500 Internal Server Error on Install

This is my second time sending out this message.  Hopefully I can get some help.  I installed the latest version of elgg (again) this evening.  It's installed in a subdirectory.  thecamfoundation.org/NSF/learningcenter

learningcenter is what I changed the name of the elgg folder to. 

I'm worried I may have overlooked some small detail that is causing the error. 

I copied and renamed the htaccess_dist file and altered it by   RewriteBase /public_html/NSF/learningcenter

I also put a blank data folder in public_html/NSF/data

I changed the chmod settings to 777 on the data folder

Our webserver confirmed that we have  MySQL database access on our site.

I know it's probably a really simple answer and I would be so grateful for whoever can help me fix this and get it going.

I get the 500 error when I type in www.thecamfoundation.org/NSF/learningcenter

Isn't that what I'm supposed to be typing when I try to see if my install worked (the very first time)?

Thanks a lot,


  • Some hosting companies will give you "500 Internal Server Error" when file and directory access rights or ownerships are not set properly. I suggest to contact your service provider and ask for their help on this one.

  • Server errors can really be anything and often have little to do with Elgg's own code but rather your specific server configuration.

    Typically more information can be found in your error log if you have access to that. The exact location of your error log is server dependent so if you don't know where it is, you will likely have to ask your hosting provider.

  • Okay.  Thanks.  I've tried calling the company twice and each time I end up talking to someone who doesn't know what I'm talking about.  Unfortunately, it's the hosting company (voonami.com) that the program I'm working and their partners have chosen to host our site.  But thanks for your suggestions.  Maybe I'll try calling again and see if I can find someone who knows what's going on.  I have been trying to install this for about a week and I feel like I'm wasting alot of time.  Lol.


  • Ok.  I just called them and someone is supposed to be calling me back.....   :).


  • Looks like a problem with mod_sec settings on your server.

  • If you already get an 500 error when accessing http://www.thecamfoundation.org/NSF/learningcenter and don't see the first installation page it is most likely a permission issue with the folders. On some servers a setting of 777 for folders will not work. You can try 755 instead for the "NSF", the "learningcenter" and the data folder respectively.

    Another hint:

    RewriteBase /public_html/NSF/learningcenter

    is not correct. You need to set

    RewriteBase /NSF/learningcenter/

    in .htaccess instead.

    It's also better to create the data folder not within the public_html folder. You should creat it on the same level as the public_html folder instead, i.e. in the home directory of your webhosting account.