutes, check the logs, check the generated config. VirtualServer or VirtualServerRoute is invalid.
Policy resource The configuration is not applied. Check the events of the Policy resource as well as the events of the VirtualServers that reference that policy, check the logs, check the generated config. Policy is invalid.
ConfigMap keys The configuration is not applied. Check the events of the ConfigMap, check the logs, check the generated config. Invalid values of ConfigMap keys.
NGINX NGINX responds with unexpected responses. Check the logs, check the generated config, check the live activity dashboard (NGINX Plus only), run NGINX in the debug mode. Unhealthy backend pods, a misconfigured backend service.

Troubleshooting Methods

This section explains how to gather additional information for troubleshooting.

The commands examples make the following assumptions:

  • That NGINX Ingress Controller is deployed in the namespace nginx-ingress.
  • <nginx-ingress-pod> is the name of one of the NGINX Ingress Controller pods.

Check NGINX Ingress Controller logs

To check NGINX Ingress Controller logs, which include both information from NGINX Ingress Controller and NGINX’s access and error logs, run the following command:

kubectl logs <nginx-ingress-pod> -n nginx-ingress

Check the generated configuration files

For each Ingress/VirtualServer resource, NGINX Ingress Controller generates a corresponding NGINX configuration file in the /etc/nginx/conf.d folder.

Additionally, NGINX Ingress Controller generates the main configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf, which includes all the configurations files from /etc/nginx/conf.d. The configuration for a VirtualServerRoute resource is located in the configuration file of the VirtualServer that references the resource.

You can view the content of the main configuration file by running:

kubectl exec <nginx-ingress-pod> -n nginx-ingress -- cat /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Similarly, you can view the content of any generated configuration file in the /etc/nginx/conf.d folder.

You can also print all NGINX configuration files together:

kubectl exec <nginx-ingress-pod> -n nginx-ingress -- nginx -T

However, this command will fail if any of the configuration files is not valid.

Check the Live Activity Monitoring Dashboard

The live activity monitoring dashboard shows the real-time information about NGINX Plus and the applications it is load balancing, which is helpful for troubleshooting. To access the dashboard, read the Status Page topic.

Enable debugging for NGINX Ingress Controller

For additional NGINX Ingress Controller debugging, you can enable debug settings to get more verbose logging.

Increasing the debug log levels for NGINX Ingress Controller will also apply to NGINX itself.

There are two places to configure more verbose logging for NGINX Ingress Controller:

  1. Command line arguments
  2. Configmap settings

Command line arguments

When using manifest for deployment, use the command line argument -nginx-debug in your deployment or daemonset.

You can add the -v parameter to increase the verbosity of the NGINX Ingress Controller process.

Here is a small snippet of setting these command line arguments in the args section of a deployment:

  - -nginx-configmaps=$(POD_NAMESPACE)/nginx-config
  - -enable-cert-manager
  - -nginx-debug
  - -v=3

ConfigMap settings
You can configure error-log-level in NGINX Ingress Controller configMap:

kind: ConfigMap
apiVersion: v1
  name: nginx-config
  namespace: nginx-ingress
  error-log-level: "debug"

Using Helm

If you are using helm, you can adjust these two settings:

controller.nginxDebug = true or false
controller.loglevel = 1 to 3 value

For example, if using a values.yaml file:

  ## Enables debugging for NGINX. Uses the nginx-debug binary. Requires error-log-level: debug in ConfigMap via `controller.config.entries`.
  nginxDebug: true

  ## The log level of the Ingress Controller.
  logLevel: 3

This is a more complete example values.yaml file:

  kind: Deployment
  nginxDebug: true
  logLevel: 3
    nginx: ingress-prod
    annotations: "true" "9113" http
      env: prod-weset
  nginxplus: plus
    repository: nginx/nginx-ingress
    tag: 3.5.2
  # NGINX Configmap
      error-log-level: "debug"
      proxy_connet_timeout: "5s"
      http-snippets: |
        underscores_in_headers on;        
  ingressClass: nginx

Enable the nginx-debug CLI argument and change the error-log-level to debug to capture more output for debugging.

It is recommended to only enable nginx-debug CLI and the error-log-level when debugging.

Example debug NGINX Ingress Controller Output

These logs show some of the additional entries when debugging is enabled for NGINX Ingress Controller.

I1026 15:39:03.269092       1 manager.go:301] Reloading nginx with configVersion: 1
I1026 15:39:03.269115       1 utils.go:17] executing /usr/sbin/nginx-debug -s reload -e stderr
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [notice] 19#19: signal 1 (SIGHUP) received from 42, reconfiguring
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: wake up, sigio 0
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [notice] 19#19: reconfiguring
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: posix_memalign: 000056362AF0A420:16384 @16
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: add cleanup: 000056362AF0C318
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: posix_memalign: 000056362AF48230:16384 @16
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF00DE0:4096
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: read: 46, 000056362AF00DE0, 3090, 0
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: posix_memalign: 000056362AF58670:16384 @16
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF12440:4280
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF13500:4280
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF145C0:4280
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF5C680:4280
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF5D740:4280
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF5E800:4280
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: posix_memalign: 000056362AF5F8C0:16384 @16
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF41500:4096
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF638D0:8192
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: include /etc/nginx/mime.types
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: include /etc/nginx/mime.types
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF658E0:4096
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF668F0:5349
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: read: 47, 000056362AF658E0, 4096, 0
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF67DE0:4096
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: read: 47, 000056362AF658E1, 1253, 4096
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: posix_memalign: 000056362AF68DF0:16384 @16
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: posix_memalign: 000056362AF6CE00:16384 @16
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AF70E10:524288
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362AFF0E20:524288
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362B070E30:524288
2022/10/26 15:39:03 [debug] 19#19: malloc: 000056362B0F0E40:400280

Once you have completed your debugging process, you can change the values back to the original values.