Premature end of script headers: index.php


My website had been working fine for months. It’s a simple wordpress blog. Today started failing with an 500 internal error. I opened 2 tickets about it, but so far I haven’t recieve any response from support.

I reviewed error.log and I found a bunch of messages “Premature end of script headers: index.php”. I searched this forum and somebody said that it had happended before when several orphans instances of PHP.cgi appear. I checked my server by ssh I found no instances of that process.

Any suggestion? Anything that I can do?. My site is down and support is not helping me. Any recommendation will be appreaciated.




A 500 often occurs due to a high load on the server. When you’re getting these errors, you can try the ‘uptime’ command and see what the load averages are. They should be below 5.

And submitting multiple tickets in a 24 hour period on the same issue just slows Support down. One’s enough and they usually respond within 24 hours.



Yes, when loads are high,

“Premature end of script headers” will be left in error.log.

Nothing, no 500 notation, will be left in access.log, even
though 500 is what is sent to the browser.

Thus no clue to what page the user was trying to browse.

Thus one cannot even tell if the problem was in fact the page itself.

Thus one must only guess that it is usually Dreamhost’s fault,

for at least not jumbling the evidence recording at the accident scene,

so nobody can figure out what went wrong.

Happens with Mediawiki here on Dreamhost too.

Disabling FastCGI doesn’t help either.