Does the image below look familiar?
It is the default login screen for SugarCRM Community Edition, but as one can see, the formatting is not quite right. This, unfortunately, is a common occurrence and worse yet, it usually occurs immediately following the install process.
Fortunately, the solution is rather simple. But before we get into the solution, let us spend just a couple of minutes reviewing the source of the problem so that we have a better understanding of the SugarCRM internals, which may come in handy at a later time.
For example, the modules folder contains templates that SugarCRM uses for the various views within the system, i.e. ListView, DetailView, EditView. In short, they are HTML templates that make the system function faster, as the page does not have to be recreated every time a user accesses one of the views.
This brings us back to the solution. The reason why the behavior portrayed in the image occurs is because the web server is unable to access the files that apply the cosmetic changes. i.e. The web server cannot properly read the cache folder.
This is not an uncommon occurrence if one is using a Unix like operating system such as Linux, which is a rather popular platform for hosting accounts.
To correct it, we need to adjust the permissions to allow the web server proper access. This is usually accomplished by executing one (or both) of the following commands (Linux):
chmod -R 755 <sugar>/cache
chown -R <apache>.<apache_group> <sugar>/cache
Note that <apache> represents the user under which the web server is running and <apache_group> represents the user group that said user belongs to.
Often times, specially those with hosting accounts, one will not have access to the shell to execute these commands. In such cases, one should use an FTP tool such as FileZilla to apply the proper settings, making sure to select the option to apply the changes recursively, including all subfolders and files.
IMPORTANT: Users often report that the problem persists even after applying the changes. This is usually because the changes have not been applied recursively. Attempting to apply these changes via tools such as cPanel will not yield the intended results as cPanel does not apply the changes recursively.