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Thread: Forbidden message on Apache (file rights)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Question Forbidden message on Apache (file rights)

    Hello all,

    First I want to let you know I'm new to Linux, so please take it easy

    When I access my website, a 403 Forbidden message is displayed.
    And this is why I think why:

    I changed the default /var/www/ directory to /home/bert/public_html/
    (used this tutorial link)

    Virtual Hosts

    Apache2 has the concept of sites, which are separate configuration files that Apache2 will read. These are available in /etc/apache2/sites-available. By default, there is one site available called default this is what you will see when you browse to http://localhost or You can have many different site configurations available, and activate only those that you need.

    As an example, we want the default site to be /home/user/public_html/. To do this, we must create a new site and then enable it in Apache2.

    To create a new site:

    Copy the default website as a starting point. sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default /etc/apache2/sites-available/mysite

    Edit the new configuration file in a text editor "sudo nano" on the command line or "gksudo gedit", for example: gksudo gedit /etc/apache2/sites-available/mysite

    Change the DocumentRoot to point to the new location. For example, /home/user/public_html/

    Change the Directory directive, replace <Directory /var/www/> to <Directory /home/user/public_html/>

    You can also set separate logs for each site. To do this, change the ErrorLog and CustomLog directives. This is optional, but handy if you have many sites

    Save the file
    Now, we must deactivate the old site, and activate our new one. Ubuntu provides two small utilities that take care of this: a2ensite (apache2enable site) and a2dissite (apache2disable site).

    sudo a2dissite default && sudo a2ensite mysite
    Finally, we restart Apache2:

    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
    If you have not created /home/user/public_html/, you will receive an warning message

    To test the new site, create a file in /home/user/public_html/:

    echo '<b>Hello! It is working!</b>' > /home/user/public_html/index.html
    Finally, browse to http://localhost/
    This worked perfect! No problems so far.

    Then I installed an FTP server (vsftpd)
    (used this tutorial link)

    Also FTP worked fine. On my windows machine I connect (with Dreamweaver) to the Linux FTP Server and can login to my account en put files into the public_html directory.

    But the files I put via FTP has different rights and cannot read by Apache. A 403 Forbidden message is displayed.
    When I give more rights to the website files then it works fine:
    sudo chmod -R 755 /home/bert/public_html/

    As an example:

    index.html was put by FTP (from windows)
    index2.html was created manual (on linux)

    How can I get the FTP files to get the same rights as index2.html?
    Is there another option?

    Hopefully you can help me understand and fix this issue.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Re: Forbidden message on Apache (file rights)

    I had to set the following in /etc/vsftpd.conf


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr


    Can you post the exact error from the Apache error log? That would help with the 403 error.

    However, the correct way to set up Per-user Web Directories is to use the module mod_userdir You can enable the module with a2enmod.

    sudo a2enmod userdir
    Then adjust the access permissions in your virtual host's configuratin file and reload the web server. If you haven't changed anything the default vhost file is in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

    UserDir public_html
    <Directory /home/*/public_html/>
            Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
            AllowOverride AuthConfig Indexes
            Order allow,deny
            allow from all

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