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From "Malcolm Hutty" <malc...@ivision.co.uk>
Subject Re: other/2805: Apache won't start with syntactically incorrect <virtual hosts><
Date Fri, 07 Aug 1998 19:17:45 GMT
> Synopsis: Apache won't start with syntactically incorrect <virtual hosts>
> in httpd.conf
> It is a very bad thing to magically ignore settings that
> are incorrect.  There is no way to tell if it is just
> an unimportant vhost that can be ignored or if it is
> a very important directive that will result in major
> problems (eg. huge security hole) if not done properly.

My bug report is a serious ISP situation.

There is a big difference between ignoring an incorrect directive and not setting 
up one of the several virtual servers: Apache is commonly run with many 
independent IP based virtual servers. You cannot tell if a directive is important, 
but it is always true is that one less virtual server is better than none at all.

If a directive for a virtual host is malformed it could result in that server being 
compromised, and so that virtual host should not be started. However that 
malformed directive would only have affected a single virtual host if it had 
succeeded, so it should only affect that one if it fails. Of course, my bug report 
does not apply to global directives.


# This works
DocumentRoot /usr/httpd/htdocs1
RewriteRule  ^/private/(.*) /cgi-bin/private.cgi?$1

# This fails 
DocumentRoot /usr/httpd/htdocs2
ReriteRul  ^/private/(.*) /cgi-bin/private.cgi?$1

I can't see why should not start, with failing.
> You can't let just anyone edit your *.conf files anyway, so
> I really don't see the point of ignoring errors.  If you
> want, you can run "httpd -t" (or apachectl configtest) to
> test config files before restarting.
As an ISP we give each of our customers their own virtualhost.
We would like to be able to give them an interface to insert their own
directives, at their own risk. 

We can make our own interface so that they can only edit their own bit of 
httpd.conf. Obviously they won't get direct access, but figure:

#### INSERT FILE : /home/

Then Perl script generates a new httpd.conf and a Suid program simply restarts 

However we can't give let our customers insert their own directives if screwing 
up their own server would also screw everyone else's.

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