500 error - Renamed htaccess

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2drx4
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500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by 2drx4 »

TLDR: Do I need a working htaccess file? Or can you just rename it (so it isn't doing anything) and everything will be fine?


A couple days ago my forum broke and started producing a 500 error every time anyone posted. Posting still works, they would just have to hit back, and then refresh. Annoying.

My host was very little help (Hostgator) as to if they changed anything that caused the issue, but they had announced a planned php update some time before, so maybe that took effect. They suggested renaming the htaccess, so that's what we did, and just like that no more 500 error.

Can I just leave it like that? My understanding is that the htaccesss does set some potentially needed configurations. Will it cause issues for other users? Is there any way to tell what it was setting that didn't work? I could disable lines of it individually, I suppose?

Hostgator's server error logging seemed to also not really be working, so I had nothing useful to learn from that.

I am running phpBB 3.3.3, if that changes anything (can't update it because of incompatibilities with the theme). EDIT: I checked and apparently I can upgrade to 3.3.11 now. I may well do that. Above question still applies though, as I don't think it would change anything.
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Mick
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by Mick »

Everything will (probably) run without the .htaccess file but it is required, renaming it isn’t fixing the issue it’s just papering over the cracks. You say you're getting 500 errors but not what they are, they are indicative of suppressed PHP errors so it would be helpful if you posted them here to help us help you, your host needs to help you with the error messages, that’s what you’re paying them for ;)
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cheesecrakr
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by cheesecrakr »

I came here to ask the very same question but saw your topic and decided to reply here rather than make a new post with the same problem. I am getting http 500 error most times a reply to a post is made. Refreshing the page allows the post to be made. I am also hosted by Hostgator.

I have version 3.3.3 and my site is www.allaboutmarbles.com
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thecoalman
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by thecoalman »

Compare the .htaccess files on the server to those from the download. It's posible the server/host added some rules causing your problems. To make sure you have the correct one older versions of phpBB can be found here.

https://download.phpbb.com/pub/release/

The error should be logged, check the error_reporting level. 500 errors are not always logged to the php error log. It may be logged to Apache error log which you wouldn't have access to. There is no reason your host should not be able to tell you what is occurring.
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2drx4
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by 2drx4 »

Mick wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:06 pm Everything will (probably) run without the .htaccess file but it is required, renaming it isn’t fixing the issue it’s just papering over the cracks. You say you're getting 500 errors but not what they are, they are indicative of suppressed PHP errors so it would be helpful if you posted them here to help us help you, your host needs to help you with the error messages, that’s what you’re paying them for ;)
I agree that I'm paying them for that, but they seem to think that I'm paying them to get to talk to a chatbot. Well, I think it was a real human, but it didn't even know what a forum was, or what phpBB was, or how the general premise of one works. Soooo.

I would like a proper fix, not a bodge, you are correct in that.
cheesecrakr wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 7:00 pm I came here to ask the very same question but saw your topic and decided to reply here rather than make a new post with the same problem. I am getting http 500 error most times a reply to a post is made. Refreshing the page allows the post to be made. I am also hosted by Hostgator.

I have version 3.3.3 and my site is www.allaboutmarbles.com
Interesting to know it's not just me.
thecoalman wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 7:51 pm Compare the .htaccess files on the server to those from the download. It's posible the server/host added some rules causing your problems. To make sure you have the correct one older versions of phpBB can be found here.

https://download.phpbb.com/pub/release/

The error should be logged, check the error_reporting level. 500 errors are not always logged to the php error log. It may be logged to Apache error log which you wouldn't have access to. There is no reason your host should not be able to tell you what is occurring.
Edit, where would the error_reporting level be? I can't find it.

