Zotonic won’t start and shows errors when running zotonic debug

Check your site’s database configuration.

Check PostgreSQL Authentication Config (pg_hba.conf in /etc/postgresql).

If you get connection failures when starting Zotonic you should double-check pg_hba.conf and make sure to /etc/init.d/postgresql reload to make sure it gets loaded.

The pg_hba.conf should contain something like:

# IPv4 local connections:
host    all             all               md5
# IPv6 local connections:
host    all             all             ::1/128                 md5

Unable to read boot script

In some cases the Zotonic nodename does not resolve well and you see an error like:

[error] Unable to read boot script (start_sasl.script): {error,enoent}


erl_call: can't ei_gethostbyname(MacBook-Pro-Apple)
Zotonic is not running. You need to start Zotonic first to use this command.

Solution: Add the computer name to /etc/hosts, for instance: MacBook-Pro-Apple

Erlang crashes

Here we list some common causes of Erlang crashes.

{{badmatch,{error,emfile}} or {reason, emfile}

You need to raise the File descriptors limit.


Site doesn’t start

Check your database connection configuration in the zotonic_site.config file which is located in the zotonic user directory. This can be found in yoursite/priv/zotonic_site.config. The priv directory should also be soft linked in the _build directory: _build/default/lib/yoursite/priv/zotonic_site.config

Browsers can’t connect to http://yoursite.test:8000

Check the /etc/hosts file and make sure you have an entry like the following:   yoursite.test

Browsers give self-signed certificate warning

If you connect to https://yoursite.test:8443 the browser warns that the site is not trusted. This is correct, as the certificate is self-signed.

You can connect if you accept the certificate. For Safari and Firefox just follow the instructions shown to you by the browser.

For Chrome you have to do something silly:

  • Click anywhere in the white on the window
  • Type: thisisunsafe

You won‘t see any characters echo to the screen. After typing the magic strings the page should reload and the site certificate is accepted.