Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

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Boardtalk.net
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Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by Boardtalk.net »

Support Request Template
What version of phpBB are you using? phpBB 3.3.0
What is your board's URL? widow [dot] ie/forum
Who do you host your board with? myhost [dot] ie
How did you install your board? I used the download package from phpBB.com
What is the most recent action performed on your board? Update from a previous version of phpBB3
Is registration required to reproduce this issue? Yes
Do you have any MODs installed? No
Do you have any extensions installed? Yes
What version of phpBB3 did you update from? --
What extensions do you have installed? Too many to list
What styles do you currently have installed? Milk v2
What language(s) is your board currently using? British English
Which database type/version are you using? MariaDB
What is your level of experience? New to PHP but not phpBB
What username can be used to view this issue? N/A
What password can be used to view this issue? N/A
What actions did you take (updating your board; installing a MOD, style or extension; etc.) prior to this problem becoming noticeable? Nothing was changed/added since the last update several months ago
Please describe your problem. Back in early June we had issues when anyone wanted to login - we would all get Server Error 500. Nothing was added or changed to files/database since we updated months prior to this.
That time I contacted my host to see if he could figure it out. Eventually, he tried switching the php handler from fastcgi to php-fpm and it seemed to have fixed the issue. Everyone could login without issues but we never figured out what was causing the problem.

But now we're back to getting Server Error 503 when anyone tries to login, even myself. I'm at a loss to find an answer. I tried switching the php handler but nothing seems to work. I wonder if an outdated extension is causing problems? Is it possible to switch off extensions via FTP?
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EA117
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Re: Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by EA117 »

The main condition phpBB itself wants to return HTTP 503 is when the board is closed and you're a bot; or if a "new sessions per minute" load limit has been configured in the phpBB ACP load settings. But I'm not expecting that issue would be "just upon logging in", and I should see that too when trying to hit the board as a new guest who needs to have a session created. The site loads fine for me as a new guest, and has no issue creating a new session when I hit the site.

Does the HTTP 503 page have any document text to it at all, or does it look like a browser- or server-defined default error page? Maybe provide a test account that you can delete afterwards, so that we can attempt login and see the actual failure condition. I ask since phpBB done have a case where HTTP 503 will be set when a verbose error is being displayed; but you should be seeing that verbose error and not just "503 - service unavailable" or similar.

An extension possibly returning HTTP 503 for some other reason sounds like a good next troubleshooting step to confirm or rule out. The Knowledge Base - Disabling all extensions at once article talks about methods of doing that, including cases where you don't have access to the phpBB ACP.

Note I believe your style is dependent on an extension, and I'm not sure what behavior you should expect if you disable all extensions while that style is still selected. So you might want to use the CLI "one at a time" approach described, if possible, rather than going straight to "all disabled."
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Re: Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by Boardtalk.net »

Hi EA117 and thanks for the Knowledge Base article, I hadn't spotted it before now.

This is the error I get when trying to login and it looks like a server-defined default error page:

Code: Select all

Server Error
503
Service Temporarily Unavailable
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

That's what you can do

Reload Page Back to Previous Page Home Page
I checked the limits on the server and have plenty of Disk Space and Bandwidth left, not even close to capacity. I've a Wordpress blog (not connected by any plugins to the forum) and no problem logging in there.

The server logs are showing errors, this one seems to be coming up a few times;

Code: Select all

	(104)Connection reset by peer: AH01075: Error dispatching request to :, referer: https://websiteURLremoved/forum/ucp.php?mode=login&sid=735c8db135c4a14731d203291c3ade27	
UPDATE:
Sorry, forgot to say: I can't make a new test account right now but do have an old 'dummy' account used for testing. I'll just have to root out the login details if I can find them
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EA117
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Re: Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by EA117 »

Agreed that looks like a more generic type of HTTP 503 status page.
Boardtalk.net wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:04 pm

Code: Select all

(104)Connection reset by peer: AH01075: Error dispatching request to :, referer: https://websiteURLremoved/forum/ucp.php?mode=login&sid=735c8db135c4a14731d203291c3ade27
Maybe someone else does, but I'm not sure what to make the of "connection reset by peer" part there. At face value that makes me think your server was trying to connect elsewhere as part of trying to service the current request. But maybe its some more local or internal "proxy" for the server, rather than a true "remote connection."

And timed out because the login attempt, in turn, was taking a long time compared to the other successful non-login operations. i.e. What might have otherwise been just a normal PHP operation timeout, but is being reported as as "connection reset by peer" because of there being an additional layer between you and where the PHP execution was occurring.

What you showed looks like the web server error log; do you happen to have access to the php-fpm error log, or other more direct PHP error log?

