Joomla – this site is temporaily unavailable

November 20, 2007

“This site is temporarily unavailable. Please notify the System Administrator”

Got this message out of the blue last night on a joomla site. At first I thought the site had been deliberately taken offline, but the offline error message is different, this is a “system error” message. Tracked the problem down to includes/database.php – the application was unable to connect to the database. Checked configuration.php, and it seemed fine, so I echoed the output from mysql_error() and got ” Could not connect Host ‘xxxxx’ is blocked because of many connection errors. Unblock with ‘mysqladmin flush-hosts'”.

So I ssh-ed into the server and typed “mysqladmin flush-hosts” and everything worked again. According to spikesource.com this is what happened:

This means that mysqld has gotten a lot of connect requests from the host `hostname’ that have been interrupted in the middle. After max_connect_errors failed requests, mysqld assumes that something is wrong (like an attack from a cracker), and blocks the site from further connections until someone executes the command mysqladmin flush-hosts.

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