SME Server and .htaccess

by Mark ~ March 30th, 2008. Filed under: Wordpress.

Sorry for all these off-topic posts… hopefully they’ll get buried in the avalanche of relevant DIY Tube posts to come!  But, there have been several frustrations in getting wordpress and the WP link directory working properly on SME Server with ibays and I want to capture the latest epiphany for all the other poor souls out there.

SME Server is touted as simple and secure and for the most part lives up to the claims.  In the name of security, and with inexperienced webmasters in mind (I resemble that remark!), SME Server configuration is based on templates that can be customized with ‘fragments’ of code that are then expanded into the core configuration files and picked up by the programmes as they initialize or restart. 

Templates are the recommended way to avoid the less secure distributed .htaccess files which are put in the public html directories and pose a risk if the permissions aren’t set correctly… and herein lies the problem!

Programmes like WordPress use .htaccess and automate settings (like the permalinks I’ve been struggling with) by editing the .htaccess files in situ… this isn’t compatible with the custom-template scheme that SME Server uses and the SME scheme isn’t as easily automated as a simple change to a normal text file that is picked up immediately by the web server.

I think other newbies like me have probably struggled in the same way… thrashing between trying various .htaccess settings, attempting to make a custom-template to extend httpd.conf so that it will support WordPress, changing the ibay permissions (ibays are ways to create virtual web-sites and other protected file directories easily in SME Server), etc.  The solution for me was to make the appropriate setting directives in SME Server to enable .htaccess files to work correctly and automatically from Wordpress and extensions like WP Link Directory.

I couldn’t find much help in the WordPress forums… though lots of people have posted similar problems but don’t seem to have received much satisfaction.  I ended up finding the keys to solving my problems on the SME Server community forum at

The actual forum entry that most directly addressed the issue is titled “.htaccess in ibay”.  If you search the forum for .htaccess & ibay there are other interesting and informative posts as well… Forums.

The commands that got pretty permalinks and link directory SEO to work for me are:

Command line entries:

db accounts setprop ibayname FollowSymLinks enabled
db accounts setprop ibayname AllowOverride All
signal-event ibay-modify ibayname

What a relief to see all the pretty links work as they should!

11 Responses to SME Server and .htaccess

  1. Brodie


    That’s all i needed!

  2. Robin

    Was there anything else you did besides the command line entries, because after I did the commands listed above, all I get now is 404 error when trying pretty links.

Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day