Or perhaps seeing if your hosting provider has an opinion or access to other logs. Since your host were involved in the previous changes and/or may recognize this symptom as having occurred before on other hosting accounts using this configuration.

Testing with extensions disabled does also still seem like an appropriate troubleshooting step; since we haven't excluded that a normal PHP execution failure isn't at the root of this, and maybe that's because of one of the extensions. But I might try and talk to the hosting support first, unless someone else here just happens to recognize what this "connection reset by peer" is suggesting about the server operation in this case.
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Re: Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by Boardtalk.net »

Hi EA117
Thanks so much for all your help and advice. I had put in a support question with my host provider and they said;
The issue seems to be related to a compatibility with PHP7.2

We have dropped the version of PHP used on the site to version 7.1 temporarily and could log into the forum correctly
... This may be due to a plugin or theme used on the forum
Am going to work on figuring out if its a plugin issue, probably take me a few days to find it as I have a full time job and only have the time in the evenings. But I will come back when I find the issue.

So thankful its back up and running again.

Thanks again for your help and support
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Re: Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by warmweer »

Which version of Lightbox and BlinkPM and notify are you using?
As to the latter
....forum/ext/A.alex75,,_blinknewpmandnotify,,_styles,,_prosilver,,
it should be /ext/alex75/ (and the double comma's are strange - I've never seen that before (no idea whether that is normal or not).
Spelling is freeware, which means you can use it for free.
On the other hand, it is not open source, which means you cannot change it or publish it in a modified form.
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EA117
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Re: Server Error 503 when trying to login for all users

Post by EA117 »

The issue seems to be related to a compatibility with PHP7.2

We have dropped the version of PHP used on the site to version 7.1 temporarily and could log into the forum correctly
... This may be due to a plugin or theme used on the forum
That's a relief to be back up and running. Even now that the logins are working again, if there was more specifically a PHP error log (as opposed to the web server error log) which you or the host has access to, it might already contain clues as to specifically which extension or at least on what call stack an issue was being encountered previously before PHP was downgraded.

If the PHP error logs hadn't received anything, then maybe trying to duplicate the issue again by restoring a copy of your board to a local XAMPP server or similar -- with PHP at 7.2.x or higher -- will generate that PHP error log in your local XAMPP installation. Or at least give you an environment in which you can more easily test disabling extensions one by one without having to break the production board again.

For what it's worth.

warmweer wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:28 am
....forum/ext/A.alex75,,_blinknewpmandnotify,,_styles,,_prosilver,,
Yeah, not sure exactly what happened on that one, either. On the one hand, the earlier successful CSS links do have "more than what phpBB itself would have emitted", and seems to be an intentional modification of the content by PageSpeed (i.e. module running on the web server):

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<link href="styles/Milk_v2/theme/A.animate.css.pagespeed.cf.oeGv8n2YIK.css" rel="stylesheet"/>
...
<link href="assets/cookieconsent/A.cookieconsent.min.css,qassets_version=654.pagespeed.cf.8bfDq9wmQp.css" rel="stylesheet">
...
<link href="//maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/font-awesome/4.2.0/css/font-awesome.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
...			
<link href="ext/A.alex75,,_blinknewpmandnotify,,_styles,,_prosilver,,_theme,,_blinknotify.css,,qassets_version==654+phpbb,,_pages,,_styles,,_prosilver,,_theme,,_pages_common.css,,qassets_version==654+rmcgirr83,,_elonw,,_styles,,_all,,_theme,,_elonw.css,,qassets_version==654+vse,,_lightbox,,_styles,,_all,,_template,,_lightbox,,_css,,_lightbox.min.css,,qassets_version==654+vse,,_lightbox,,_styles,,_all,,_template,,_lightbox,,_css,,_lightbox.min.css,,qassets_version==654,Mcc.yPNA-0L1lT.css.pagespeed.cf.3uo2TzvKz3.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen"/>
But what exactly happened in that last one sure appears to be a mis-step of some sort. In the template itself this last entry is happening during either <!-- EVENT overall_header_head_append --> (i.e. extensions) or {$STYLESHEETS} (i.e. INCLUDECSS statements). Since multiple extensions seem represented in that single long line of mess, I'm guessing it's the {$STYLESHEETS} output, but "incorrectly transformed." Something about that sounds familiar, but it's not coming to mind at the moment.

Note the <link href="{T_THEME_PATH}/extensions.css?assets_version={T_ASSETS_VERSION}" rel="stylesheet"> from the template is completely absent / became completely lost after this long line mishap, too. Even though the rest of the template seems to have been processed.
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