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From Andrew Ford <>
Subject Patch for mod_auth_basic and mod_authn_file
Date Fri, 23 May 2008 13:12:50 GMT
I have been looking at the docs for authentication as part of my 
research for the Apache Pocket Reference and a lot of it seems imprecise 
and unclear.  I have come up with some rewording for part of the docs 
for mod_auth_basic and mod_authn_file (for 2.2).  I'd welcome comments 
on the changes and if they find acceptance then I'll work my way through 
the other authentication modules (and other areas of the docs as and 
when I get time).  There are probably further changes that could be made 
to these two modules, but I'd like some feedback before I go wading in.


Index: docs/manual/mod/mod_auth_basic.xml


--- docs/manual/mod/mod_auth_basic.xml    (revision 659138)

+++ docs/manual/mod/mod_auth_basic.xml    (working copy)

@@ -56,7 +56,7 @@



     <p>The <directive>AuthBasicProvider</directive> directive sets 

-    which provider is used to authenticate the users for this location.

+    the provider or providers to be used to authenticate the users for this location.

     The default <code>file</code> provider is implemented

     by the <module>mod_authn_file</module> module.  Make sure

     that the chosen provider module is present in the server.</p>

@@ -74,9 +74,35 @@




-    <p>Providers are implemented by <module>mod_authn_dbm</module>,

-    <module>mod_authn_file</module>, <module>mod_authn_dbd</module>,

-    and <module>mod_authnz_ldap</module>.</p>

+    <p>The table below lists the authentication providers that are included in the
standard distribution.</p>


+    <table>

+      <tr>

+    <th>Name</th>

+    <th>Module</th>

+    <th>Description</th>

+      </tr>

+      <tr>

+    <td><code>anon</code></td><td><module>mod_authn_anon</module></td>

+    <td>allow "anonymous" user authentication</td>

+      </tr>

+      <tr>

+    <td><code>dbd</code></td><td><module>mod_authn_dbd</module></td>

+    <td>authentication using a relational database</td>

+      </tr>

+      <tr>

+    <td><code>dbm</code></td><td><module>mod_authn_dbm</module></td>

+    <td>authentication using DBM files</td>

+      </tr>

+      <tr>

+    <td><code>file</code></td><td><module>mod_authn_file</module></td>

+    <td>user authentication using text files</td>

+      </tr>

+      <tr>

+    <td><code>ldap</code></td><td><module>mod_authnz_ldap</module></td>

+    <td>authentication using an LDAP directory</td>

+      </tr>

+    </table>




Index: docs/manual/mod/mod_authn_file.xml


--- docs/manual/mod/mod_authn_file.xml    (revision 659138)

+++ docs/manual/mod/mod_authn_file.xml    (working copy)

@@ -30,16 +30,19 @@

 <compatibility>Available in Apache 2.1 and later</compatibility>



-    <p>This module provides authentication front-ends such as

-    <module>mod_auth_digest</module> and <module>mod_auth_basic</module>

-    to authenticate users by looking up users in plain text password files.

-    Similar functionality is provided by <module>mod_authn_dbm</module>.</p>

+    <p>This module implements an authentication provider that will

+    authenticate users by looking up their credentials in a plain text

+    password file.  (Similar functionality is provided by

+    <module>mod_authn_dbm</module> and

+    <module>mod_authn_dbd</module>.)  The module is activated in an

+    authentication front-end by specifying the value <code>file</code>

+    as the argument for <directive

+    module="mod_auth_basic">AuthBasicProvider</directive> (when using

+    <module>mod_auth_basic</module> for Basic authentication) or

+    <directive module="mod_auth_digest">AuthDigestProvider</directive>

+    (when using <module>mod_auth_digest</module> for Digest

+    authentication).</p>


-    <p>When using <module>mod_auth_basic</module> or

-    <module>mod_auth_digest</module>, this module is invoked via the

-    <directive module="mod_auth_basic">AuthBasicProvider</directive> or

-    <directive module="mod_auth_digest">AuthDigestProvider</directive>

-    with the <code>file</code> value.</p>



   <directive module="mod_auth_basic">AuthBasicProvider</directive>

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