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Anonymous, 2008-06-10 11:05
Added a note about the absence of the "require group MyGroup" feature

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#!rst ====================
Using Authentication ====================

Module: mod_auth

.. meta::
:keywords: lighttpd, authentication

.. contents:: Table of Contents

Description ===========

Supported Methods

lighttpd supports both authentication methods described by
RFC 2617:


The Basic method transfers the username and the password in
cleartext over the network (base64 encoded) and might result
in security problems if not used in conjunction with a crypted
channel between client and server.


The Digest method only transfers a hashed value over the
network which performs a lot of work to harden the
authentication process in insecure networks.


Depending on the method lighttpd provides various way to store
the credentials used for the authentication.

for basic auth:

- plain_
- htpasswd_
- htdigest_
- ldap_

for digest auth:

- plain_
- htdigest_


A file which contains username and the cleartext password
seperated by a colon. Each entry is terminated by a single



A file which contains username and the crypt()'ed password
seperated by a colon. Each entry is terminated by a single
newline. ::


You can use htpasswd from the apache distribution to manage
those files. ::

$ htpasswd lighttpd.user.htpasswd agent007

Keep in mind that not all versions of htpasswd default to use
Apache's modified MD5 algorithm for passwords, which is
required by lighttpd. You can force most to use MD5 with:

$htpasswd -m <pwfile> <username>


A file which contains username, realm and the md5()'ed
password seperated by a colon. Each entry is terminated
by a single newline. ::

agent007:download area:8364d0044ef57b3defcfa141e8f77b65

You can use htdigest from the apache distribution to manage
those files. ::

$ htdigest lighttpd.user.htdigest 'download area' agent007

Using md5sum can also generate the password-hash: ::

hash=`echo -n "$user:$realm:$pass" | md5sum | cut -b -32`
echo "$user:$realm:$hash"

To use it (spaces between arguments!) :

$ 'agent007' 'download area' 'secret'
agent007:download area:8364d0044ef57b3defcfa141e8f77b65

follow code is improved when you use for service: ::

export PATH="/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:$PATH"
  1. when input ctrl-c, remove lockfile and exit
    trap '[ $lockstart -eq 1 ] && unlock $pfile && exit 0 || exit 0' INT
errmsg() {
echo "$1" > /dev/stderr
user_check() {
grep "^${check_user}:" ${pfile} >& /dev/null
return $?
lock() {
[ -f "${lockfile}" ] && {
errmsg "WARNING: lock file ${lockfile} is already exists"
errmsg " Wait minites for end of previous working ..."
while [ -f "${lockfile}" ]; do echo >& /dev/null ; done
touch ${lockfile}
unlock() {
[ -f "${lockfile}" ] && rm -f ${lockfile} && lockstart=0
usage() {
errmsg "lightdigest: lighttpd htdigest password generation program"
errmsg "Scripted by JoungKyun.Kim <>"
errmsg "Usage: $0 -[hd] -u user -p pass -r realm [-f password_file]"
errmsg "Options:"
errmsg " -h print this help messages"
errmsg " -u user username"
errmsg " -p pass password"
errmsg " -r realm realm name"
errmsg " -f filename password file [default: /etc/lighttpd/conf.d/lighttpd.user"
errmsg " -d remove user"
[ $lockstart -eq 1 ] && rm -f ${pfile}.lock
exit 1
opts=$(getopt df:hp:r:u: $*)
[ $? != 0 ] && usage
set -- ${opts}
for i
case "$i" in
d) remove=1; shift;;
-f) pfile="$2"; shift; shift;;
-p) pass="$2"; shift; shift;;
-r) realm="$2"; shift; shift;;
-u) user="$2"; shift; shift;;
) shift; break;
#echo $user
#echo $realm
#echo $pass
#echo $pfile
#echo $remove
[ -z "$user" ] && errmsg "ERROR: User is none!!" && usage
[ ${remove} -eq 0 -a -z "${realm}" ] && errmsg "ERROR: Realm is none!!" && usage
if [ -z "${pass}" -a ${remove} -eq 0 ]; then
echo -n "Input new password : "
read newpass
echo -n "Reinput password for confirm : "
read renewpass
if [ "${newpass}" != "${renewpass}" ]; then
errmsg "ERROR: Password is not match"
exit 1
lock ${pfile}
if [ ${remove} -eq 0 ]; then
    # User Add Mode
hash=$(echo -n "${user}:${realm}:${pass}" | md5sum | cut -b -32)
user_check ${user}
[ -f "${pfile}" ] && cp -af ${pfile} ${pfile}.bak
if [ ${already} -eq 0 ]; then # already exists
perl -pi -e "s/^${user}:.*$/${user}:${realm}:${hash}/g" ${pfile}
else # add new user
echo "${user}:${realm}:${hash}" >> ${pfile}
  1. User Remove Mode
    cp -af ${pfile} ${pfile}.bak
    grep -v "^${user}:" ${pfile} > ${tmp_htdigest}
    mv -f ${tmp_htdigest} ${pfile}
unlock ${pfile}
exit 0

