Linux NetMag #3
Titel: Apache the webserver

Powered by apache
Own a web server, create and test your own local homepage or for a whole LAN. Everything without a space limit, but with CGI and password security. No Problem - Apache has been already installed.

Fast Feather
Apache is the most used web server in the Internet. The reasons for this are the stability and the excellent properties when high traffic occurs. The web server is normally activated during the boot process as a deamon and runs without a significant load on the system in the background. The easiest way to see if the server is already running on your system might be to look at, in Netscape (or Arena, Lynx ...) the page http://localhost. If apache was installed, a default page should appear. If not, apache needs to be installed. The rpm package is included in the SUSE-distribution and should also be available for and used in any other distribution. The source code is available at

Access Denied!

Apache offers the possibility to restrict with a password the access for single subdirectories. The configuration therefore is very easy.
First you should create a subdirectory where the restricted access files will be located:

>> mkdir /usr/local/httpd/htdocs/secure

Then you switch on the support for password security in the configuration file. You have to enter the following text in the file /etc/httpd/access.conf

File /etc/httpd/ac cess.conf
# This controls which options the .htaccess files in directories can
# override. Can also be "All", or any combination of "Options", "FileInfo",& nbsp;
# "AuthConfig", and "Limit"

AllowOverride AuthConfig

Now you have to create a file where the passwords are saved. This file owns the corresponding password for every user and should be placed at /usr/local/httpd/.
The creation of the file we want to call "users" happens as follows. To create the password for the user martin you execute:

>> htpasswd -c /usr/local/httpd/users martin

The program asks for a password that is saved encrypted in the file "users". If you want to add passwords for other users, the syntax is the same but without the option "-c" (for create) since we already created the file.

Inside of the directory that has to be secure, you create the file with the name .htaccess that handles the password request for this directory:

File /usr/local/ht tpd/htdoc/secure/.htaccess
 AuthName "restricted stuff"
 AuthType Basic
 AuthUserFile /usr/local/httpd/users

 require user martin 
# here you list the users  
# who are separated by spaces

After a restart of the apache server with :

>> /sbin/init.d/apache restart

,the password request should appear if you want to see the secure directory with the web browser.

CGI for the Intranet

Everyone knows about the forms you could fill out in the Internet if you applied for a service or wrote into a guestbook. These forms are usually CGI programs (Common Gateway Interface). These read out the entered data and generate the corresponding html pages. Of course, apache supports these also and is configured to execute programs and scripts that are in the directory /usr/local/httpd/cgi-bin as CGI scripts.
A big collection of scripts can be found at .
If you wanted to execute scripts even though they are not inside of this directory (this may happen if you mirror your Internet sites locally and want the CGI scripts to still be executable) then you would need to make some changes in the file /etc/httpd/srm.conf .
If you want to execute CGI scripts that are in the subdirectory "NetMag/cgi-bin" which you find at "/usr/local/httpd/htdocs/NetMag", a simple entry into the file /etc/httpd/srm.conf
should do the trick:

File /etc/httpd/sr m.conf
# ScriptAlias: This controls which directories contain server scripts.
# Format: ScriptAlias fakename realname

ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ "/usr/local/httpd/cgi-bin/"
ScriptAlias /NetMag/cgi-bin/ "/usr/local/httpd/htdocs/NetMag/cgi-bin/"

The first four lines should already be there and you just have to append the last line. Of course you have to fit the paths to your local file structure. To make the changes work, you have to restart the web server again with:

>> /sbin/init.d/apache restart

and now the scripts should work.