First of all, ensure that both the web server and Shaarli are correctly configured.


I forgot my password!#

Delete the file data/config.json.php and display the page again. You will be asked for a new login/password.

I’m locked out - Login bruteforce protection#

Login form is protected against brute force attacks: 4 failed logins will ban the IP address from login for 30 minutes. Banned IPs can still browse Shaares.

  • To remove the current IP bans, delete the file data/ipbans.php

  • To list all login attempts, see data/log.txt (succesful/failed logins, bans/lifted bans)

Browser issues#

Redirection issues (HTTP Referer)#

Shaarli relies on HTTP_REFERER for some functions (like redirects and clicking on tags). If you have disabled or altered/spoofed HTTP referers in your browser, some features of Shaarli may not work as expected (depending on configuration and installed plugins), notably redirections between pages.

Firefox Referer settings are available by browsing about:config and are documented here. network.http.referer.spoofSource = true in particular is known to break some functionality in Shaarli.

Firefox, localhost and redirections#

localhost is not a proper Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN); if Firefox has been set up to spoof referers, or only accept requests from the same base domain/host, Shaarli redirections will not work properly. To solve this, assign a local domain to your host, e.g. localhost.lan in your hosts file and browse Shaarli at http://localhost.lan/.

Hosting problems#

Old PHP versions#

  • On hosts (such as which only support PHP 5.6, Shaarli v0.10.4 is the maximum supported version. At the root of your webspace create a sessions directory and a .htaccess file containing:

<IfDefine Free>
php56 1
<Files ".ht*">
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
Satisfy all
Options -Indexes
  • If you have an error such as: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '=', expecting '(' in /links/index.php on line xxx, it means that your host is using PHP 4, not PHP 5. Shaarli requires PHP 5.1. Try changing the file extension to .php5

  • On 1and1 : If you add the link from the page (and not from the bookmarklet), Shaarli will no be able to get the title of the page. You will have to enter it manually. (Because they have disabled the ability to download a file through HTTP).

  • If you have the error Warning: file_get_contents() [function.file-get-contents]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /…/index.php on line xxx, it means that your host has disabled the ability to fetch a file by HTTP in the php config (Typically in 1and1 hosting). Bad host. Change host. Or comment the following lines:

//list($status,$headers,$data) = getHTTP($url,4); // Short timeout to keep the application responsive.
// FIXME: Decode charset according to charset specified in either 1) HTTP response headers or 2) <head> in html
//if (strpos($status,'200 OK')) $title=html_extract_title($data);
  • On hosts (such as which forbid outgoing HTTP requests, some thumbnails will not work.

  • On hosts (such as which limit the number of FTP connections, setup your FTP client accordingly (else some files may be missing after upload).

  • On lost-oasis, RSS doesn’t work correctly, because of this message at the begining of the RSS/ATOM feed : <? // tout ce qui est charge ici (generalement des includes et require) est charge en permanence. ?>. To fix this, remove this message from php-include/prepend.php

Dates are not properly formatted#

Shaarli tries to sniff the language of the browser (using HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE headers) and choose a date format accordingly. But Shaarli can only use the date formats (and more generally speaking, the locales) provided by the webserver. So even if you have a browser in French, you may end up with dates in US format (it’s the case on :-( )

My session expires! I can’t stay logged in#

This can be caused by several things:

  • Your php installation may not have a proper directory setup for session files. (eg. on you need to create a session directory on the root of your website.) You may need to create the session directory of set it up.

  • Most hosts regularly clean the temporary and session directories. Your host may be cleaning those directories too aggressively (eg.OVH hosts), forcing an expire of the session. You may want to set the session directory in your web root. (eg. Create the sessions subdirectory and add ini_set('session.save_path', $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'].'/../sessions');. Make sure this directory is not browsable !)

  • If your IP address changes during surfing, Shaarli will force expire your session for security reasons (to prevent session cookie hijacking). This can happen when surfing from WiFi or 3G (you may have switched WiFi/3G access point), or in some corporate/university proxies which use load balancing (and may have proxies with several external IP addresses).

  • Some browser addons may interfer with HTTP headers (ipfuck/ipflood/GreaseMonkey…). Try disabling those.

  • You may be using OperaTurbo or OperaMini, which use their own proxies which may change from time to time.

  • If you have another application on the same webserver where Shaarli is installed, these application may forcefully expire php sessions.

Old apache versions, Internal Server Error#

If you hosting provider only provides apache 2.2 and no support for mod_version, .htaccess files may cause 500 errors (Internal Server Error). See this workaround.

Sessions do not seem to work correctly on your server#

Follow the instructions in the error message. Make sure you are accessing shaarli via a direct IP address or a proper hostname. If you have no dots in the hostname (e.g. localhost or http://my-webserver/shaarli/), some browsers will not store cookies at all (this respects the HTTP cookie specification).

