500 errors or "Unable to include potential exe"

If you use Server Side Includes, you may receive 500 error or "[Thu Jul 30 00:04:46 2009] [error] [client] unable to include potential exec "/cgi-bin/randhtml.cgi" in parsed file /home/username/public_html/index.html referer: http://www.youedomain/about/index.html

Including executables are no longer allowed by default apache configuration. IncludesNOEXEC is now the default, SSI includes are now disabled by default. This is done to prevent server abuse / insure server security. We recommend using PHP coding wherever possible. If using cgi includes is ABSOLUTELY necessary you may enable the includes via :

1. Create/edit the .htaccess file (you may find it within public_html folder) to permit the execution of CGI programs with the following options:

NOTE: backup file prior modification!!!

2. Enter the following:

Options +Includes +ExecCGI
AddHandler cgi-script .cgi .pl

3. Save .htaccess file.

You may also try this code inside .htaccess:

Options +Includes
AddHandler server-parsed .shtml


1. Where do I find .htaccess file?

Inside public_html folder. You need to login via FTP or cPanel > File manager (make sure you select "show files with dots").

2. I don't see .htaccess inside my public_html folder.

Please login via regular FTP (for example, CuteFTP Pro or CuteFTP Pro). It should be inside public_html folder. If it doesn't exist, you may create blank .htaccess file then edit it (insert those lines above).

3. I made changes inside my .htaccess and now my scripts don't work properly!

.htaccess file contains custom apache configurations. You should be extra careful prior any updates! Always backup file prior any modification.


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