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README.TXT last updated 28.March.2004
by Edgar Soldin, ed AT servererror DOT net
5. CHANGES -> read CHANGES.TXT and CHANGES.PHP.TXT
Imagine the following scenario. User X is surfing the net
and trying to get some files from your server by blindly typing
the adress directly into the console of the browser software.
In the standard case the server would reply to the request with
a 404 HTTP error code. A bit boring don't you think.
But maybe the server configuration is modified in a way
that User X will be redirected to an unexpected URL different
from the expected as a result of that request. That's better, but
I don't think server admins are responsible for other sites hits.
With this thoughts in my slightly manipulated mind(1), the idea
of ServerError was born.
Servererror greets you every time you request the index.html with
a randomly chosen error. The errors are meant to provide
meaningless instructions to solve the bogus problem, but in fact
ask you to do stupid or funny things. Take your time to read some
and you'll find out what is funny about Servererror.
If you want to add errors:
Add them yourself and/or send them to me to a_new AT servererror
DOT net so that I can extend the errorlist.
For bugs, suggestions or comments contact me at ed AT
servererror DOT net or visit www.servererror.net for updates.
In case someone follows the servererror instructions on the screen
I claim no responsibility for the damage caused by doing this.
Edgar Soldin, Wernigerode/Germany
And remember the web is full of bad guys ;-).
"Trust no one!" F.Mulder X-Files
(1) As a student i am a confessional customer of the local brewery.
As you probably know Wernigerode/Germany is the source of
Hasseroeder, a very tasty german beer. (btw. it's not true anymore.
I don't know what they are doin' there, but if you open one of these
half litre sized bottles the beer smells and tastes stale. Anyway
there are other breweries in germany. But nothing replaces a local
tasty locally brewed beer, if you know what I mean.)
ServerError consists of these files which should be shipped in one
.htaccess a per directory apache config file
error.ico the fancy servererror favicon
index.php servererror-PHP, serverside php version
CHANGES.TXT documents changes, tells news
CHANGES.PHP.TXT same as above for the php version
Errorcodes.txt original HTTP Errorcodes
FakeErrorCodes.txt fake HTTP Errorcodes (used by php version)
license.txt the GNU GPL which covers this software
README.TXT this document
templates/ templates and graphics for servererror-php
All servererror does is randomly picking an errormessage from the
database file and writing it to the page which the unsuspecting
user is reading with his/her browser. In addition and for reality
aspects the script grabs the protocol and server name or ip and
adds them to the bottom of the errorpage.
get a message to turn it on to see detailed error information.
I invented a new set of HTTP-errorcodelike errormessages that are
completely nonsens. The set begins with 600. This number is,
depending on my knowledge, not used in the official HTTP
Feel free to send me new errors ;-) and/or add them yourself to the
database file. They should sound similar to the real ones, but ask
the user to do something unnecessary or better stupid in the end.
Please sound as serious as possible.
Unzip package into a directory of your choice. Modify the server
configuration so that specific errors will be redirected to the
errorpage somewhere on your server. You can choose between the
Whilst the php-version is more flexible it needs to be supported
by your webserver. If you don't have or cannot enable php use the
js-version, which works in the clients browser and therefore does not
need any special webserver side support.
js-version -> index.html
(no configuration necessary at the moment)
php-version -> index.php
(optional configuration steps are described in the file itself)
Read the following if you are unfamiliar with configuring a
web server for customized error messages and try to get support
from your ISP on how to customize error messages for your
If you have access to the server, go into Properties for the
WWW service. Go to the Custom Errors tab. Look for the listing
404 and replace the default document with the ServerError page.
If your ISP is running IIS, ask them to change this information
for you by sending the URL or location of the ServerError page.
Most Apache webservers support per-directory config files. If
your webmaster has enabled this feature you can override
runtime directives yourself by placing a .htaccess file in the
ErrorDocument 404 /index.html
Apache is told for a 404(document not found) error NOT to come
up with the standard error message BUT to redirect the request
to the index.html in the webdocument root.
Some links for the recent apache versions on configuring custom
Very good explanation on how to customize 404 error pages for
many different servers
Read Errorcodes.txt if you are interested in the real HTTP ERRORCODES.