Error 406 “Not acceptable”#

If attempting to save a link results in a Not acceptable error (HTTP status code of 406), it is likely due to strict settings for mod_security (a module used with Apache). This cannot be mitigated by reconfiguring Shaarli itself, and must be dealt with at the level of the underlying web server instead.

On some shared hosting services (such as Bluehost), mod_security is enabled by default, so the recommended course of action is to get in touch with the helpdesk and ask them to disable mod_security for your domain, sub-domain, or the subdirectory where Shaarli is installed. Ideally, you want to narrow it down to a very specific location, so as to continue reaping the benefits of mod_security elsewhere on your domain. If asked for specific, you can refer support staff to this issue, where more technical details are available.

Timeout during long-lasting operations#

You may need to adjust timeouts to larger values in your reverse proxy configuration if you’re getting 504 Gateway Timeout errors during long-lasting operations (like importing many bookmarks from HTML, or batch deleting tags) on slow hardware. The PHP setting max_execution_time may also need to be adjusted for your specific setup. See issues #1854 and #1910.


You must specify an integer as a key#

In v0.8.1 we changed how Shaare keys are handled (from timestamps to incremental integers). Take a look at data/updates.txt content.

updates.txt contains updateMethodDatastoreIds#

Try to delete it and refresh your page while being logged in.

updates.txt doesn’t exist or doesn’t contain updateMethodDatastoreIds#

  1. Create data/updates.txt if it doesn’t exist

  2. Paste this string in the update file ;updateMethodRenameDashTags;

  3. Login to Shaarli

  4. Delete the update file

  5. Refresh


Importing shaarli data to Firefox#

  • In Firefox, open the bookmark manager (Bookmarks menu > Show all bookmarks or Ctrl+Shift+B), select Import and Backup > Import bookmarks in HTML format

  • Make sure the Prepend note permalinks with this Shaarli instance's URL box is checked when exporting, so that text-only/notes Shaares still point to the Shaarli instance you exported them from.

  • Depending on the number of bookmarks, the import can take some time.

You may be interested in these Firefox addons to manage bookmarks imported from Shaarli


If you export your bookmark from Diigo, make sure you use the Delicious export, not the Netscape export. (Their Netscape export is broken, and they don’t seem to be interested in fixing it.)

Mister Wong#

See this issue for import tweaks.


To correctly import the tags from a SemanticScuttle HTML export, edit the HTML file before importing and replace all occurences of tags= (lowercase) to TAGS= (uppercase).


Shaarli cannot import data directly from Scuttle.

However, you can use the third-party scuttle-to-shaarli tool to export the Scuttle database to the Netscape HTML format compatible with the Shaarli importer.

You can use the third-party tool Derefind to convert bookmark exports to a format that can be imported into Shaarli.


Page title and description are not retrieved automatically#

When using the +Shaare button (Shaare a new link dialog) to add a bookmark, Shaarli attempts to extract the HTML title and description from the target page, and uses this to populate the Title and Description fields of the New Shaare dialog. In consequence, Shaarli can not extract the title/description in the following cases:

  • the target page relies on javascript to build the HTML <title> and <description> attributes (e.g. YouTube videos)

  • the target page is behind a DDoS protection/bot blocking mechanism (e.g. Cloudflare challenge)

  • the target page is unreachable by the server running Shaarli (e.g. firewall or security mechanism blocking outgoing HTTP/HTTPS requests)

You can usually workaround this limitation by adding bookmarks from a browser extension or the bookmarklet instead.

The bookmarklet doesn’t work#

Some websites may disallow usage of bookmarklets through Content Security Policy (CSP). Unfortunately, there is nothing Shaarli can do about it (1, 2, 3.

Under Opera, you can’t drag’n drop the button: You have to right-click on it and add a bookmark to your personal toolbar.

Changing the timestamp for a shaare#

  • Look for <input type="hidden" name="lf_linkdate" value="{$link.linkdate}"> in tpl/editlink.tpl (line 14)

  • Replace type="hidden" with type="text" from this line

  • A new date/time field becomes available in the edit/new Shaare dialog.

  • You can set the timestamp manually by entering it in the format YYYMMDD_HHMMS.

Clearing Shaarli caches#

For debugging purposes:

# clear raintpl cache and temporary files
find /var/www/links/cache/ /var/www/links/pagecache/ /var/www/links/tmp/ -type f -exec rm -v '{}' \;
# if you have a php accelerator such as php-apcu, restart the webserver
sudo systemctl restart apache2


If the solutions above did not help, please:

  • Come and ask question on the Gitter chat

  • Search for issues and Pull Requests

    • if you find one that is related to the issue, feel free to comment and provide additional details (host/Shaarli setup…)

    • check issues labeled feature, enhancement, and plugin if you would like a feature added to Shaarli.

    • else, open a new issue, and provide information about the problem:

      • what happens? - display glitches, invalid data, security flaws…

      • what is your configuration? - OS, server version, activated extensions, web browser…

      • is it reproducible?