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So I removed the "index.php" - part from the URL in Joomla in the following way:

  • Change the htaccess.txt - file name to .htaccess via FTP
  • Set the URL-rewrite Option in the Joomla Configuration Options to "YES"

All pages work, with the exception of the initial page of the site. I observed this a little closer. When the initial page is typed into the browser, www.mydomain.com/en/ (for english) gets loaded and returns a 404. When I remove the trailing slash (e.g. search for www.mydomain.com/en), the initial page is perfectly displayed. Same goes for all other languages (de and fr). Anyone? Below's the content of my .htaccess-file.

##
# @package    Joomla
# @copyright  Copyright (C) 2005 - 2015 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved.
# @license    GNU General Public License version 2 or later; see LICENSE.txt
##

##
# READ THIS COMPLETELY IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE THIS FILE!
#
# The line just below this section: 'Options +FollowSymLinks' may cause problems
# with some server configurations.  It is required for use of mod_rewrite, but may already
# be set by your server administrator in a way that disallows changing it in
# your .htaccess file.  If using it causes your server to error out, comment it out (add # to
# beginning of line), reload your site in your browser and test your sef url's.  If they work,
# it has been set by your server administrator and you do not need it set here.
##

## No directory listings
IndexIgnore *

## Can be commented out if causes errors, see notes above.
Options +FollowSymlinks
Options -Indexes

## Mod_rewrite in use.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} libwww-perl.* 
RewriteRule .* ? [F,L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (de|en|es|fr)/$
RewriteRule ^ %1 [R=301,L]

## Begin - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.
# If you experience problems on your site block out the operations listed below
# This attempts to block the most common type of exploit `attempts` to Joomla!
#
# Block out any script trying to base64_encode data within the URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} base64_encode[^(]*\([^)]*\) [OR]
# Block out any script that includes a <script> tag in URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3C)([^s]*s)+cript.*(>|%3E) [NC,OR]
# Block out any script trying to set a PHP GLOBALS variable via URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} GLOBALS(=|\[|\%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [OR]
# Block out any script trying to modify a _REQUEST variable via URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} _REQUEST(=|\[|\%[0-9A-Z]{0,2})
# Return 403 Forbidden header and show the content of the root homepage
RewriteRule .* index.php [F]
#
## End - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.

## Begin - Custom redirects
#
# If you need to redirect some pages, or set a canonical non-www to
# www redirect (or vice versa), place that code here. Ensure those
# redirects use the correct RewriteRule syntax and the [R=301,L] flags.
#
## End - Custom redirects

##
# Uncomment following line if your webserver's URL
# is not directly related to physical file paths.
# Update Your Joomla! Directory (just / for root).
##

# RewriteBase /

## Begin - Joomla! core SEF Section.
#
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
#
# If the requested path and file is not /index.php and the request
# has not already been internally rewritten to the index.php script
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/index\.php
# and the requested path and file doesn't directly match a physical file
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
# and the requested path and file doesn't directly match a physical folder
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
# internally rewrite the request to the index.php script
RewriteRule .* index.php [L]
#
## End - Joomla! core SEF Section.

AddHandler php5-fastcgi .php .php5

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