I am creating a PHP based web application which requires simple authentication to use. The application is made to be installed on a web server and used only be the owner of the web hosting/server, so there will only be one user and password. I figured there was no point in creating a complicated login system. I would just create a GUI to generate .htaccess and .htpasswd files to use Apache's authentication. The idea behind it was that it was supposed to simple, however it is turning into more of a job than I anticipated. I realized I have to place the .htpasswd file somewhere secure, meaning not in a web accessible directory. The problem is that web servers often have different filesystems and permissions, so where can I place it where it will be safe? I was able to create a directory with "740" permissions, which should be secure, from what I can tell. However, this is inconvenient. The application really should be limited to one folder, and if necessary a stray .htpasswd file. I would love to place the .htpasswd in the application folder, but I believe that is not possible if it is secured by the .htaccess file, when I tried it seemed to cause server errors. If anybody has a solution to that or a better place to put the .htpasswd file it would be greatly appreciated!


Take a look at stackoverflow.com/questions/747096/….

Written by George Marian

I am aware of how htaccess and htpasswd function, and how to create them. I am simply looking for suggestions as to where I can place the .htpasswd file that is cross-platform compatible and secure.

Written by Ben Kulbertis

Accepted Answer

By default apache should be configured not to serve any .ht* files by this rule:

<FilesMatch "^\.ht">
    Order allow,deny
    Deny from all
    Satisfy All

So it should be secure to place this file wherever you want.

If you are encountering server errors check for mod_auth if it is compiled/enabled in apache installation and if your virtual host/webroot has AllowOverride AuthConfig

Written by dev-null-dweller
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