I am using Drupal 7, with VMware 5.0.1 build-894247 with Ubuntu 12.10. 2GB ram, 20GB disk, 32 bit VM, hosted by Windows 7 Enterprise.

I am developing on a team with SVN (subversion) as the source control. All of this works fine on everyone else's (on my team) local dev environment and on our staging/prod servers.

I set up a shared folder from my C: drive on Windows called Sites (C:\Sites), and it appeared as /mnt/hgfs/Sites on Linux.

My dev folder is under that, so /mnt/hgfs/Sites/test.dev

I configured Apache sites-available to point to this new path, and enabled it. I setup the mysql database fresh, and ran through the default install of Drupal. No problems so far. At this point I can log in and out without issue.

When I make a change like importing a theme and setting the theme, then log out, I can no longer log in. The login screen will not even tell me why I am not being logged in (normally there is an error message... it is as if someone disabled java-script or something). If I blow away the database and recreate it, start over with the default install, it works again. My real goal is to enable a backup and restore that to the new site, but that changes the theme and more, and has the same problem (although the theme does change and content is there when I do this... just can't log in)

another kicker, if I move the files back to /var/www/ and re-point apache, it works again. UPDATE: It turns out this problem does not have to do with VMware, as it is now failing in the exact same manner while in /var/www.

I have checked permissions and even set everything to completely unrestricted access (chmod 777 -R).

Any ideas why? This seems very reminiscent of this other post too...

UPDATE: after hours of diagnosis, discovering drush, and playing with variables, my buddy noticed this: If we switch the theme back to Bartik, and login from login, it will fail without even showing an error message. BUT, if we just go to the home page, there is a login block on the left, and if we login there, it works! The top nav bar comes back and everything. Log out and try again from http://sitename/users, and it fails again. He thinks it may be a modules or theme-based permissions issue.

  • for future reference the .../users issue is called "clean URLs", and drupal has a link on this: drupal.org/node/256410
    – Watki02
    Jan 9, 2013 at 6:15

2 Answers 2


Try the following:

  1. check the existence of .htaccess file in Drupal root
  2. truncate the cache tables in the database
  3. check and eventually increase the PHP memory limit in /etc/php5/cli/php.ini
  4. Read and check some other trouble shooting ideas at http://drupal.org/node/158043
  • 1) .htaccess exists. 2) tried clearing all caches with sudo drush cc 3) memory limit is already set to no limit (-1) 4) That's a pretty long link, and it is not exactly a completely white screen (of death), but I will check out some of the possibilities there. Thanks for the tip!
    – Watki02
    Jan 8, 2013 at 22:17

Wow, so thanks to an experienced Drupal admin, we discovered the issue was in the Apache setup I have. I never enabled mod-rewrite.

The commands to fix this were

sudo a2enmod rewrite

followed by:

sudo service Apache2 reload

sudo service Apache2 restart.

More details:

There is a helpful test for clean URLs in Drupal 7 under <site name>/admin/config/search/clean-urls. This definitively told me that was the problem, then we went back through and tested each required component in my Ubuntu/Apache setup. If you still have issues, check the .htaccess file for configuration and the /etc/apache2/mods-available and /etc/apache2/sites-available. A link that helped me do this was this one: http://www.lavluda.com/2007/07/15/how-to-enable-mod_rewrite-in-apache22-debian/

  • 1
    Note: if you have a problem where Clean URL's are not enabled or configured, and you import a site database where Clean URLs are enabled, you can try to navigate through the admin menu like so: mysite.com/?q=admin/config/settings Jan 10, 2013 at 0:17
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer about not having mod-rewrite enabled! I tried to +1 it, but my reputation has not been built on this site yet. - metajunkie
    – user14571
    Mar 12, 2013 at 23:16

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