I had been running an
Apache webserver under OS X El Capitan on my
Pro laptop. After an upgrade on the laptop, now running
OS X El Capitan (10.11.6), when I tried accessing the site
http://localhost, I saw a page with the title "403 Forbidden"
and the following text displayed on the page:
You don't have permission to access /
on this server.
When I had encountered the problem on another system once before, I had changed the file permissions on the user account on that system to provide search access for all accounts on the system. So I tried that again from a Terminal window to see if it made a difference:
$ ls -ld /Users/jasmith1 drwx------+ 34 jasmith1 1286109195 1156 Feb 18 20:40 /Users/jasmith1 $ chmod ga+x /Users/jasmith1 $ ls -ld /Users/jasmith1 drwx--x--x+ 34 jasmith1 1286109195 1156 Feb 18 21:08 /Users/jasmith1 $
I refreshed the page in the Firefox browser and I then had access to the website I created on the laptop. I'm the only user of the laptop, so I wasn't concerned about granting "execute" access for the directory to all accounts on the system. For directories, "execute permission allows the directory to be entered and used in a pathname."1
The document root of the website is under
. The subdirectories in that path already had execute permission set
$ ls -ld /Users/jasmith1/Documents drwxr-xr-x+ 56 jasmith1 1286109195 1904 Feb 7 20:29 /Users/jasmith1/Documents $ ls -ld /Users/jasmith1/Documents/www drwxr-xr-x 15 jasmith1 1286109195 510 Dec 15 15:36 /Users/jasmith1/Documents/www $
However, the next morning when I tried accessng localhost I again had the prior problem when I refreshed the page. I checked the permissions on the home directory for my account and found they had been reset to what they had been previously:
$ ls -ld ~ drwx------+ 34 jasmith1 1286109195 1156 Feb 19 11:49 /Users/jasmith1 $
So I then tried changing the permissions through the OS X Finder file manager. In the Finder, I clicked on Go and then chose Home.
I then clicked on File and chose Get Info.
I clicked on the arrowhead to the left of "Sharing & Permissions" to see the current folder permissions. The setting for "everyone" was "No access." I then clicked on "No Access" next to "everyone" and changed the selection from "No Access" to "Read & Write".
I closed the Info window and refreshed the browser tab for
http://localhost. I was then able to access the files served
Apache. The file permissions for my home directory were then as follows:
$ ls -ld ~ drwx---rwx+ 36 jasmith1 1286109195 1224 Feb 27 16:08 /Users/jasmith1 $
When I tried accessing the homepage 4 hours and 5 minutes later, though, the permissions had reverted to what they had been previously.
Another option to deal with permissions issues for Apache, if you only have
one account on a system that needs to run a web server, is to change the
account under which Apache runs on the system. On an OS X system, Apache
runs under the
_www account. But you can have it run under
another account by editing Apache's configuration file
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf, if you have administrative level
privileges on the system that will allow you to edit that file. In the file
you will see the following section:
<IfModule unixd_module> # # If you wish httpd to run as a different user or group, you must run # httpd as root initially and it will switch. # # User/Group: The name (or #number) of the user/group to run httpd as. # It is usually good practice to create a dedicated user and group for # running httpd, as with most system services. # User _www Group _www </IfModule>
You can see that Apache is running under the
by using the
ps command below.
$ ps -Af | grep httpd | grep -v grep 0 97 1 0 10:57AM ?? 0:01.79 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 526 97 0 10:57AM ?? 0:00.05 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 4780 97 0 11:13AM ?? 0:00.02 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21878 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.01 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21880 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.00 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21881 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.01 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21882 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.01 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21883 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.00 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21884 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.00 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND 70 21885 97 0 5:24PM ?? 0:00.00 /usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND $
The first column is the userid (UID). I can see that the UID of 70 is the
UID of the
_www account by looking for "70" in the
$ grep 70 /etc/passwd _www:*:70:70:World Wide Web Server:/Library/WebServer:/usr/bin/false $
To run the Apache software under your account you can change the value
User to be the "shortname" for your account. If you don't
know the shortname, you can open a
Terminal window and issue the
id -p commands. E.g.:
$ whoami jasmith1 $ id -p uid jasmith1 groups 513 access_bpf com.apple.sharepoint.group.1 everyone staff netaccounts _appserverusr admin _appserveradm _lpadmin _appstore _lpoperator _developer com.apple.access_ftp com.apple.access_screensharing com.apple.access_ssh $
To run Apache under your account, replace the value for User with the
shortname for your account and put
staff as the value for Group
User jasmith1 Group staff
After I restarted the Apache webserver software, I was again able to
access webpages I had created through the Apache server software by putting
http://localhost in a browser's address bar.