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The Apache HTTP Server Reference Manual
by Apache Software Foundation
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3.18  Apache Module mod_authz_groupfile



Description:

Group authorization using plaintext files

Status:

Base

Module Identifier:

authz_groupfile_module

Source File:

mod_authz_groupfile.c

Compatibility:

Available in Apache 2.1 and later



Summary

This module provides authorization capabilities so that authenticated users can be allowed or denied access to portions of the web site by group membership. Similar functionality is provided by mod_authz_dbm.

Directives:

AuthGroupFile

AuthzGroupFileAuthoritative

See also:

AuthGroupFile Directive

Description:

Sets the name of a text file containing the list of user groups for authorization

Syntax:

AuthGroupFile file-path

Context:

directory, .htaccess

Override:

AuthConfig

Status:

Base

Module:

mod_authz_groupfile

The AuthGroupFile directive sets the name of a textual file containing the list of user groups for user authorization. File-path is the path to the group file. If it is not absolute, 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:

mygroup: bob joe anne

Note that searching large text files is very inefficient; AuthDBMGroupFile provides a much better performance.

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 may be able to download the AuthGroupFile.

AuthzGroupFileAuthoritative Directive

Description:

Sets whether authorization will be passed on to lower level modules

Syntax:

AuthzGroupFileAuthoritative On|Off

Default:

AuthzGroupFileAuthoritative On

Context:

directory, .htaccess

Override:

AuthConfig

Status:

Base

Module:

mod_authz_groupfile

Setting the AuthzGroupFileAuthoritative directive explicitly to Off allows for group authorization to be passed on to lower level modules (as defined in the modules.c files) if there is no group matching the supplied userID.

By default, control is not passed on and an unknown group will result in an Authentication Required reply. Not setting it thus keeps the system secure and forces an NCSA compliant behaviour.

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 which might have more access interfaces.

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