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From Richard <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Change user for Apache web server to a non-privileged user?
Date Wed, 14 Sep 2016 21:05:36 GMT

> Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 08:16:32 -0400
> From: Tom Hammond <>
> I have an Apache 2.2x server and would like to harden security so
> that hackers can't get in easily to the Apache webserver.  One
> suggestion is to change the user/group for Apache to a
> non-privileged account.
> Currently the user "fpp" is the default user for Apache which has
> access to the operating system via sudo commands.
> I entered these commands to create a non-privileged account:
> sudo groupadd http-web
> sudo useradd -d /opt/fpp/www/ -g http-web http-web
> I then edited /etc/apache2/envvars to change these lines:
> export APACHE_RUN_USER=http-web
> export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=http-web
> I also ran this command to change user/group permissions on this
> folder: sudo chown -R http-web:http-web /var/lock/apache2/
> sudo chown -R http-web:http-web /opt/fpp/www
> Finally, I restarted the Apache service with this command:
> sudo service apache2 restart
> When I try to access the website on this server, I receive the
> following message:
> Forbidden: You don't have permission to access / on this server.
> I've been scouring the Internet trying to figure out how to switch
> the default "fpp" Apache user to a non-privileged account and can't
> figure it out. Can someone shed some light on this?

There's nothing about the "apache" user/group that inherently makes
it privileged. It's just a standard user/group that the apache server
(generally) runs as.

What you do want to make certain of is that your DocumentRoot is not
owned by the user/group that the webserver is running as, and that it
is not writable by that user/group.

The webserver does need read access to the files (and execute to
directories) under the DocumentRoot.

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