The reason the host can't tell me is because they're garbage.
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by warmweer »

2drx4 wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 9:05 pm Edit, where would the error_reporting level be? I can't find it.
That depends on the host, some even don't have one (for the client)
Usually you'll find a link to the error logging in your host control panel.
2drx4 wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 9:05 pm The reason the host can't tell me is because they're garbage.
Seems like a good reason to look for another host.
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thecoalman
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by thecoalman »

2drx4 wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 9:05 pm Edit, where would the error_reporting level be? I can't find it.

The reason the host can't tell me is because they're garbage.
It's a directive in the php.ini, Go into phpBB's ACP and switch to the System tab. On the left is a link for php information. Search the next page for error_reporting. It's going to be given as a number, you use this tool

https://maximivanov.github.io/php-error ... alculator/

More information here on what each selection means:

https://www.php.net/manual/en/function. ... orting.php

You'd have to consult your hosts documentation to see if you can set custom level.
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cheesecrakr
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by cheesecrakr »

I contacted HostGator. I had a pleasant interaction with two problems and they quickly fixed both. One was that I could not log in to my host account. Apparently the password requirements were changed and my old password did not meet the criteria and it kept me locked out. Resetting password fixed that.

To address this problem in this topic, Host Gator said "The PHP version was automatically updated to 8.2 due to the Server Upgrade and PHPBB is not compatible with higher version, so it had to be set to 7.4." and they set the version for my domain at 7.4 and the problem has not repeated itself so far. Hopefully this helps.
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Mick
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by Mick »

phpBB 3.3.11 is PHP 8.2 compatible.
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2drx4
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by 2drx4 »

cheesecrakr wrote: Thu Feb 29, 2024 4:41 am To address this problem in this topic, Host Gator said "The PHP version was automatically updated to 8.2 due to the Server Upgrade and PHPBB is not compatible with higher version, so it had to be set to 7.4." and they set the version for my domain at 7.4 and the problem has not repeated itself so far. Hopefully this helps.
Okay, thanks, they were not helpful with me.

I guess it's a tossup on updating to 3.3.11 and dealing with the issues associated with it, or getting them to change it back to PHP 7.4.
MedicineStorm
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by MedicineStorm »

Same for me. Host changed to php 8.x without warning and I couldn't figure out what was going wrong. I don't know if your host is set up the same way as mine, but any time I get a 500 error, an error_log file is produced (or appended) in the forum root folder. That may give you the missing details about what is actually causing the 500 errors. I know you already got the errors to stop since resetting your php back to 7.4, but most hosts are not going to have the 7.4 option available forever. Mine says 7.4 will be going away entirely before 2025. Upgrading to phpbb 3.3.11+ & php 8.0+ might eventually become necessary anyway.
2drx4 wrote: Thu Feb 29, 2024 5:29 pm ... 3.3.11 and dealing with the issues associated with it ...
Out of curiosity, what issues have you seen with 3.3.11? I had a few issues, but only within one out-of-date 3rd party theme and a 2nd party (mine) extension, now resolved.
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Mick
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by Mick »

MedicineStorm wrote: Thu Feb 29, 2024 8:10 pmmost hosts are not going to have the 7.4 option available forever
To all intents and purposes they shouldn’t be offering it now, PHP 7.4 has been EOL for 15 months, even PHP 8.0 is unsupported. See PHP: Unsupported Branches.
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2drx4
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Re: 500 error - Renamed htaccess

Post by 2drx4 »

MedicineStorm wrote: Thu Feb 29, 2024 8:10 pm
There is limited error logging with Hostgator, from what I can tell. There is error logs I can access through cPanel (host software) but they were not logging the error 500s. There doesn't seem to be error logging anywhere else that I can find in my own directories. As it turns out it is super easy for me to change the php settings, Hostgator offers versions way older than 7.4.

There is/was a compatibility issue with 3.3.11 and the theme I'm using. Apparently it has been fixed, but I had updated to 3.3.something (5, 6, 7ish) and had to go back. The experience led to me deciding to not update until I absolutely had to. So I should be able to update it now, which means I will do that.

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