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This module provides for user authentication using text files.
Source File: mod_auth.c
Module Identifier: auth_module
This module allows the use of HTTP Basic Authentication to restrict access by looking up users in plain text password and group files. Similar functionality and greater scalability is provided by mod_auth_dbm and mod_auth_db. HTTP Digest Authentication is provided by mod_auth_digest.
Note that these credential-based security mechanisms are only as strong as your Web server's security. As a rule, they are not as strong as the operating system's own security system.
See also: require, satisfy, and mod_auth require keywords.
mod_auth module supports the following
keywords that can be given to the Require directive:
user username [...]
group groupname [...]
jones, then the username used to access it through the Web must be
accounts, the group
accountsmust be in the AuthGroupFile database and the username used in the request must be a member of that group.
Consider a multi-user system running the Apache Web server,
with each user having his or her own files in
~/public_html/private. Assuming that there is a
single AuthUserFile database that lists all of their usernames,
and that their Web usernames match the ones that actually own
the files on the server, then the following stanza would allow
only the user himself access to his own files. User
jones would not be allowed to access files in
/home/smith/public_html/private unless they were
jones instead of
<Directory /home/*/public_html/private> AuthType Basic AuthName MyPrivateFile AuthUserFile /usr/local/apache/etc/.htpasswd-allusers Satisfy All Require file-owner </Directory>
The AuthGroupFile directive sets the name of a textual file containing the list of user groups for user authentication. File-path is the path to the group file. If it is not absolute (i.e., if it doesn't begin with a slash), it is treated as relative to the ServerRoot.
Each line of the group file contains a groupname followed by a colon, followed by the member usernames separated by spaces. Example:
Note that searching large text files is very inefficient; AuthDBMGroupFile should be used instead.
mygroup: bob joe anne
Security: make sure that the AuthGroupFile is stored outside the document tree of the web-server; do not put it in the directory that it protects. Otherwise, clients will be able to download the AuthGroupFile.
See also AuthName, AuthType and AuthUserFile.
The AuthUserFile directive sets the name of a textual file containing the list of users and passwords for user authentication. File-path is the path to the user file. If it is not absolute (i.e., if it doesn't begin with a slash), it is treated as relative to the ServerRoot.
Each line of the user file contains a username followed by a
colon, followed by the
crypt() encrypted password.
The behavior of multiple occurrences of the same user is
The utility htpasswd
which is installed as part of the binary distribution, or which
can be found in
src/support, is used to maintain
this password file. See the
man page for more
details. In short
htpasswd -c Filename username
Create a password file 'Filename' with 'username' as the initial ID. It will prompt for the password.
htpasswd Filename username2
Adds or modifies in password file 'Filename' the 'username'.
Note that searching large text files is very inefficient; AuthDBMUserFile should be used instead.
Require valid-user' will allow access if both the username and password in the credentials are omitted.
Setting the AuthAuthoritative directive explicitly to
'off' allows for both authentication and
authorization to be passed on to lower level modules (as
defined in the
modules.c files) if there is no
userID or rule matching the supplied
userID. If there is a userID and/or rule specified; the usual
password and access checks will be applied and a failure will
give an Authorization Required reply.
So if a userID appears in the database of more than one
module; or if a valid
Require directive applies to
more than one module; then the first module will verify the
credentials; and no access is passed on; regardless of the
A common use for this is in conjunction with one of the
database modules; such as
These modules supply the bulk of the user credential checking;
but a few (administrator) related accesses fall through to a
lower level with a well protected AuthUserFile.
Default: By default; control is not passed on; and an unknown userID or rule will result in an Authorization Required reply. Not setting it thus keeps the system secure; and forces an NCSA compliant behavior.
Security: Do consider the implications of allowing a user to allow fall-through in his .htaccess file; and verify that this is really what you want; Generally it is easier to just secure a single .htpasswd file, than it is to secure a database such as mSQL. Make sure that the AuthUserFile is stored outside the document tree of the web-server; do not put it in the directory that it protects. Otherwise, clients will be able to download the AuthUserFile.
See also AuthName, AuthType and AuthGroupFile.