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Configure Per-user web directories in Apache

This type of configuration is useful for ISP's where they will provide their customers free web space.

On systems with multiple users, each user can be permitted to have a web site in their home directory using the UserDir directive. Visitors to a URL http://example.com/~username/ will get content out of the home directory of the user "username", out of the subdirectory specified by the UserDir directive.

Setting the file path with UserDir

The UserDir directive specifies a directory out of which per-user content is loaded. This directive may take several different forms.

If a path is given which does not start with a leading slash, it is assumed to be a directory path relative to the home directory of the specified user. Given this configuration:

UserDir public_html

the URL http://example.com/~debian/index.html will be translated to the file path /home/debian/public_html/index.html

If a path is given starting with a slash, a directory path will be constructed using that path, plus the username specified. Given this configuration:

UserDir /var/html

the URL http://example.com/~debian/index.html will be translated to the file path /var/html/debian/index.html

If a path is provided which contains an asterisk (*), a path is used in which the asterisk is replaced with the username. Given this configuration:

UserDir /var/www/*/htdocs

the URL http://example.com/~debian/index.html will be translated to the file path /var/www/debian/htdocs/index.html

Restricting users for limited access

you can restrict what users are permitted to use this functionality:

UserDir enabled
UserDir disabled root ruchi tej


The configuration above will enable the feature for all users except for those listed in the disabled statement. You can, likewise, disable the feature for all but a few users by using a configuration like the following:

UserDir disabled
UserDir enabled debian test


Enabling a cgi directory for each user

In order to give each user their own cgi-bin directory, you can use a <Directory> directive to make a particular subdirectory of a user's home directory cgi-enabled.

<Directory /home/*/public_html/cgi-bin/>
Options ExecCGI
SetHandler cgi-script
</Directory>


Then, presuming that UserDir is set to public_html, a cgi program example.cgi could be loaded from that directory as:

http://example.com/~debian/cgi-bin/example.cgi

Allowing users to alter configuration

If you want to allows users to modify the server configuration in their web space, they will need to use .htaccess files to make these changed. Ensure that you have set AllowOverride to a value sufficient for the directives that you want to permit the users to modify.

If you want to know more about the .htaccess file click here