CORS woes on Heroku

After spending the past 4 hours attempting to solve what boiled down to a rather simple problem, I figure I’d better blog about it to save someone else the time and effort.

If you’ve been leveraging Passenger’s new –nginx-config-template command line option to add CORS headers to static assets served from a Rails app hosted on Heroku, and the CORS headers recently disappeared under mysterious circumstances… read on.

I’ve been using the method described here to add CORS headers to custom fonts served from a Heroku-hosted Rails app that’s proxied by Nginx which handles serving static files. I recently updated to Rails 4.2.2 and suddenly, my custom fonts (.woff and .woff2 files) no longer had CORS headers on them.

After the aforementioned hours spent scratching my head, I discovered that the latest version of the sprockets gem is generating asset digests that are 64 chars in length, where previously they had been 32. Nginx’s default regexp for identifying requests for static assets assumes the digest will be 32 chars long, like so:

# Rails asset pipeline support.
location ~ "^/assets/.+-[0-9a-f]{32}\..+" {
  error_page 490 = @static_asset;
  error_page 491 = @dynamic_request;
  recursive_error_pages on;</code>

  if (-f $request_filename) {
    return 490;
  if (!-f $request_filename) {
    return 491;

Changing the regexp to recognize digests that are 64 chars in length immediately solved the problem:

location ~ "^/assets/.+-[0-9a-f]{64}\..+" {

I had to laugh after something so stupid and silly cost me a good chunk of my Saturday to debug. But at least it’s working now. My statically served custom fonts have the correct CORS headers and Chrome and Firefox are happy again.