Typo3 and Brinkster

I’ve been setting up a client’s website for some time, and once they chose Brinkster as a hosting provider, I’ve had to make Typo3 work in that environment… I didn’t expect it to cause any trouble – the Typo3 install worked easily for me the first time around when I used it for this site, and even later when I did other sites with it. However, in all those cases I had complete admin rights on the servers concerned. This time it’s very different,

  1. I am very restricted in what I can or cannot do, and
  2. I have to figure out what is actually causing problems.

Problems started early: first I could not even run the install script completely; it did not give any errors, but it did not create the backend admin user in the database either. I had to verify that by playing around with a manual DB connection. Well, that was easily by-passed by restoring the database from a backup of my local DB.

Next problem was more curious. Regardless of having the correct user entries, logins to the backend would not work! It turns out that there is some bug in Typo3 where it creates the new session entry details in the be_sessions table, as it does not specify a value for ses_data. The solution, once you know it, is simple enough: I updated the table specification by removing the “NOT NULL” flag on that field.

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