Upstream block: backup with max_fails=0 does not appear to work as expected

Roman Arutyunyan arut at
Thu May 18 10:44:36 UTC 2017

Hi Jonathan,

On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 05:05:51PM -0400, Jonathan Simowitz via nginx wrote:
> Hello,
> I have an upstream block with two servers as follows:
> upstream {
>   server;
>   server max_fails=0 backup;
> }
> My desired use case would be that the server is hit for all
> requests and can be marked as down by nginx if it starts serving errors. In
> this case nginx will fallback to hitting, however should
> not be allowed to be marked down by nginx.
> What is actually happening is the "max_fails=0" statement is essentially
> being ignored causing the error message "no live upstreams while connecting
> to upstream" in my logs.

That's what happens when is in fact unavailable too.
Even though it's not globally marked as down.


Roman Arutyunyan

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