Password Protecting Your Web Pages

Want to prevent people from viewing the files in a particular web directory ?

Here are the steps that will enable you to secure a web directory (in this example, /var/www/html/admin directory or http://yourip/admin/).

Step # 1: Make sure Apache is configured to use .htaccess file

You need to have AllowOverride AuthConfig directive in /etc/apache2/httpd.conf file in order for these directives to have any effect. Look for DocumentRoot Directory entry. In this example, our DocumentRoot directory is set to /var/www. Therefore, my entry in httpd.conf looks like as follows:

<Directory /var/www>
Options Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride AuthConfig
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Change the value from “AllowOverride None” to “AllowOverride AuthConfig” (or “AllowOverride All” if you want to change other, non-authorization related options).

Save the file and restart Apache :
> sudo service apache2 restart

Next Steps are to create .htccess and a .htpasswd files :

  • From an SSH command prompt run: htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/.htpasswd yourusername and specify the password you want (change the file location to suit). This will create a .htpasswd file like: yourusername:me7asnd1UpLYw (Dont put the htpasswd file inside your webroot for security reasons). -c option is to create a new
  • In the Create Options File input, enter the name of the .htaccess file you wish to create. e.g. /var/www/html/admin/.htaccess

Your .htaccess file options will look like this:

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Protected Area
Require valid-user
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/.htpasswd

Protect your .htacess and .htpasswd. (Read this)

CHMOD your .htaccess file 644 which translates to rw-r-r

chmod your .htpasswd file 640 (rw-r–)

$ chmod 644 .htaccess
$ chmod 640 .htpasswd

So in /etc/apache2/sites-available in default websites edit with nano and add a virtual host ( Read this for details  ) :

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html

    <Directory "/var/www/html">
        AuthType Basic
        AuthName "Restricted Content"
        AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/.htpasswd
        Require valid-user



Since 20 years I work on Database Architecture and data migration protocols. I am also a consultant in Web content management solutions. I am an experienced web-developer with over 10 years developing PHP/MySQL, C#, VB.Net applications ranging from simple web sites to extensive web-based business applications. When not writing code, I like to dance salsa and swing and have fun with my little family.

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