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HTTP Authentication
Your Virtual Server Apache Web Server supports user authentication. In other words, it allows you to create password protected directories on your Virtual Server web site. Let's say you want to restrict access to a the following directory to those with a valid username and password.


You can do this by connecting to your Virtual Server via Telnet or SSH and following the steps below.

  1. Create a file named .htaccess in your ~/www/htdocs/billy directory that allows only allow one user (William) to access the directory. The .htaccess file must reside in the ~/www/htdocs/billy directory in order to control access to the ~/www/htdocs/billy directory.

    You can either create the .htaccess file while connected to your Virtual Server (using a file editor like pico, for example) or you can create the file on your own PC and Upload it to your Virtual Server. The file should contain the following text, depending on your Virtual Server O/S.

    • FreeBSD & Solaris

      AuthUserFile /etc/.htpasswd
      AuthGroupFile /dev/null
      AuthName "Bill's Restaurant"
      AuthType Basic
      <Limit GET>
      require user William

    • BSD/OS Upgrade!
      Do not include the quotation marks in the "AuthName Bill's Restaurant" text:

      AuthUserFile /etc/.htpasswd
      AuthGroupFile /dev/null
      AuthName Bill's Restaurant
      AuthType Basic
      <Limit GET>
      require user William

    • Huh?
      If you don't know the Virtual Server O/S, try the following:

  2. Use the htpasswd command to set a password for the new user.

    Substitute your Virtual Server login name for LOGIN-NAME below.

    % htpasswd -c /usr/home/LOGIN-NAME/etc/.htpasswd William

    You are free to use a different name or directory location for the password file. Just change the /usr/home/LOGIN-NAME/etc/.htpasswd above to whatever you want.

    The -c flag indicates that you are adding a user to the .htpasswd file for the first time. When you add more users and passwords to the same .htpasswd file, do not use the -c flag, as that will erase all your previous entries in the file.

    % htpasswd /usr/home/LOGIN-NAME/etc/.htpasswd peanuts
    % htpasswd /usr/home/LOGIN-NAME/etc/.htpasswd almonds 
    % htpasswd /usr/home/LOGIN-NAME/etc/.htpasswd walnuts

More Information
The best place to learn about user authentication is from the source (NCSA).

NOTE: You should be aware of one subtle difference with the Virtual Server system. When you set up your .htaccess files, you specify the AuthUserFile or AuthGroupFile with respect to your home directory. However, when you set up your .htpasswd files with the htpasswd command you need to prepend /usr/home/LOGIN-NAME to the directory specification.

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