Understanding apache.error.log message?


My apache.error.log is listing lots of messages.

I’d really like to:

  • understand what they mean
  • if I should be concerned
  • and what (if anything) I can do to fix them?

Here’s some examples:

Example 1 What does AH01071: Got error 'Primary script unknown\n' mean? I guess the referer means this traffic came from a google search? Is that right?

[Wed Mar 07 10:25:13.091724 2018] [proxy_fcgi:error] [pid 23250:tid 139792931026688] [client] AH01071: Got error 'Primary script unknown\n', referer:

Example 2 Same as Example 1, but there’s no referer. This error is mentioned again: AH01071: Got error 'Primary script unknown\n'

[Wed Mar 07 10:25:41.486181 2018] [proxy_fcgi:error] [pid 23251:tid 139793179039488] [client] AH01071: Got error 'Primary script unknown\n'

Example 3 Same AH01071: Got error 'Primary script unknown\n' referer is This looks like someone is trying to visit that page (that domain doesn’t use WordPress).

[Wed Mar 07 10:45:26.724938 2018] [proxy_fcgi:error] [pid 23503:tid 139793162254080] [client] AH01071: Got error 'Primary script unknown\n', referer:

Can these errors be fixed? If so, can anyone tell me how?

Thanks for reading Stephen


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Hello there,

I will recommend you to check the Apache config file (also PHP-FPM if you use it) for any syntax errors or other misconfiguration that can lead to those errors.

However, those messages are from search-engine bots which are crawling the website.

I also want to include great tutorials on Common Apache Errors and How To Troubleshoot Common Apache Errors that you can find really useful if you run into an Apache error and you need some help.

Also, this question was previously posted and answered by Bobby which you can check here:

Feel free to then share the output of the commands listed in that tutorial.

Hope that this helps!

Hola, alguna novedad sobre este problema?

Hi Adrian,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.

I’ll take a look at that post you recommended. I do have a .htaccess file. It’d be great to get to the bottom of this.

Thanks again!

Hi There,

From what I can find, it looks like there may be some configuration issues with Apache. I would first start looking at any .htaccess files you may have.

Here is some relevant information:

Without knowing more about your setup and configuration, it’s difficult to pin point.

As for the examples containing referer, thats obviously someone trying to visit yourself by following a link from the referring site. The one makes sense, but the seems odd.

Again, without knowing more about your setup, it’s hard to nail down. Perhaps you’re running a Wordpress site yourself and someone is “testing the security”.