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Can't sign in to the front end on PHP 8

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This might be a bit of a long post as I want to include as much details as possible. However, I'd greatly appreciate it if you took the time as I'm completely stumped by this one.

I know nginx isn't officially supported by IPS (even though it 100% most certainly should be - it's 2022), which is why this is in community support, but I'd love any ideas from IPS guys on this as well.


I am in the middle of moving our website from AWS Elastic Beanstalk to Digital Ocean running inside a Docker Swarm (maybe soon to be k8s, doesn't matter). On AWS, I am running Apache/PHP 7.3.30 and in DO I'm running Nginx/PHP 8.0.13.

Both web servers are now talking to the same managed MySQL database (8.0.26), and are using the same Redis cluster for caching as well as PHP sessions. Yes, I have triple checked that PHP sessions and caching is working properly on both web servers.


Whenever I am using the PHP 7.3.30 server, everything works exactly as expected. Been using this setup for ages. No issues. Whenever I switch over to the Nginx/PHP 8.0.13, everything works as expected EXCEPT I cannot login to the front end. However, logins to the ACP work fine (like, what?).

Our site uses the Steam login handler with the Standard login method disabled. Even when I turn on the Standard login and try to use user/pass, I get redirected to


but the user state doesn't actually change. The userbar still has "Login or Sign In" and if I refresh I am not actually logged in.


I did some more investigating, and to make things even weirder, even just requesting the website root (mywebsite.com/), increments the "core_members.failed_login_count" and adds a timestamp to "core_members.failed_logins" columns. So just refreshing the site does that. Then after 1-2 login attempts, it locks the user's account with "too many failed login attempts".


Exact same code base, exact same 3rd party apps enabled (all written by me and PHP 8 compatible), same MySQL server, same Redis cache, same PHP session handler, but can't sign in on PHP8.

I've pretty much determined it has to either be a nginx configuration error like some sort of headers thing (grasping at straws here) or its an issue with this IPS release and the said version of PHP. I am VERY open to suggestions as I'm completely out of ideas. I've traced through the login process' code and I didn't find anything that would lead to the symptoms I saw. 😕


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It was the cookie path that was being set incorrectly. Nginx was configured:

server_name _;

which was then being used by




which was causing the cookie path to be set to "//domain.com" instead of "/". I was under the impression that Nginx automatically set the server name to the request's host when using "_", but that is incorrect.

Simply setting the correct server_name or manually changing the server name header to $host would fix it.

Edited by imJexs
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