New Laravel 8 Install 500 server error with no Laravel logs or Apache logs


I’ve been pulling my hair out over this one for a few days.

I have a Laravel web app that I’m trying to deploy to my webserver. I started making the app a few weeks ago and started with a fresh Laravel installation of the latest stable build.

When I first tried to install Laravel via composer it told me my PHP version was out of date. I needed 7.3 or higher and had 7.2 installed. I went ahead and followed this guide on installing php 7.4.

At first, I was getting a default 503 service unavailable error in Apache that I was able to pin down to a ProxyPass error on another domain virtual host. This was displayed in the Apache error logs when I checked them.

For now, I went ahead and simply disabled that site as it hasn’t been in use for some time anyway.

Upon doing so I now get a styled "500 | Server error" screen which matches the Laravel default error code screens. However, the storage/logs/laravel.log has no new errors when I go to check it. If I try to run artisan commands as php artisan migrate the log does correctly write the output of these errors to the file. So it’s not a permission error where the log cannot be written at all.

As it stands I’ve got the following installed on my webserver.

  • Laravel 8.12
  • PHP 7.4.13 (cli)
  • Apache 2.4.29

So far what I’ve tried…

  • The .env file is successfully created and has correct permissions. (it does)
  • Debugging is enabled (it is)
  • As I’ve done with other Laravel installs on this server I made sure the file permissions are correctly set. (they are)
  • I’ve checked my virtual host file (attached below) and it is a copy of one of my other Laravel sites virtual hosts with the relevant information changed. My other Laravel sites hosted on this server (2 other projects) are functioning normally.
  • I made sure all of the php modules required by Laravel are installed and up to date. (they are as far as I can tell)
  • Manually set debugging to true in config/app.php and reloaded the config cache with php artisan config:cache

Domains Virtual Host File:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/workout/public
    <Directory /var/www/html/workout/public>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        allow from all
    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

If anyone has any ideas on how to debug this error the help would be greatly appreciated. As with deploying sites or setting up new domains I’ve run into issues before but usually Stack Overflow or other sites have easily Google-able resolutions. However, I haven’t found one that works for me on this site yet. And without Apache or Laravel error reporting it’s hard to know where to even begin.


This issue was resolved some time ago and I don’t remember the exact steps (sorry I didn’t remember to update this sooner) but I do have some things for people who may stumble upon this in the future to check.

What I learned that may help some others if they encounter a similar issue.

  • BIGGEST NOTE: If you have Certbot or Let’s Encrypt running on your server. Check their error logs. It has it’s own logs which can give insight as to how request are being handled. Typically they are in /var/log/letsencrypt/. I should have mentioned this in my initial posts. Once I did some of the other steps below to eliminate possible issues I renewed my certificates, and their redirects from HTTP to HTTPS and this solved the issue. I believe this had to do with the RewriteRule ^ in one domain was configured incorrectly with a typo. That domain also had ProxyPass enabled. I think between that typo, then the autogenerated certificates from CerBot. Something broke down somewhere. Once that was pinned down, corrected, and the certs were reissued, the problem resolved.
  • Apache handles virtual hosts alphabetically. In my case the domain encountering the issue was the lowest in alphabetical order. In the case of my logs I noticed the traffic attempting to reach this domain was being routed through another one. This led me to start taking a look at the virtual host for that domain and how it was configured. Notice too this was not indicated as an error, it acted as if it was supposed to do this based on some virtual host configuration. Not all errors are errors basically. Something in this was letting Apache think it worked correctly yet Laravel was displaying an app status error for itself as 500.
  • Disabled all virtual hosts that aren’t in use or immediately necessary. In my case I had some old virtual hosts still up and running for test domains, abandoned side projects, ect. Process of elimination works great. Slowly take out things that can be causing the issue until it works and then you’ve got a better idea what was hampering it. Naturally you’ll want to bring a lot of those back online, or it won’t always be an option to take things offline. Last resort for many but still helped me.

Answered By – Jem

This Answer collected from stackoverflow, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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