Keven Keven - 2 years ago 115
PHP Question

Error 500: Premature end of script headers

I get a "Premature end of script headers: contactform.cgi" error message when running the below script. What frustrates me is that I ran this as a .php on another server and it worked. However, I had to change servers and they only support CGI PHP. However, it doesn't work. I don't think the code is wrong, but take a look just in case.

I've read around and some have said it's a permissions issue. Could this be the case for me?

I know that the "display_errors" and "error_reporting" statements will display errors in the error log, but if I don't have access to the server, how can I check the logs?



print "Content-type: text/html\n\n";
use CGI::Carp qw(fatalsToBrowser);

if(isset($_POST['email'])) {

//Email this form to me
$email_to = "";

function died($error) {
// your error code can go here
echo "Oops... something's wrong. ";
echo "Fix the error(s) below:<br /><br />";
echo $error."<br /><br />";
echo "All your base are belong to us...<br /><br />";

// validation expected data exists
if(!isset($_POST['first_name']) ||
!isset($_POST['last_name']) ||
!isset($_POST['email']) ||
!isset($_POST['subject']) ||
!isset($_POST['comments'])) {
died('There appears to be a problem with the form you submitted.');

$first_name = $_POST['first_name']; // required
$last_name = $_POST['last_name']; // required
$email_from = $_POST['email']; // required
$subject = $_POST['subject']; // not required
$comments = $_POST['comments']; // required

$error_message = "";
$email_exp = '/^[A-Za-z0-9._%-]+@[A-Za-z0-9.-]+\.[A-Za-z]{2,4}$/';
if(!preg_match($email_exp,$email_from)) {
$error_message .= 'The Email Address you entered does not appear to be valid.<br />';
$string_exp = "/^[A-Za-z .'-]+$/";
if(!preg_match($string_exp,$first_name)) {
$error_message .= 'The First Name you entered does not appear to be valid.<br />';
if(!preg_match($string_exp,$last_name)) {
$error_message .= 'The Last Name you entered does not appear to be valid.<br />';
if(strlen($comments) < 2) {
$error_message .= 'The Comments you entered do not appear to be valid.<br />';
if(strlen($error_message) > 0) {

$email_message = "Form details below.\n\n";

function clean_string($string) {
$bad = array("content-type","bcc:","to:","cc:","href");
return str_replace($bad,"",$string);

$email_message .= "First Name: ".clean_string($first_name)."\n";
$email_message .= "Last Name: ".clean_string($last_name)."\n";
$email_message .= "Email: ".clean_string($email_from)."\n";
$email_message .= "Subject: ".clean_string($subject)."\n";
$email_message .= "Comments: ".clean_string($comments)."\n";

//Email Subject (put here to include subject from form)
$email_subject = "COR | ".clean_string($subject)."";

// create email headers
$headers = 'From: '.$email_from."\r\n".
'Reply-To: '.$email_from."\r\n" .
'X-Mailer: PHP/' . phpversion();
@mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_message, $headers);

<!-- include your own success html here -->

header("Location: cor/thankyou.html");

Answer Source

I thought I would answer my own question for kicks and giggles (and for all those who might one day find themselves with the same error and no answers).

It was a file permission issue.

All files on my website were set to a permission of '644.' Once I changed the permission level to 705 (chmod 705 [chmod 755 will also work]) everything was fine and dandy. Not that this matters, but I also changed the folder it was in to 701 (to hide it, but still be executable by the server).

I still don't understand why my .PHP file worked on the other server when it was probably set to 644?? How could Apache execute the script without world permission?? Does Apache not need world permission?? Just a few questions I still have...

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