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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Authentication Problems
Date Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:16:35 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alan Lloyd [Hosting Reserve]
> []
> Sent: Freitag, 14. Januar 2005 11:40
> To:
> Subject: [users@httpd] Authentication Problems
> Hello
> I am having a few problems with authentication. No matter what I do I 
> can not set up a password protected directorys.
> I have tried using .htaccess, a directory container in the conf file 
> even tried using plesk (plesk does it automatically in the conf file).
> When I set everything up all I get is a 401 error. There is no pop-up 
> login box. So no chance to even enter a passwd.

Here's my input based on your initial post:

- In httpd.conf you have "AllowOverride All" globally which is fine,
this allows .htaccess to work anywhere... except where you disable it
with "AllowOverride None" in /var/www/icons,manual,cgi-bin and error. So
that's OK (I assume your protected directory is not in any of these).

- It would be nice to see your .htaccess to check you have the syntax
right [the fact it "works" in another server is not proof: the other
server might have authentication set up in its config file and it only
looks like the .htaccess file works]. Nevertheless, let's assume it
works anyway.

- When I try the link to, I get 403
Forbidden. That means that /admin is not in the webspace or does not
have an Allow directive. In your config, you have:

DocumentRoot /home/httpd/vhosts/default/httpsdocs 

but the only directories containing an "Allow from" are under /var/www.
So nothing at all should be accessible on your site. However, it is, so
all the other allows must be in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.include (which
unfortunately you don't share with us).

So I can't tell whether or not you've set up
/home/httpd/vhosts/default/httpsdocs/admin to be accessible. 

- Your error log doesn't contain a single "access denied by server
config", yet this is exactly the message you get for a 403. So is it the
right error log? Or did you never get a 403 (you complain only of 401s)

So I'm a bit confused. Anyway, try the following tests:

- Switch off the password protection (move away .htaccess) to Now try to access it - do you get in? If
403, you haven't enabled access: Check your Allow from directives in

- When you get plain access working, switch back on password protection
and try again while tailing the error log (eg, tail -f error_log). Does
it work? If, not what error message do you get?

- Are you sure that the path to the password file is correct?

- what does /admin contain? It should at least an index.html file so
that it can display something... (it might be you're getting in but
there's no content to display).

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

NB - don't mix up access control (Allow, Deny etc.) with password
protection (Auth directives). They are closely linked and even overlap
slightly, but they're two distinct mechanisms.

> Other directives in .htaccess files seem to work ok. Just not 
> authentication!
> I do get some errors in the logs but nothing I understand! (see below)
> The server is only a week only RH9 running
> httpd      2.0.40-21.17.legacy
> php
> mod_python      3.0.1-4
> mod_perl      1.99_07-5
> perl-Apache-ASP      2.57-rh9.build75041216.14
> I am not that hot on *nix stuff and this has really got me 
> stumped. The 
> syntax of the .htaccess files are correct as they work when moved to 
> other servers (with path changes obviously)
> I have posted a copy of my conf file here if anyone wants to 
> take a look
> Here is the error log (not live)
> The directory I am trying to protect is
> The server php info page can be seen here if needed
> There are no errors logged (debug) when accessing the page 
> that should 
> be protected except 404 (error page not found) in the domain 
> log. Server 
> log shows errors when I restart apache (see end of log file 
> for latest 
> restart)
> I have googled for the past two days with no luck. Hope 
> someone has some 
> ideas. I did check with the plesk support team but they 
> assure me it can 
> not be a plesk problem as plesk does not change or interfere 
> with apache 
> in any way. The did suggest it may be a permissions problem but they 
> look correct.
> When you look at the httpd_conf.txt file you will see some of the 
> modules have been commented out. That was me, they were all 
> live. I have 
> just been trying to comment things out to see if that helps.
> I don't have much of a clue about re-compiling programs etc on RH9 so 
> please keep it simple for me if you do have any ideas :)
> Thanks in advance
> Alan
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