cURL error 77: Problem with the SSL CA cert

Installation failed: Download failed. cURL error 77

I recently made the mistake of trying to add a new plugin to my wife’s website and I got a cURL error message! The full error message is… Installation failed: Download failed. cURL error 77: Problem with the SSL CA cert (path? access rights?).

Initial research showed that Hostgator was running cURL version 7.19.7 whereas the latest version was 7.59.0, so what to do? I looked in CPanel but couldn’t find anywhere obvious that would allow me to upgrade it. So it was on to the dreaded live “support” of the hosting company. She uses Hostgator and I don’t and after today’s session doubt if I ever will!


Level 1 Support

Having explained the situation their first response was “you don’t have WordPress installed.” I beg your pardon? You are sh!tting me right? This site has been in existence for two years and has been WordPress since day one! Not a very impressive start by tech support quite frankly. Eventually he realized that the question was above his pay grade and gave us a phone number to call. I will assume for the sake of this article to someone from level 2.


Level 2 Support

Having gone through all the rigmarole again the buck was passed yet again. Once again I will assume for the sake of this article that that means level 3. I mean… that makes sense doesn’t it?


Level 3 Support

And once again we went through the whole sad saga. “Do you have a WooCommerce theme or shopping cart?” he asked. Well, yes. We have the shopping cart and told him so.

“This problem has cropped up many times before. It’s a WooCommerce issue.” he said and went on to say he would send us a link that would enable us to fix the problem and so we parted company.

The link turned up and I looked at the “fix” and thought “Hold on… this article was from 2017 and the issue only appeared today.” Not only that but the referenced article had absolutely zip to do with cURL.”

“I don’t think so.” was my immediate reaction. The thought of going back to Hostgator did not fill me with enthusiasm. So I thought outside the box. PHP and cURL were closely linked in most articles I looked at in so much that cURL support within PHP was often mentioned. Let’s go and see what PHP version is running was my plan and so I did.


What version of PHP is Running?

I took a look to see what version of PHP wass being run. To do that you do this:

  1. Log into CPanel.
  2. Find “Software.”
  3. Select “PHP Selector.”
  4. Have a look at your PHP version. Ours was set to 5.4.”


What Actually Fixed the “cURL error 77” Error Was This:

The fix was actually very simple. The most up to date version of PHP I was offered was 7.1. So taking a chance that’s what I changed it to and simply clicked “Update.”

Et voila! Problem solved. I could now add plugins without any cURL error 77 message getting in the way.

As for Hostgator’s tech support? Well… let’s not even go there. It was seriously underwhelming. To paraphrase Bill Pardy from Slither… “My easy-going nature was sorely fuckin’ tested.” I don’t expect miracles from tech support but I do expect competence. Sadly, it was on vacation today.


Disclosure: Triquetra Design is a website that features professional articles and/or reviews. As such I may receive compensation from the companies whose products I review or from companies that advertise here.

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