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We're getting this error on our updated 5.72.1 instance:

The CiviCRM public extensions directory at https://civicrm.org/extdir/ver=5.72.1|cms=Drupal could not be contacted - please check your webserver can make external HTTP requests

I looked this up on SE here and tried everything on the server end. I can wget that page from our server (gives me a list of xml file links). So I am guessing our server can make external requests. I have also flushed caches multiple times. I'm not sure what else this can be.

Any pointers?

It's unfortunate timing, as this annoying message comes up just as I'm trying to impress some folks on the features of CiviCRM and how powerful it can be with custom extensions :-).

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It could be a timeout error related to Guzzle. By default the setting http_timeout is set to 5. You could try increasing that.

I don't see where to set that setting in the UI, but you can do it using the API Explorer v4 (Support > Developer > API Explorer v4).

Reference

In the Civi codebase, that error message shows up in 2 places in /CRM/Extension/Browser.php.

There's a comment in code referencing an open issue raised by @JonGold 5 months ago about "Extension directory times out when uncached." Maybe that's what you're experiencing.

https://lab.civicrm.org/infra/ops/-/issues/1009

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