Sun was shining, the weather was sweet, but today’s morning brought us an unpleasant gift of critical Magento upgrade bug.  

The symptoms

One of the projects of our customer suddenly went down, after 1 week of successful work after the upgrade to Magento ver. 1.4.1.1. FE user was not able to browse the website initially, just stayed on the Home Page. All menu items were not resolving the URL, but were returning the IP address of the domain. Within 5 minutes the situation changed to even worse: the domain returned localhost instead of actual website.

The reason

After the analysis, we found out that the reason was in the obsolete for newest Magento versions file – distro.xml. This file was thrown out from the newest versions from Magento, but as long as we have upgraded this project from the older version (1.1.6), the system encountered the conflict. The complex system of the baseURL overrides was not using the default global values of the baseURL, and instead was putting the value, defined in the mentioned distro.xml - {{base_url}}. Hence, all the navigation was broken and the website was down.

NOTE : After some deeper investigation, we found out also that distro.xml was not present even in the initial set-up of Magento 1.1.6 Most probably, it was brought by some extension via Magento Connect.

Solution

The solution is extra-complex and requires enormous amount of knowledge and human resources to fix it. OR you just need to delete the distro.xml file from :) . That’s it. I hope you’ll not get into the mentioned troubles.

Cheers.