PHPMyAdmin blank whitescreen (414 Request-URI Too Long)

Ran across an interesting issue where PhpMyAdmin on a newly installed CentOS server was not rendering in a browser. Or more accurately, it was rendering but the CSS kicked in and caused the browser to display a blank page rather than the desired login screen. (Doing a View Source on the page showed that the login form was in fact there, but hidden by CSS.)

After checking the obvious things: PHP running (with error reporting on), file permissions, Apache working, VirtualHost definition correct, I was stuck. There were no indications of a problem, and PHP reported nothing. (Because, as we will see, there were no errors to be displayed…or was there?)

Finally, I turned on Firebug and refreshed the page. Voilà! There were actually two issues, but they were hidden within additional calls in the backend:

Screenshot from 2016-05-05 17-29-03

Wow, those two long URL strings! One URL was:


A quick search uncovered a possible fix. The default Apache limit of the request line needed to be made longer to accomodate PhpMyAdmin. Doing this was simple. I added the directive to ‘/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf’ like so:

LimitRequestLine 800

I tried a few different lengths and found that 700 was too short, but 800 worked fine. Also, though I simply added this to the conf file, according to the docs you can add this within the VirtualHost rather than making it blanket covering the entire server.

Hope this helps others.

Ubuntu 16.04 and PHP 7 not rendering

After reloading my work laptop with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (I prefer to do a reload versus an upgrade, for each LTS version) I was very excited to install PHP 7, and installed using the standard Ubuntu repositories using typical commands:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2
$ sudo apt-get install php7.0

However, after doing the installs I discovered PHP scripts would not render in a browser. After a small amount of digging I realized that doing the base installs did not include one important piece. The package ‘libapache2-mod-php7.0’ was not automatically installed as expected, as it did in the past. (I don’t remember needing to install it separately in the past.) Hopefully the package maintainers fix this at some point. Your mileage may vary.

$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php7.0

So one quick install like shown previous and all is working fine.

Happy PHP’ing.

Install APC (alternative PHP cache) on RedHat RHEL 5

After attending php|tek 2009 I decided it was finally time for me to play with APC, and at least install it on a server to see what all of the excitement is about. After all, if it is good enough for Facebook it must be pretty beneficial, right?

According to the documentation the following command is what it takes to install:

pecl install apc

However, then I tried this I quickly received an error stating “phpize: command not found”. So after a little searching I discovered that I needed to install php-devel.i386 to enable pear to install packages. (You may also need to install autoconf, automake and libtool to do phpize. I must have already had them installed.)

sudo yum install php-devel.i386

Note: I used sudo, but you can also use su to change to the root user and then run the command as root.

Now after installing that, which also installed a couple of dependencies and updated a couple of other applications, I figured I would be all set. To the contrary I tried the install apc command again and I received one prompt asking:

Use apxs to set compile flags (if using APC with Apache)? [yes]:

I received a new error after answering “yes” :

Sorry, I was not able to successfully run APXS.  Possible reasons:
1.  Perl is not installed;
2.  Apache was not compiled with DSO support (--enable-module=so);
3.  'apxs' is not in your path.  Try to use --with-apxs=/path/to/apxs
The output of apxs follows
/tmp/tmpArfGXr/APC-3.0.10/configure: line 3196: apxs: command not found
configure: error: Aborting
ERROR: `/tmp/tmpArfGXr/APC-3.0.10/configure --enable-apc-mmap=yes
--with-apxs' failed

After a few minutes of searching I found a post somewhere that informed me that httpd-devel.i386 also needed to be installed.

sudo yum install httpd-devel.i386

Once the package installed, along with a few more dependencies and updates, I was then ready to try again. This time all went well, and APC was installed.

One final step was to activate it in the php.ini file. I added the following:
apc.enabled = On

Next I was ready to restart Apache and see APC in action:

sudo /etc/init.d/httpd restart

After creating a quick phpinfo() call I could now see that the APC module was indeed active. Once I copied the apc.php file that comes with the APC install files into a web accessible directory (preferably password protected) I was clearly able to see stats associated with APC.

There is much more you can do with APC settings, etc. However, that is another story for another time. Here are a couple of links to help get you started though.
C7y Tutorial
Pecl page

Get SSL running on Apache (CentOS)

I was playing with a new virtual server that had CentOS installed on it recently, and wanted to get SSL working for Apache.  Since I was only setting up a development server I really didn’t need to purchase a certificate and decided to use a self-signed certificate.  Here is what I did:

First I needed to get ‘make’ and ‘mod_ssl’ running to allow for this. (I use sudo but you could login as su)

sudo yum install make
sudo yum install mod_ssl

Next I did the following steps:

  1. Go to /etc/pki/tls/certs
  2. Run the command sudo make mycert.pem
  3. Enter the information you are prompted for about country, state, city, host name etc, your certificate and key has been created
  4. Now edit /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf and update the following items:
    • SSLCACertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/mycert.pem
    • SSLCACertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/mycert.pem
  5. I was forced to create a symbolic link for the SSLCACertificateKeyFile as follows: (I think this was supposed to happen automagically.)
    • I went to /etc/pki/tls and created the symbolic link using the next line.
    • sudo ln -s certs/mycert.pem mycert.pem
  6. Restart Apache (/etc/init.d/httpd restart)

There, now you have a self-signed certificate for your apache virtualhosts.

Apache parse PHP from within files using ‘.html’ extension

Recently I had someone that needed to move their site to a new server. The site was entirely created with the files using the .html extension, but had embeded inside.

I simply cleared this up by adding the following line to the httpd.conf, and after a reboot of Apache i was set to go.

AddType application/x-httpd-php .html

If you were to need this type of action for files using the .htm extension you would do the same thing, but replace the .html to .htm in the line.