“UID of script file.php is smaller than min_uid” Error on a Joomla Website

An international news agency using Joomla to power one of their websites called us yesterday. They told us that they’re seeing a blank page, and the problem turned out to be related to sh404SEF’s cache (the cache file was exhausting all the memory that the system has and throwing this error).

Due to the nature of their environment and their security policies, we weren’t able to work directly on their live system; we worked with a system administrator by phone and that system administrator executed the work on the live site.

In any case, we tried to get some information about their server (mainly related to the PHP’s memory limit), and so we asked the system administrator to create a file called file.php that gets the necessary information (it was mainly getting the memory limit using the ini_get(‘memory_limit’) function). We asked the system administrator to place that file under the root directory of the site.

But, when we accessed the file from our browser (using the following URL: http://www.ourclientjoomlawebsite.com/file.php), we got the following fatal error:

“UID of script “/www/ourclientjoomlawebsite/file.php” is smaller than min_uid”


We did a quick research on the error above and it turned out to be related to the file’s ownership. The file was owned by root (because it was created from the shell by the system administrator who was logged in as root), and yet the environment was using suPHP (which cannot directly execute files owned by root). Changing the file’s ownership from root to the Apache user fixed the problem!

If you’re having the same problem with one of the files on your Joomla website, then make sure that file is owned by the same user who owns the rest of the files on your Joomla website. If changing the ownership did not fix the problem for you, then please contact us. We will fix the problem for you for a very affordable fee and in as little time as possible!

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