To use it (don't use realm value! getopt of some bash version has bug.) :

  1. if you add or change
  1. if you want to remove use
$ lightdigest -d -u USERNAME


the ldap backend is performing the following steps
to authenticate a user

1. Init the LDAP connection
2. Set Protocol version to LDAPv3
3. If StartTLS if configured -> Configure CA certificate if supplied
4. If StartTLS if configured -> Activate TLS using StartTLS
5. If Bind DN is included -> Simple bind with Bind-DN and Bind-Password
6. If there is no Bind-DN -> Simple bind anonymously
7. Try up to two times a SUBTREE search of the base-DN with the filter applied.
8. Retrieve the DN of the user matching the filter.
9. Finally, re-init the connection (following the steps above), this time using the DN found using the filter and the password supplied by the user.

if all 9 steps are performed without any error the user is

Configuration =============


  1. debugging
  1. 0 for off, 1 for 'auth-ok' messages, 2 for verbose debugging
    auth.debug = 0
  1. type of backend
  1. plain, htpasswd, ldap or htdigest
    auth.backend = "htpasswd"
  1. filename of the password storage for
  2. plain
    auth.backend.plain.userfile = "lighttpd-plain.user"
  1. for htpasswd
    auth.backend.htpasswd.userfile = "/full/path/to/lighttpd-htpasswd.user"
  1. for htdigest
    auth.backend.htdigest.userfile = "lighttpd-htdigest.user"
  1. for ldap
  1. the $ in auth.backend.ldap.filter is replaced by the
  2. 'username' from the login dialog
    auth.backend.ldap.hostname = "localhost"
    auth.backend.ldap.base-dn = "dc=my-domain,dc=com"
    auth.backend.ldap.filter = "(uid=$)"
  3. if enabled, startTLS needs a valid (base64-encoded) CA
  4. certificate unless the certificate has been stored
  5. in a c_hashed directory and referenced in ldap.conf
    auth.backend.ldap.starttls = "enable" = "/etc/CAcertificate.pem"
  6. If you need to use a custom bind to access the server
    auth.backend.ldap.bind-dn = "uid=admin,dc=my-domain,dc=com"
    auth.backend.ldap.bind-pw = "mysecret"
  7. If you want to allow empty passwords
  8. "disable" for requiring passwords, "enable" for allowing empty passwords
    auth.backend.ldap.allow-empty-pw = "disable"
  1. restrictions
  1. set restrictions: #
  2. ( <left-part-of-the-url> =>
  3. ( "method" => "digest"/"basic",
  4. "realm" => <realm>,
  5. "require" => "user=<username>" )
  6. ) #
  7. <realm> is a string to display in the dialog
  8. presented to the user and is also used for the
  9. digest-algorithm and has to match the realm in the
  10. htdigest file (if used) #
auth.require = ( "/download/" => 
( # method must be either basic or digest
"method" => "digest",
"realm" => "download archiv",
"require" => "user=agent007|user=agent008"
"/server-info" =>
"method" => "digest",
"realm" => "download archiv",
"require" => "valid-user"
  1. Or, using regular expressions:
    $HTTP["url"] =~ "^/download|^/server-info" {
    auth.require = ( "" => (
    "method" => "digest",
    "realm" => "download archiv",
    "require" => "user=agent007|user=agent008"

Limitations ============

- The implementation of digest method is currently not
completely compliant with the standard as it still allows
a replay attack.

- LDAP authentication only allows alphanumeric uid's that
do not contain punctuations. i.e.) john.doe will come
up as "ldap: invalid character (a-zA-Z0-9 allowed) in username: john.doe"

- There seems to be no reasonable logging of failed login attempts yet

- As of 1.4.19 the group field inside the require directive is not yet implemented. So auth.backend.plain.groupfile is of no use at this moment.

See Also ========

  • [wiki:HowToAuthenticationFromMultipleFiles Authenticate from Multiple Password Files]

Updated by Anonymous over 11 years ago · 27 revisions