XF 1.5 Admin / User Login Issues with 1.5.16

We've had zero changes to our Xenforo boards since forever, and the disk space appears to be fine at 60% free. However we appear to be getting session issues during the login process that is causing the logins to not complete after authentication. A correct username and password just flips back to the login panel or screen. It can take 20+ attempts before the login works - no changes to account name or password.

There are no errors in the xenforo logs or in php error logs.

At one point I removed all cached items older than 30 days, there were still 120k files left, and that allowed logins to happen within a couple of tries. Is that related to this issue? Caching is on using file system.

Is there any area I can check / clean up that might mitigate this issue?

version 1.5.16
A few thoughts come to mind:
  1. Bear in mind that XF 1.x is a completely unsupported version at this point (it's not even getting security fixes), so problems may develop over time. We'd strongly recommend starting an upgrade plan.
  2. When it comes to caching, while the FS-based cache is an option, it's unlikely to provide many benefits, so if that's your only cache option, I'd probably disable it. (XF will run well without an explicit cache layer like that.)
  3. If you have a reverse proxy (like CloudFlare) or load balancer, that could be the cause of your issues as it may mean that XF is seeing that IP address and it's changing between requests. In an ideal world, this is handled within the web server so that PHP/XF sees the real client IP automatically. If that's not possible and you know this is the issue, it is possible to change this via your config.php file.
No cloud flare in the middle. So we disabled caching, and we'll run with that for a while.

Weird that the behaviour changed "all of a sudden".

And yes, we seriously need to upgrade - it's gonna be painful. :p
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