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Author Topic: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles  (Read 2802 times)

Offline Matias Artesi

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Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« on: November 27, 2016, 12:32:04 PM »
Hello, I've recently both moved to a different hosting, domain and SMF version, and now my users are having troubles logging in, something I think is related to the intermittent blank pages I receive when checking users' profiles (opening the same profile will return a black page 6 or 7 times out of 10).

Logging in and out will also cause frequent blank pages, which can be "solved" by pressing F5 a couple times, but of course, it's hard to explain that to the users. A member also reported getting a "Unable to verify referring URL. Please go back and try again" error when logging into his account, and also happened when I told him to log into a test user to which I have no trouble logging in.

The rest of the forum (boards, topics, downloads) all work out without a problem.


Some information:

I can't reproduce this error in my local test server.
I don't have any package installed, I made a fresh 2.1 install, then I imported my previous database (in retrospect, maybe I should have moved the entire forum and made an upgrade, however as I said, nothing is wrong in my test server).
My php version is 5.6.25
The error log is mysteriously reporting no problems whatsoever (yes, I have checked and error reporting is on).


Any help would be appreciated.

Offline Kindred

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 04:17:19 PM »
You are actually using 2.1?  Which beta version?  URL?

Errors in the smf log?
Errors in the sever log?
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Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 05:15:25 PM »
You are actually using 2.1?  Which beta version?  URL?

Errors in the smf log?
Errors in the sever log?

I am, 2.1 Beta2

No errors at all are showing in the smf log, and I don't have a server error log (my host provider has it's own version of cPanel a worse version at that).

I created a new virtual site, loaded my previous version of the forum and it's db, upgraded it to 2.1 (before I had made a fresh 2.1 install), and then changed the db to the one I already have in the current live site, in order not to lose some time consuming changes I made. A Frankenstein monster, I know, but surprisingly it works perfectly in the virtual test site.

I am currently uploading the files to a new online test site, as I want to make sure it works online (the current live site also works in my virtual environment, alas it has the mentioned problems online). IF (and that's a big if) it works in the online test site, I'll upload the files to the live site and it should be the end of my problems. I'll comment once that's done.


Oh, and btw, the site is hxxp:www.forodederecho.com [nonactive]
You are welcome to take a look around and comment on whatever is on your mind, but the whole thing is in Spanish.

Offline Kindred

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 05:37:15 PM »
You can not use a 2.0.x database with a 2.1 installation....  which is what your explanation sounds like you might be doing.

I would suggest that you use the current GitHub version. (Which is almost beta3),
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Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 05:47:21 PM »
You can not use a 2.0.x database with a 2.1 installation....  which is what your explanation sounds like you might be doing.

I would suggest that you use the current GitHub version. (Which is almost beta3),


You can't? Oh, I thought the 2.1 updated the database. Then why is there a download to upgrade to 2.1 in the first place? ._.

To be fair it works flawlessly in the virtual server and if not for the random blank pages it would work in the live version too. I did have to make some adjustments, mainly reuploading several attachments, but that's the only problem I'd got while upgrading.

The Frankenstein monster didn't work, it has the same problem.


I'll have to make a rollback... what a waste of a weekend  :'(

Offline Kindred

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 06:00:00 PM »
Well, you can upgrade a 2.0.x database to 2.1...    but the way you spdscribed it, you just imported a 2.0.x database into your 2.1 installation... and that won't work. You have to run upgrade.php on the 2.0.x database.


However, as I said, I would suggest trying the more current version, since beta 2 has a host of known issues, and since we are close to releasing beta3, the support for things with beta 2 is limited (seeing as how many issues were fixed between beta2 and beta3). (Also, you should generally not be using the beta versions on live sites, for the main reason that things might not work correctly and may change, even significantly between versions.
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Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 06:14:36 PM »
Well, you can upgrade a 2.0.x database to 2.1...    but the way you spdscribed it, you just imported a 2.0.x database into your 2.1 installation... and that won't work. You have to run upgrade.php on the 2.0.x database.

No, of course I didn't do that. At first I updated the database along with the forum. What I meant was that, when creating the Frankenstain to see if I could solve the problem, I used the already updated database, because I had made some changes I didn't want to lose (the upload of some corrupt attachments, mainly).


However, as I said, I would suggest trying the more current version, since beta 2 has a host of known issues, and since we are close to releasing beta3, the support for things with beta 2 is limited (seeing as how many issues were fixed between beta2 and beta3). (Also, you should generally not be using the beta versions on live sites, for the main reason that things might not work correctly and may change, even significantly between versions.

You are right of course, I did it anyway because, as I said, I did test it before uploading it to the live site. A shame, really, I quite liked 2.1. Maybe in the future I'll try again, for now it's given me enough of a headache.

Anyway, thanks for your time  ;D

Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 10:28:39 PM »
So, here's an interesting update:

I established a really old version of the forum in a new site (within the same server) and to my surprise it had the exact same problem. This could only mean that the weird forum update was not to blame after all, but it's a server side problem which I'll try to fix. I had discarded the possibility of a server problem because all my other web sites work just fine, but it seems I was wrong.

