[Solved] PHP Fatal Error Failed opening required File

I am getting the following error from Apache

[Sat Mar 19 23:10:50 2011] [warn] mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required ‘/common/configs/’ (include_path=”.:/usr/share/pear:/usr/share/php”) in /home/viapics1/public_html/common/configs/ on line 158

I am definately not an expert of Apache but the file & are there. I also tried navigating to a test.html page I placed in common/configs/ so I assume there is no rights issues going on. I also set the rights on to give everyone read, write, and execute rights. Not sure what to do at this point, I checked to see if there was a /usr/share/php directory and I found there was not but when I did yum install php it said it had the latest. Ideas?

Solution #1:

It’s not actually an Apache related question. Nor even a PHP related one.
To understand this error you have to distinguish a path on the virtual server from a path in the filesystem.

require operator works with files. But a path like this


only exists on the virtual HTTP server, while there is no such path in the filesystem. The correct filesystem path would be




part is called the Document root and it connects the virtual world with the real one. Luckily, web-servers usually have the document root in a configuration variable that they share with PHP. So if you change your code to something like this

require_once $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'].'/common/configs/';

it will work from any file placed in any directory!

Update: eventually I wrote an article that explains the difference between relative and absolute paths, in the file system and on the web server, which explains the matter in detail, and contains some practical solutions. Like, such a handy variable doesn’t exist when you run your script from a command line. In this case a technique called “a single entry point” is to the rescue. You may refer to the article above for the details as well.

Respondent: Your Common Sense

Solution #2:

If you have SELinux running, you might have to grant httpd permission to read from /home dir using:

 sudo setsebool httpd_read_user_content=1
Respondent: user1533634

Solution #3:

Run php -f /common/configs/ to verify the validity of the PHP syntax in the file.

Respondent: Alex Howansky

Solution #4:

Just in case this helps anybody else out there, I stumbled on an obscure case for this error triggering last night. Specifically, I was using the require_once method and specifying only a filename and no path, since the file being required was present in the same directory.

I started to get the ‘Failed opening required file’ error at one point. After tearing my hair out for a while, I finally noticed a PHP Warning message immediately above the fatal error output, indicating ‘failed to open stream: Permission denied’, but more importantly, informing me of the path to the file it was trying to open. I then twigged to the fact I had created a copy of the file (with ownership not accessible to Apache) elsewhere that happened to also be in the PHP ‘include’ search path, and ahead of the folder where I wanted it to be picked up. D’oh!

Respondent: John Rix

Solution #5:

You could fix it with the PHP constant __DIR__

require_once __DIR__ . '/common/configs/';

It is the directory of the file. If used inside an include, the directory of
the included file is returned. This is equivalent to
dirname __FILE__ . This directory name does not have a trailing slash
unless it is the root directory. 1

Respondent: Bernard

Solution #6:

Hey I just had this problem and found that I wasn’t looking at the folder location closely enough:

I had

require_once /vagrant/public/liberate/**APP**/vendor/autoload.php

What worked was:

require_once /vagrant/public/liberate/vendor/autoload.php

It was very easy (as a beginner) to overlook this very unnoticeable issue. Yes I do realize that the require issue being logged points directly to the issue at hand, but if you are a beginner, like me, these things can be easily overlooked.


Have a good look at the debug of ( __ Dir __ ‘/etc/etc/etc/file.php’) then have your file system open in a different window, and map the two directly. If there is even the slightest difference this require will not work and the above error will be spat out.

Solution #7:

I was having the exact same issue, I triple checked the include paths, I also checked that pear was installed and everything looked OK and I was still getting the errors, after a few hours of going crazy looking at this I realized that in my script had this:

include_once "../Mail.php";

instead of:

include_once ("../Mail.php");

Yup, the stupid parenthesis was missing, but there was no generated error on this line of my script which was odd to me

Respondent: Eduardo

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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