After the upgrade of my ubuntu server to 13.04 my phpmyadmin is no longer reachable. the browser reports 500 (internal server error) and in the error.log it says:

PHP Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required './libraries/php-gettext/gettext.inc' (include_path='.') in /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/select_lang.lib.php on line 370

Any other php software works fine on the machine and so does mysql itself. Phpmyadmin is installed correctly and worked fine before the dist-upgrade. i also did sudo aptitude reinstall phpmyadmin but that did not help.

the version number of phpmyadmin is 4:

any ideas, what could be wrong here?

/edit: by now i found out, that the symlinks here do not seem to work:

mcnesium@fluse:/usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/php-gettext$ ls -l
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 36 Apr 25 03:38 gettext.inc -> ../../../php/php-gettext/gettext.inc
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 36 Apr 25 03:38 gettext.php -> ../../../php/php-gettext/gettext.php
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 36 Apr 25 03:38 streams.php -> ../../../php/php-gettext/streams.php

i backed up the folder php-gettext and cp -r'd the symlinked one over, now it works. so this actually seems to be a symlink-problem.

this is the beginning of my /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf

# phpMyAdmin default Apache configuration
Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
<Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin>
    Options FollowSymLinks
    DirectoryIndex index.php

so it is supposed to follow symlinks right away. before the ubuntu upgrade everything worked fine. so whats the matter with the symlinks?

  • Check the permissions under /usr/share/php/php-gettext. Are you using SELinux/AppArmor?
    – dawud
    May 1, 2013 at 19:34

5 Answers 5


For me the following solution solved the problem:

In my website conf file, I have the following section:

<IfModule mod_php5.c>
    AddType application/x-httpd-php .php

    php_flag magic_quotes_gpc Off
    php_flag track_vars On
    php_flag register_globals Off
    php_admin_flag allow_url_fopen Off
    php_value include_path .
    php_admin_value upload_tmp_dir /var/lib/phpmyadmin/tmp
    php_admin_value open_basedir /usr/share/phpmyadmin/:/etc/phpmyadmin/:/var/lib/phpmyadmin/:/usr/share/php/php-gettext/

The only change I've made since Ubuntu 13.04 install is include /usr/share/php/php-gettext/ in the open_basedir, and that did the trick.


For others:

sudo apt-get install php-gettext

might be the answer (especially with php7 as it seems that this is not included by default, maybe because it is a pear extension).

  • I got the error after performing a fresh install of Ubuntu 16.04. It worked after upgrading 15.10 to 16.04, but I had to do a fresh install due to other problems. Explicitly installing the php-gettext package (and adding Require all granted to phpmyadmin.conf) made it work again.
    – bovender
    Apr 23, 2016 at 11:55
  • 1
    this is the actual answer!
    – X Pahadi
    May 2, 2016 at 3:02
  • Thanks for that; I didn't think of that; this and php-mbstring were required to get phpmyadmin to work right for me with php7
    – jhaagsma
    May 2, 2016 at 21:36
  • 1
    It's odd, because php-gettext is a dependency of the phpmyadmin package: packages.ubuntu.com/xenial/phpmyadmin so I'm not sure why it's not already there.
    – Sam Wilson
    Jul 7, 2016 at 5:36
  • Install LAMP first, then phpmyadmin, maybe that is part of the problem
    – twicejr
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:31

If your open_basedir contains /usr/share/php/php-gettext/ already (as in my case) and you can't get it to work with the previous answers then do:

sudo rm /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/php-gettext/*

removes the symbolic links

sudo ln /usr/share/php/php-gettext/* /usr/share/phpmyadmin/libraries/php-gettext

creates hard links

This makes phpmyadmin work again. Why it broke in 13.04 and the symbolic links aren't followed while the apache.conf says they should, remains a mystery to me.

  • Thanks, that did it. The open_basedir line already contained the php-gettext directory so reinstalling those links was necessary. Feb 8, 2014 at 2:08

I had to disable (prefix with #) the Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin in /etc/apache2/conf-available/phpmyadmin.conf since I'm using a custom vhost file for phpmyadmin to serve it on a subdomain. With the additional Alias it didn't work for some reason.


If phpMyAdmin runs on an Nginx server, the php.ini additionally needs to add the path /usr/share/php/php-php-gettextto the open_basedir key.


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