What I did manage to do after some tinkering is to get the error log working, and it reports that several visitors got the error "Unable to verify referring url.  Please go back and try again" when trying to log in. It is likely connected to the blank pages problem, but I dunno what causes this error, can anyone give me a hint?

Offline Kindred

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 11:00:43 PM »
I don't know that the two issues are related...

However, a blank white page indicates a s river side failure, usually a failure in php. Servers usually generate an error.log or other file with a similar name when php fails in that manner.  Without that information, it's almost impossible to debug further
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Offline byproduct

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 07:32:01 PM »
I don't know that the two issues are related...

Servers usually generate an error.log ...  Without that information, it's almost impossible to debug further


like he said
but, check resource levels

Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 09:39:43 PM »
After talking with the ISP I managed to get access to the apache error log. These are the errors the forums have in common:

[Mon Nov 28 03:24:45.797634 2016] [:warn] [pid 5968:tid 139678300698432] FastCGI: scheduled the start of the last (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/forotxd/php-56" process: reached dynamicMaxClassProcs (1)
[Mon Nov 28 03:24:45.798432 2016] [:warn] [pid 5968:tid 139678300698432] FastCGI: (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/forotxd/php-56" (uid 1010, gid 1010) started (pid 6242)
[Mon Nov 28 04:00:52.471856 2016] [access_compat:error] [pid 5969:tid 139678138488576] [client 5.255.253.57:47916] AH01797: client denied by server configuration: /home/fulzorg/public_html/foro
[Mon Nov 28 08:18:44.609364 2016] [:warn] [pid 5968:tid 139678300698432] FastCGI: scheduled the start of the last (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/fulzforo/php-56" process: reached dynamicMaxClassProcs (1)
[Mon Nov 28 08:18:44.609650 2016] [:warn] [pid 5968:tid 139678300698432] FastCGI: (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/fulzforo/php-56" (uid 1015, gid 1015) started (pid 27883)
[Mon Nov 28 13:20:07.498620 2016] [access_compat:error] [pid 5969:tid 139677889648384] [client 141.8.142.23:37394] AH01797: client denied by server configuration: /home/fulzorg/public_html/foro
[Mon Nov 28 14:21:10.058668 2016] [access_compat:error] [pid 5969:tid 139677965182720] [client 130.193.51.35:59980] AH01797: client denied by server configuration: /home/fulzorg/public_html/foro
[Mon Nov 28 16:28:10.271000 2016] [:warn] [pid 3127:tid 140123124082496] FastCGI: scheduled the start of the last (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/forotxd/php-56" process: reached dynamicMaxClassProcs (1)
[Mon Nov 28 16:28:10.271849 2016] [:warn] [pid 3127:tid 140123124082496] FastCGI: (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/forotxd/php-56" (uid 1010, gid 1010) started (pid 3266)
[Mon Nov 28 16:47:53.397461 2016] [access_compat:error] [pid 3222:tid 140122729129728] [client 93.158.152.28:61563] AH01797: client denied by server configuration: /home/fulzorg/public_html/foro
[Mon Nov 28 21:20:21.768892 2016] [:warn] [pid 3127:tid 140123124082496] FastCGI: scheduled the start of the last (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/fulzforo/php-56" process: reached dynamicMaxClassProcs (1)
[Mon Nov 28 21:20:21.769249 2016] [:warn] [pid 3127:tid 140123124082496] FastCGI: (dynamic) server "/opt/apache/cgi-sys/fulzforo/php-56" (uid 1015, gid 1015) started (pid 25471)


I have no idea what this means, I'm currently googling it

Offline Kindred

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 10:14:06 PM »
It looks to me as if your host has poorly configured the server and the php service is crashing
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 08:26:19 AM by Kindred »
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Offline nend

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016, 12:42:19 AM »
Any custom config in .htaccess? If not then it's your web hosts problem.

Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2016, 09:33:16 AM »
Ok, upgrading from php 5.6 to 7.0 seems to have solved the problem. :D
I don't know why, as SMF should be fully compatible with 5.6. I had no reason to try, other than it being easy to do.


While the blank pages are gone, now the forum's error log is populating with these errors, although for now they seem benign:

"2: Unknown: Session callback expects true/false return value"
"2: Unknown: Failed to write session data (user). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/home/forotxd/tmpsite)"


Many errors seem to come from Subs-Auth.php Line 103


Any custom config in .htaccess? If not then it's your web hosts problem.

Nope, nothing, however it could be said that I am my own web host now, cause we hired a Cloud Server.

Offline Kindred

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2016, 04:57:56 PM »
if you do go back to 2.0.x -- be aware that php 7 is not currently supported.
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Offline Illori

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 05:45:55 PM »
if you do go back to 2.0.x -- be aware that php 7 is not currently supported.

do note that you cant back port your current database to SMF 2.0, you would need to a fresh clean install to do so.

Offline Matias Artesi

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Re: Intermittent blank pages in users' profiles
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2016, 10:06:44 AM »
It's ok, I doubt we'll go back to 2.0, for now the forum seems to be working just fine, except for some "Unable to verify referring URL", but I bet it's a problem with the server too, so I most likely would have that problem with 2.0 too.

I'll mark this topic solved, finally.