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I have this rewrite rule

^dashboard(.*) wp-admin$1 [L] 

and wp redirects me to wp-login.php when I try to visit /dashboard (even if I am logged in)

Any idea why this happen, and how I can solve this issue?

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You have to use a redirect not just a rewrite:

^dashboard(.*) wp-admin$1 [L,R=301]

WordPress is using a hard coded search for wp-admin in the request URI.

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but won't the redirect show me wp-admin in the URL? – G.G. Jun 4 '12 at 17:28
Anyway I solved it. Thanks to this mu.wordpress.org/forums/topic/11865#post-88451 (last comment) This way I can have mydomain.com/dashboard/ instead of mydomain.com/wp-admin/ – G.G. Jun 4 '12 at 17:30
Please post your solution as an answer and accept it – shea Jan 3 '13 at 10:40

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