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Here are some of the most common reasons why your clean URLs may not be working (assuming you're using a normal Linux/Apache hosting environment).
1. Your site is in a subdirectory, or you're using an Alias, but you didn't set RewriteBase #
If your site URL looks like this:
Then you need to set RewriteBase! Find the section in your .htaccess file that looks like this:
# Modify the RewriteBase if you are using Drupal in a subdirectory and # the rewrite rules are not working properly. #RewriteBase /drupal
And change the last line, like this:
Make sure you remove the
# symbol in front of RewriteBase, otherwise this will not work.
If you move your site later on, this line will need to be changed again. For example, if you later move it to:
http://your-site-here.com/ then update the line to
RewriteBase / (or just comment it out with a
# in front).
VARIANT. When using an Alias, if your site URL looks like this:
Then you must change the last line as stated above, like this:
2. Your .htaccess file didn't get uploaded at all. #
Check if the .htaccess file was actually uploaded. It should be in the directory where you uploaded Drupal (for example:
If the .htaccess file is missing, you need to upload it. If you accidentally deleted this file, just download Drupal again, and copy the new .htaccess file.
Make sure the file is only called
.htaccess and not htaccess.txt or anything else. The .period .at .the .beginning is required.
This name usually means that the file will be invisible on folder listings on Unix-based systems so you might not always see it. If using an FTP client, you may have to configure it to 'show hidden files'. If listing on the commandline, you must
ls -la to see it. This will be somewhat dependent on your OS.
3. Your .htaccess file is corrupt. #
The .htaccess file is very fussy, and only works if things are in a certain order. If you've tried to add password protection or to block image hotlinking (especially if you used cPanel or some other software to set that up), you've probably corrupted the file. The simple solution is to delete your corrupted .htaccess file, then upload the standard version that comes with Drupal.
Evidence of a broken htaccess file can usually be seen in the Apache logs. If you have access on the host, the logs may be at
/var/log/apache2/error.log or some variation like that. If you are on a shared host, see your ISPs documentation or helpdesk.
4. Pager and other query strings don't work #
Make sure you have not modified the Apache rewrite rule. The default RewriteRule is:
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?q=$1 [L,QSA]
What this rule does is rewrite a path like example.com/node into example.com/index.php?q=node
However, you'd normally then expect that path like example.com/node?page=1 would be re-written into example.com/index.php?q=node?page=1 which would fail since both separators are ?.
However, the rewrite rule has additional flags. The 'L' flag is irrelevant, but 'QSA' makes the difference. What it does is to preserve any existing arguments after the rewrite, thereby changing the second '?' in this scenario into '&'.