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Unable to complete this request due to an error

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#1 ryan



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Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:55 PM

If you get this error message:

Unable to complete this request due to an error

That means that ProcessWire is in production mode (as it is by default) and is not reporting errors as a security best practice. However, if you are just installing ProcessWire or developing a site in it, this error message is hardly helpful. Here are three ways you can find out what error occurred:

  • Look at the last line in the file /site/assets/logs/errors.txt. You have to examine this file directly on your file system as PW makes this file non-web accessible.
  • If you entered your email address for the admin user account when you installed ProcessWire, it will email the fatal error message to you. Though if you are running PW on a machine that doesn't send email, that may not help.
  • Edit the file /site/config.php and change the line that says $config->debug = false; to: $config->debug = true; That will force PW to output it's error messages rather than saying "Unable to complete this request due to an error." Note however that you do not want "debug" turned on with a production site, as it's not good security to reveal technical details like this to users of your site.

Any one of the above 3 methods will reveal exactly what error occurred. Regardless of where you found it, the error message will include the following in this order (each separated by a colon ':')

  • Date and time that the error occurred
  • Current user when the error occurred
  • URL of the page that was being viewed
  • Detailed error message with PHP file, line number and sometimes a debug backtrace

Most often, examining the information above will make it clear what the problem is. However, if it doesn't, post your error message here (being careful not to reveal any personal server details). Or if you prefer, private-message it to me or email it to me at http://ryancramer.com/contact/.

Hope this helps a few people. I noticed repeat instances of "Unable to complete this request due to an error" in our Google Analytics, so it's clear some are experiencing this message and arriving at our site. I wanted to make sure we had a proper answer.

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