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Thread: [SOLVED] Apache2 + SVN + [SSL] + 403 Forbidden

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    [SOLVED] Apache2 + SVN + [SSL] + 403 Forbidden


    I have googled hard enough to find a solution to my problem but no luck. Ok, I am not a Ubuntu expert, but I have already spent 1.5 days (and nights) on the problem. Any help will be much appreciated.

    I recently upgraded from 7.10 to 8.04 hardy - 64 bit. In the upgraded system, I tried to install apache2 + svn, but unfortunately it does not seem to work.

    Initially I tried to use SSL as well, so I followed the instructions on:

    Later on I gave up (because of a persistent 403 Forbidden error), so I tried the basic configuration steps (without SSL):

    Before trying, I uninstalled apache2, subversion and libapache2-svn doing:
    sudo apt-get autoremove packages

    I know this does not remove apache2 configuration files, so I tried to restore them into their original status by using copy-paste file contents from a fresh-install of Hardy on another machine. Btw is there a better approach to get a clean apache2 install? If I manually move /etc/apache2/ and /var/www/, when I try to reinstall apache2 I get error messages (some files are not found).

    After following the steps on, I can create-checkout-commit-import to/from the repository when I access them locally, i.e. using the file:///... protocol.

    When I try through http, I get 403 Forbidden error:
    svn co http://localhost/svn Docs
    Authentication realm: <http://localhost:80> Your repository name
    Username: user1
    Password for 'user1': ******
    svn: PROPFIND request failed on '/svn'
    svn: PROPFIND of '/svn': 403 Forbidden (http://localhost)
    Btw, in firefox I can access http://localhost which shows "It works", but not http://localhost/svn (again 403 message):
    You don't have permission to access /svn on this server.
    Apache/2.2.8 (Ubuntu) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.6 Server at localhost Port 80
    I get the 403 message after I authenticate using a username/password that I provided during the initial setup. This is shown a few steps below when I list the contents of apache2.conf.

    Apache2 error log:
    cat /var/log/apache2/error.log
    [Tue May 20 14:57:30 2008] [notice] caught SIGWINCH, shutting down gracefully
    [Tue May 20 14:57:40 2008] [notice] Apache/2.2.8 (Ubuntu) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.6 configured -- resuming normal operations
    [Tue May 20 14:59:49 2008] [error] [client] (13)Permission denied: cannot read directory for multi: /var/www/
    dav_svn.conf contents
    cat /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dav_svn.conf
    # Everything in comments like this
    Everything is in comments, because the official ubuntu instructions do not require to change this file. Instead, I changed apache2.conf:
    cat /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
    #Default apache configuration here.
    <Location /svn>
      DAV svn
      SVNPath /home/user1/svn
      AuthType Basic
      AuthName "Your repository name"
      AuthUserFile /etc/subversion/passwd
      Require valid-user
    Note that I have set it up so that I authenticate even when reading the repository. My tests above revealed that I need to authenticate, but after successful authentication I get the 403 message!

    Finally the permissions for my svn repository are:
    user1@ubuntuDesktop:~$ ls -ld /home/user1/svn
    drwxr-xr-x 7 www-data www-data 4096 2008-05-20 14:48 /home/user1/svn
    Do you have any ideas on how to troubleshoot this? That would be match appreciated. Does the "multi" keyword in apache2 play any role in that?

    The funny this is that, the official ubuntu guidelines work on a fresh install of Hardy on an Intel-32 machine. The last thing I want is to format my current machine (AMD-64) and install Hardy fresh.
    Last edited by ntalamai; May 20th, 2008 at 06:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Apache2 + SVN + [SSL] + 403 Forbidden

    I wanted to add how I checkout my repository:

    svn co file:///home/user1/svn Docs
    A    Docs/a.txt
    A    Docs/CPU.Benchmarks.txt
    This apparently works without requesting a username/password.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Apache2 + SVN + [SSL] + 403 Forbidden

    The "solution" is to do:
    sudo mkdir /var/www/svn/

    Then everything works "almost" fine. I don't know why this is the case. I thought that the svn community is more related to the problem, so I posted in the SVN forums:

    Hopefully they will provide a reason there.
    Last edited by ntalamai; May 21st, 2008 at 05:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: Apache2 + SVN + [SSL] + 403 Forbidden

    Ok, after 3.5 days of hard work, I eventually figured that out. I had to do with multiviews, so I needed to disable multiviews in the default website. In other words change in
    /etc/apache2/sites-available/default the lines:
    <Directory /var/www/>
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Multiviews
    <Directory /var/www/>
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks

    Then everything works like a charm.

    Can someone provide a sane explanation as to why this is the case?

    Last edited by ntalamai; May 22nd, 2008 at 10:45 AM. Reason: spelling mistakes

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