Changing Permalinks to a Custom Permalink causes a 404 Error [no matter what I do]

I’ve changed my permalinks to a custom one. When I saw my contact page was sitting on [domain]/index.php/contact instead of [domain]/contact this isn’t isolated to /contact however. I went and deleted the index.php in the custom string. This came up with of course [domain]/index.php/contact redirecting to [domain]/contact. However this came up with a 404 error page doesn’t exist.

I went and checked and the .htaccess file did not exist so I enabled htaccess and created the file with vim empty then changed the permissions with chmod to 644 as stated the WordPress Codex. Went and re-saved the permalinks to discover I still had a 404 error, this is when I noticed that WordPress still thought the .htaccess file was not writable.

I went and copied the .htaccess file text WordPress wanted me to manually add to the .htaccess file manually. To my anger, still producing a 404 error.

Does anyone know what could be causing this? I’ve never had this issue before. What is happening?

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