How to fix some common Magento Server 500 errors

A Magento Server 500 error can crop up quite a lot, and they’re not uncommon when one moves from one hosting environment to another.

Symlinks Causing 500 Errors

The most frequent time that they’re seen is if one moves from a server environment which allows the following of symlinks to one which doesn’t.

If you don’t have access to Apache’s configuration (and chances are that you don’t) then the chances are also pretty high that you’re not using symlinks anyway, so the fix is a pretty easy one. Edit the .htaccess file from the web root of the site and remove the line which says :

Options +FollowSymLinks

Save it, re-upload it, and you should be good to go.

Images In The Media Folder

Occasionally, even when that’s fixed, a similar error will occur with images stored in the media folder (it will manifest itself with the images not showing, and the Apache error log will reveal 500 errors for the files concerned). The media folder has its own .htaccess file – within that, by default, the options are set to follow symlinks – so again, to fix it, open it up, look for this entry :

############################################
## enable rewrites

    Options +FollowSymLinks
    RewriteEngine on

and simply remove the line which says :

Options +FollowSymLinks

Hey presto, you’re away!

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