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+FollowSymLinks -> +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch

When installing Drupal, one of the things that some people must do beforehand depending on their specific server configuration is to change "+FollowSymLinks" to "+SymLinksIfOwnerMatch" in the .htaccess file. And most people have already figured this out a long time ago, because they wouldn't have been able to install Drupal otherwise.

But a bigger issue here is that there are some more places where these people need to repeat the same exact step after installation, or they will undoubtedly encounter additional problems, one of which involves having images not showing up at all:

+FollowSymLinks Problem

+FollowSymLinks Problem

To make matters worse, some modules will seem like they just don't work right. For example, I remember a few moments of banging my head against the wall a while back because the Follow module didn't seem to work correctly after trying to use it right after installing Drupal. And unlike the broken image icon above, the images from this module seemed completely nonexistent, making it tougher to initially figure out what the hell was going on lol. But eventually I decided to check the server's error log, which gave the following message: "/home/website/public_html/sites/default/files/.htaccess: Option FollowSymLinks not allowed here, referer: http://website.com/"

The source of this problem is that there are some new .htaccess files that get created during the installation process, one of which is in the /public_html/sites/default/files directory. So you'll have to go into that file and change it again.

But that's not it. There are two more places where you might have to repeat the same process again, depending on how you set up Drupal. So in total, there are actually four potential locations where you need to check for the .htaccess files:

1) /public_html/.htaccess
2) /public_html/sites/default/files/.htaccess
3) /public_html/sites/default/files/private/.htaccess
4) /tmp/.htaccess

I think that's it. And since I'm one of those that used to keep forgetting to track all of these files, I decided to write this blog post to remind others. I hope this helps some people out.

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