How to Fix a Dreamhost bad_httpd_conf Error

Got the dreaded bad_httpd_conf error on your DreamHost site?

Don’t panic.

This post explains what bad_httpd_conf means, and how to fix the problem.

What Does bad_httpd_conf Look Like?

You’ll know you’ve got this problem if you see a message like this on your Dreamhost site:

Site Temporarily Unavailable
We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact the webmaster/ tech support immediately to have them rectify this.
error id: “bad_httpd_conf”

What Causes bad_httpd_conf?

Your gut reaction may be that your blog or CMS software is throwing the error, but bad_httpd_conf is actually a custom error message that only Dreamhost clients will encounter. That’s why it’s hard to fix. The error is produced when the IP address associated with your domain points to an Apache web server that’s not associated with it.

The 3-Step Quick Fix For bad_httpd_conf

  1. Go to your Dreamhost web panel.
  2. Navigate to Domain > Manage Domains > Edit.
  3. Then click the Change Fully Hosted Settings Now! button.

You don’t have to actually make any changes before you save. Just following these steps will rebuild the httpd_conf file for your website.

Wait up to 10 minutes and check that the problem is fixed.

The Static IP Fix For bad_httpd_conf

Got a static IP?

Delete it, then add it again in your web panel. Often, this is enough to remove the error.

Note: Dreamhost will give you a refund and charge you again for the IP address. Don’t worry: you’ll break even. 

The Final Fix For Bad_httpd_conf

Still having problems?

Delete then re-add the domain to your account.

DANGER: This deletes the whole website: all of your files, all of your databases and all of your settings.

If this is the route you want to take, be sure to check out the Dreamhost support wiki page on how to safely delete and reconfig a domain.

Image credit: Nick Webb.

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4 Comments to “How to Fix a Dreamhost bad_httpd_conf Error”

  1. I had this issue after signing up for Dreamhost PS, and tried the edit/save thing – now all I get is a page with the “index of/” on it, but no content. So, I tried to log on to ftp to see if my site had been deleted during the ‘upgrade’ to PS – my log in no longer works. I’m very confused, and frustrated, and so are my customers. Is there some other way to fix this mess (I have yet to receive a response to my support request at DH)?

  2. @Mary – Afraid I have no idea. I’ve had bad_httpd_conf errors a few times, and always fixed them with edit/save. Good luck resolving it, please keep us up to date once you work out how to resolve it.

  3. Thank You Very Much!!

    I resolved the problem by Edit > Save.

  4. Can’t find ”

    Then click the Change Fully Hosted Settings Now! button.

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