WebDAV on Ubuntu (10.04)

Had an interesting go-around with WebDAV on a non-production test server with Apache2 and it seemed errors were almost random.  There were a number of factors involved.  First, I am testing for preparation of using multiple authors to update a website.  WebDAV was the logical choice.  Installing WedDAV was simple enough:

  • load or enable modules (a2enmod)  dav, dav_fs
  • load up authentication module(s) [I started with auth_digest]
  • insert directives like turning DAV on

Well, it seemed to work with default settings.  Since I was enabling this for authors, it was not used for a separate directory or folder, but the root folder.  The initial test using ‘cadaver’ went well.  It all went downhill once I started testing with Dreamweaver.  Apparently, no matter what I did, Dreamweaver would not use ‘auth digest’ mode.  Supposedly if you add PROPFIND to the <Limitexcept> directive, Dreamweaver should find and use Auth Digest.  Nope, didn’t work.  Since Apache thought the client was using ‘Auth Basic’, I decided to go ahead and use ‘Basic’.  So that meant I had to create a new password file with ‘htpasswd’ which I did.

htpasswd -c /var/run/apache2/.passwordfile

Well, after restarting Apache, I tested with cadaver and I had new errors.  Could not find ‘user’  One suggestion I found on the web said that you should name your user with the server name before it (much like the domainuser credentials in the Windows world) like this  servernameusername [the second slash is there because it ignores the first – whatever].  This did not work either.  Other mentioned it was because some Ubuntu and Debian builds did not link the ‘authz_basic’ module properly.  I had this listed in my ‘mods-enabled’ folder, so it was loaded.

One novel suggestion (and I used this method) was by placing all your DAV directives in the ‘dav_fs.conf’ file in the ‘mods-enabled’ folder.  Therebye automatically removing directives when DAV mods are unloaded.  So ‘cadaver’ still didn’t work after all this.  I knew if I could get ‘cadaver’ to see the user this time, I would be good to go, as Dreamweaver works with Auth Basic.

After all that messing around, it turned out to be pretty simple.  Originally, I had checked to make sure the Digest password file had proper permissions (group had to be www-data), so that was why that worked with ‘cadaver’.  When creating the new password file with htpasswd, it defaulted to group of root.  I changed that file to the www-data group and everything worked.  This is how my directives in dav_fs looks:

DAVLockDB /var/run/apache2/lock/davlock
DAVMinTimeout 600

<Location /webdav/>
      DAV On
      AuthType basic
      AuthName username
      AuthUserFile /var/run/apache2/.davpasswordfile
             Require valid-user

My ‘alias’ directive is still located in virtual default file.  Good news is it works now!

Posted under Applications