I am working on a site that has errors, and debug is turned on in the configuration. But all I see is the image below with a bare error and no context. How can I get the usual debug information?

Screenshot of error page

  • Do you have Debug set to yes and Error Messages set to Maximum?
    – Irata
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 22:05
  • Thanks, yes, I did have debug set. Can't set error messages to maximum - Joomla 3 creates masses of notices on PHP 8.2.
    – mbrampton
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


It means that the template you're using does not render the stack trace in its error layout. To render the stack trace, use Joomla\CMS\Document\ErrorDocument::renderBacktrace() method. The stack trace should be rendered only when debug is enabled to prevent leaking sensitive data. So at a bare minimum this code can be used inside error.php:

<?php if ($this->debug) : ?>
    <?= $this->renderBacktrace() ?>
<?php endif; ?>

The exception may contain previous exceptions. In which case you should also render them. Something like this should work:

<?php if ($this->debug) : ?>
    <?= $this->renderBacktrace() ?>
    <?php // Loop over exceptions ?>
    <?php while ($error = $this->_error->getPrevious()) : ?>
        <?php // Set the previous exception ?>
        <?php $this->setError($error) ?>
        <p><?= htmlspecialchars($error->getMessage(), ENT_QUOTES, 'UTF-8') ?></p>
        <?= $this->renderBacktrace() ?>
    <?php endwhile ?>
    <?php // Restore the original exception ?>
    <?php $this->setError($this->error) ?>
<?php endif ?>
  • Thanks very much. There are a number of files called error.php but I pinned it down to the one that is in a layout belong to the default template. I couldn't implement your solution as the layout appeared not to be inheriting from the Joomla class - renderBacktrace was an unknown method. But I expanded the error message using methods on the exception to get the failing file and line number which was enough to find the problems.
    – mbrampton
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 14:34

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