mod_access - Apache HTTP Server
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Apache Module mod_access

Description:Provides access control based on client hostname, IP address, or other characteristics of the client request.
Status:Base
Module Identifier:access_module
Source File:mod_access.c
Compatibility:Available only in versions prior to 2.1

Summary

The directives provided by mod_access are used in <Directory>, <Files>, and <Location> sections as well as .htaccess files to control access to particular parts of the server. Access can be controlled based on the client hostname, IP address, or other characteristics of the client request, as captured in environment variables. The Allow and Deny directives are used to specify which clients are or are not allowed access to the server, while the Order directive sets the default access state, and configures how the Allow and Deny directives interact with each other.

Both host-based access restrictions and password-based authentication may be implemented simultaneously. In that case, the Satisfy directive is used to determine how the two sets of restrictions interact.

In general, access restriction directives apply to all access methods (GET, PUT, POST, etc). This is the desired behavior in most cases. However, it is possible to restrict some methods, while leaving other methods unrestricted, by enclosing the directives in a <Limit> section.

Directives

See also

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Allow Directive

Description:Controls which hosts can access an area of the server
Syntax: Allow from all|host|env=env-variable [host|env=env-variable] ...
Context:directory, .htaccess
Override:Limit
Status:Base
Module:mod_access

The Allow directive affects which hosts can access an area of the server. Access can be controlled by hostname, IP Address, IP Address range, or by other characteristics of the client request captured in environment variables.

The first argument to this directive is always from. The subsequent arguments can take three different forms. If Allow from all is specified, then all hosts are allowed access, subject to the configuration of the Deny and Order directives as discussed below. To allow only particular hosts or groups of hosts to access the server, the host can be specified in any of the following formats:

A (partial) domain-name

Example:

Allow from apache.org

Hosts whose names match, or end in, this string are allowed access. Only complete components are matched, so the above example will match foo.apache.org but it will not match fooapache.org. This configuration will cause Apache to perform a double reverse DNS lookup on the client IP address, regardless of the setting of the HostnameLookups directive. It will do a reverse DNS lookup on the IP address to find the associated hostname, and then do a forward lookup on the hostname to assure that it matches the original IP address. Only if the forward and reverse DNS are consistent and the hostname matches will access be allowed.

A full IP address

Example:

Allow from 10.1.2.3

An IP address of a host allowed access

A partial IP address

Example:

Allow from 10.1

The first 1 to 3 bytes of an IP address, for subnet restriction.

A network/netmask pair

Example:

Allow from 10.1.0.0/255.255.0.0

A network a.b.c.d, and a netmask w.x.y.z. For more fine-grained subnet restriction.

A network/nnn CIDR specification

Example:

Allow from 10.1.0.0/16

Similar to the previous case, except the netmask consists of nnn high-order 1 bits.

Note that the last three examples above match exactly the same set of hosts.

IPv6 addresses and IPv6 subnets can be specified as shown below:

Allow from fe80::a00:20ff:fea7:ccea
Allow from fe80::a00:20ff:fea7:ccea/10

The third format of the arguments to the Allow directive allows access to the server to be controlled based on the existence of an environment variable. When Allow from env=env-variable is specified, then the request is allowed access if the environment variable env-variable exists. The server provides the ability to set environment variables in a flexible way based on characteristics of the client request using the directives provided by mod_setenvif. Therefore, this directive can be used to allow access based on such factors as the clients User-Agent (browser type), Referer, or other HTTP request header fields.

Example:

SetEnvIf User-Agent ^KnockKnock/2\.0 let_me_in
<Directory /docroot>
Order Deny,Allow
Deny from all
Allow from env=let_me_in
</Directory>

In this case, browsers with a user-agent string beginning with KnockKnock/2.0 will be allowed access, and all others will be denied.

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Deny Directive

Description:Controls which hosts are denied access to the server
Syntax: Deny from all|host|env=env-variable [host|env=env-variable] ...
Context:directory, .htaccess
Override:Limit
Status:Base
Module:mod_access

This directive allows access to the server to be restricted based on hostname, IP address, or environment variables. The arguments for the Deny directive are identical to the arguments for the Allow directive.

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Order Directive

Description:Controls the default access state and the order in which Allow and Deny are evaluated.
Syntax: Order ordering
Default:Order Deny,Allow
Context:directory, .htaccess
Override:Limit
Status:Base
Module:mod_access

The Order directive controls the default access state and the order in which Allow and Deny directives are evaluated. Ordering is one of

Deny,Allow
The Deny directives are evaluated before the Allow directives. Access is allowed by default. Any client which does not match a Deny directive or does match an Allow directive will be allowed access to the server.
Allow,Deny
The Allow directives are evaluated before the Deny directives. Access is denied by default. Any client which does not match an Allow directive or does match a Deny directive will be denied access to the server.
Mutual-failure
Only those hosts which appear on the Allow list and do not appear on the Deny list are granted access. This ordering has the same effect as Order Allow,Deny and is deprecated in favor of that configuration.

Keywords may only be separated by a comma; no whitespace is allowed between them. Note that in all cases every Allow and Deny statement is evaluated.

In the following example, all hosts in the apache.org domain are allowed access; all other hosts are denied access.

Order Deny,Allow
Deny from all
Allow from apache.org

In the next example, all hosts in the apache.org domain are allowed access, except for the hosts which are in the foo.apache.org subdomain, who are denied access. All hosts not in the apache.org domain are denied access because the default state is to deny access to the server.

Order Allow,Deny
Allow from apache.org
Deny from foo.apache.org

On the other hand, if the Order in the last example is changed to Deny,Allow, all hosts will be allowed access. This happens because, regardless of the actual ordering of the directives in the configuration file, the Allow from apache.org will be evaluated last and will override the Deny from foo.apache.org. All hosts not in the apache.org domain will also be allowed access because the default state will change to allow.

The presence of an Order directive can affect access to a part of the server even in the absence of accompanying Allow and Deny directives because of its effect on the default access state. For example,

<Directory /www>
Order Allow,Deny
</Directory>

will deny all access to the /www directory because the default access state will be set to deny.

The Order directive controls the order of access directive processing only within each phase of the server's configuration processing. This implies, for example, that an Allow or Deny directive occurring in a <Location> section will always be evaluated after an Allow or Deny directive occurring in a <Directory> section or .htaccess file, regardless of the setting of the Order directive. For details on the merging of configuration sections, see the documentation on How Directory, Location and Files sections work.

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