Flarum – Forums Made Simple

Documentation

Common Issues

These issues are often reported at the support forum or discord. Cannot find your problem? Go to Troubleshooting for general help.

“Something went wrong while trying to load the full version of this site”

something went wrong

A bug in Flarum causes the asset files to not regenerate properly. It happens when you enable specific extensions. This will be fixed in Flarum in a future version. For now, you solve it by running in a shell:

php flarum cache:clear
rm assets/rev-manifest.json

And force-reload the page in your browser (e.g. ctrl-shift-R). NB. this is only required when you enable extensions. Your forum visitors will not notice it.

Package http-interop/http-middleware is abandoned

This is a warning and you can safely ignore it. The dependency will be fixed in a future version.

Internal Server Error / Permission denied

Flarum needs permission to write files (cache, avatars). You may get error messages if your folders are not writeable by the PHP user.

Solution A

First, find out which user PHP is running under (usually www-data):

ps uxa | grep php-fpm

Then, as root, change the ownership to this user:

chown -R www-data:www-data assets storage/*

Solution B

If you use shared hosting, an alternative solution is to change the file permissions:

chmod 777 assets assets/* storage/*

Icons are squares

This happens when your configured URL differs from the one you are using right now. Check whether the URL in config.php is the same. Also check for a possible http <> https mismatch.

Slow

Flarum is one for the fastest forums around. A normal page load should happen in under 3 seconds. So what to do if it still feels slow?

First, identify whether the delay occurs in the server, the network or your browser. Using Chrome, open the developer tools, go to the network tab and load your forum. You will see a waterfall view like this:

Chrome network waterfall

The first item is the page as rendered by the server (here: discuss.flarum.org). In this case, it took about half a second which is ok. If it takes more than a second, something is wrong with your server, see below.

Now look at the other items. The blue bar denotes the time that it took to download. Check the duration of the blue bar and the size of the item. Slow (>2 seconds), large (> 800KB) and Javascript? You are probably running in debug mode (check in config.php) which disables minification of assets. Slow but not very large items? Your network connection to the server is likely the problem.

No slow items but the total load time (see bottom right) is above 3 seconds? The delay is in your browser.

Slow server

To find the root cause, first identify which component is slow. Run top on your server. It will show you the processes that use the most capacity. Possibilities:

Nginx or Apache

The webserver is busy. This should not happen, unless you use mod_php but that is not recommended.

MySQL

Your database is busy. Use a tool like mytop to identify slow queries. You could also enable the slow query log (mysql -u root -e 'SET GLOBAL slow_query_log = "ON";') if you are the server admin. Then, all the queries that take unusually long will get logged. This might show extensions that are not optimized for large databases (missing indexes).

PHP-FPM

Flarum is busy producing a page. Enable PHP-FPM’s slow query feature to identify slow functions or extensions. Add this to your pool config file:

slowlog = /var/log/php-fpm-slow.log
request_slowlog_timeout = 3s

It will save a stack trace for every request that takes more than 3 seconds.

Slow network

Your current ISP could be slow. Or your server could be far away. Generally, a server on the other side of the globe could add 1-3 seconds to the total load time.

Slow browser

Perhaps you use a very old computer/phone. Or you have an extension enabled that includes a large amount of complex Javascript. Try disabling extensions.