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Friday, July 31, 2009

Bring up Linux Apache Server & symbolic links access

I wanted to bring up an HTTP server on Red Hat 5.3 to browse a NFS directory and share it with my colleges. The basic configuration went very easily, however, accessing the soft links was a nightmare! so I would like share the solution here to save time for other people who face the same problem. I found a lot of articles about this, this one was great. Basically, you need to edit /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and include this line under the "Directory" XML element of the directory that includes the symbolic links you want to enable:
Options FollowSymLinks
However, it was not enough for my case, and my problem was SElinux! once I disabled it, everything worked like a charm. To control (disable) SElinux follow instructions at this link. Basically, to disable SElinux temporarily, run:
echo 0 > /selinux/enforce

Thanks for the people who documented their troubleshooting and helped solving the problem.

To set your web server for easy file access:
- comment out all lines in /etc/httpd/conf.d/welcome.conf
- edit /etc/init.d/httpd.conf
- echo 0 > /selinux/enforce
- Modify the line "DocumentRoot /var/www/html" to point to your path
- Modify the line "Directory /var/www/html" to point to your path
- chkconfig httpd on
- service httpd restart
- Got to any host any browse http://server-ip

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