We have a strange set of errors going on with a dev (and stage) version of our drupal multisite. We have some sub directory sites, and some sites server up on different urls. One URL is an internal one to the Host. The other is an external one (that goes through a firewall).

The essence of the problem is this

  • the sub directory site homepage displays fine, but any sub pages you click through to come up as 404s -- the 404 that is thrown is on the default site. This happens with sub directory sites on both URLs (external and internal).
  • I am unable to access site pages using index.php?q=
  • Some pages that get served up properly, are still showing up as a 404. This doesn't seem consistent on all sites, but it seems weird to begin with.

What I know

  • The .htaccess is being used by the sites
  • ModRewrite is on.
  • At our request, the ISP put some restrictions on one of the URLs.
  • The same structure works fine on our production site (minus the restricted URL)
  • sites.php is working fine, so far as I can tell.

What are the things that we could still have configured wrong (our hosting company is equally perplexed)? The problem seems to coincide with locking down the internal URL (to be only visible to VPN).

For now, I can share this URL: http://contentdev.sierraclub.org/coal Click on a sub link. Compare to http://content.sierraclub.org/coal

Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

  • First of all, please indicate which version of Drupal even if we are able to guess. Then: When debugging such issues, I think it is useful to know the actual directory structure - where is Drupal located, are any symbolic set up and so on. Is it the same structure on both servers? Do the servers run the same version of Apache and is the settings.php file the same. (If you have set $base_url in settings.php it must be different.)
    – hansfn
    Jan 27, 2017 at 7:38
  • A fine point -- it is Drupal 7... At this point, no need for further info though -- it has been fixed. I am waiting for some clarification from the hosting company about what they changed. It was related to some configuration for making the non-public domain not public, but still open to a VPN connection.
    – Adrained
    Jan 27, 2017 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


You didn't mention anything about sites.php, so I'm going to guess that's where the problem resides.

Google it: https://www.google.com/#q=drupal+multisite+sites.php
D7 example: https://api.drupal.org/api/drupal/sites!example.sites.php/7.x
D8 example: https://api.drupal.org/api/drupal/sites!example.sites.php/8.2.x

Please post your sites.php file if you're unable to fix the issue after taking a look.

  • sites.php is working fine. $sites['contentdev.sierraclub.org'] = 'default'; $sites['contentdev.sierraclub.org.coal'] = 'content.sierraclub.org.coal';
    – Adrained
    Jan 27, 2017 at 1:12
  • working fine in the sense, that at least initially is doing what is expected -- the /coal sub directory looks like the right site. it's the sub pages that are not working.
    – Adrained
    Jan 27, 2017 at 1:13
  • Are you sure it's supposed to be content.sierraclub.org.coal on both the left and the right sides, and not content.sierraclub.org/coal on the left? -- edit: Nevermind, link in next comment says "yes." Jan 27, 2017 at 1:30
  • Here's a question where someone had an issue with multisites set up as a subdirectory: drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/32268/… Jan 27, 2017 at 1:32
  • I'm very experienced with setting up sub directory sites, been using them for years. The production version of this site is working fine... content.sierraclub.org/coal - i am confident the setup for that is correct -- it seems there is some other configuration on the server that is screwing things up.
    – Adrained
    Jan 27, 2017 at 16:42

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