System administration, tricks and tips from an old school web-hacker. All words and opinions are my own.

Getting Apache basic authorization working using mod_authn_dbd and MySQL on Ubuntu 14.04LTS (Trusty).

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I’m converting a number of old websites that were using mod_auth_mysql - which doesn’t work anymore - and was having a hard time finding clear, concise and working information.

First off - DO NOT INSTALL libapache2-mod-auth-mysql - it doesn’t work. I’m not even sure why it’s in Ubuntu anymore, it doesn’t even work with Apache 2.4.

Here’s how to do get Apache 2.4 / mod_authn_dbd and MySQL to play nice together:

apt-get install apache2 apache2-utils
apt-get install mysql-server-5.6
apt-get install libaprutil1-dbd-mysql

Create a MySQL user that you can query your databases with.

Once that’s done, let’s setup the global dbd_mysql configuration in this file /etc/apache2/conf-available/dbd_mysql.conf:

DBDriver mysql
DBDParams "host=127.0.0.1 port=3306 user=username_here pass=password_here"
DBDMin  2
DBDKeep 4
DBDMax  10
DBDExptime 300

Now you need to enable a number of modules and this new configuration file:

a2enmod dbd
a2enmod authn_dbd
a2enconf dbd_mysql

Now configure the virtualhost where you need the Basic authentication - add something like this:

DBDParams "dbname=database_name_goes_here"

<Directory /var/www/password-protected-site>
  AuthName "You Must Login"
  AuthType Basic
  AuthBasicProvider dbd
  AuthDBDUserPWQuery "SELECT encrypt(password) AS password FROM password WHERE username = %s"
  Require valid-user
</Directory>

NOTE: The ‘encrypt(password)’ in the SQL statement is because the legacy information I’m moving over is in plaintext. If you’ve got your passwords encrypted, then you can use one of the options here and skip the encrypt call.

I am using a password table that looks like this:

CREATE TABLE `password` (
  `id` int(11) unsigned NOT NULL auto_increment,
  `username` varchar(255) default NULL,
  `password` varchar(255) default NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY  (`id`)
) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

Insert a user and password into the table, then service apache2 restart and you’re ready to go.

Hopefully this helps - I know I was pretty frustrated this afternoon with all the misinformation I found online.