root folder php scripts not running in nginx

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http://serverfault.com – nginx with php-fpm on ubuntu 12.04 server. attempting to access /var/www/test.php (via https://example.net/test.php) downloads the script instead of executing it. if I place the test.php in a subdirectory, i.e. /var/www/test/test.php it executes. root.conf; root /var/www; include php-fpm.conf; location ~ /\. { access_log off; log_not_found off; deny all; } php-fpm.conf; location ~ \.php$ { try_files $uri =404; fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.socket; include fastcgi_params; } fastcgi_params; fastcgi_param QUERY_STRING (HowTos)