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User Guide


basicauth implements HTTP Basic Authentication. Basic Authentication can be used to protect directories and files with a username and password. Note that basic auth is not secure over plain HTTP. Use discretion when deciding what to protect with HTTP Basic Authentication.

When a user requests a resource that is protected, the browser will prompt the user for a username and password if they have not already supplied one. If the proper credentials are present in the Authorization header, the server will grant access to the resource and set the {user} placeholder to the value of the username. If the header is missing or the credentials are incorrect, the server will respond with HTTP 401 Unauthorized.

This directive allows use of .htpasswd files by prefixing the password argument with htpasswd= and the path to the .htpasswd file to use. Support for .htpasswd is for legacy sites only and may be removed in the future; do not use .htpasswd with new sites.

Note that basicauth does not protect OPTIONS requests. This is so that clients can know whether to prompt for authentication in cross-origin contexts. We emphasize that servers violate RFC 2616 if they respond to OPTIONS with a resource retrieval (i.e. if they respond with secret content to OPTIONS requests).


basicauth path username password

This syntax is convenient for protecting a single file or base path/directory with the default realm "Restricted". To protect multiple resources or to specify a realm, use the following variation:

basicauth username password { realm name resources }


Protect all files in /secret so only Bob can access them with the password "hiccup":

basicauth /secret Bob hiccup

Protect multiple files and directories in the realm "Mary Lou's documents" so Mary Lou has access with her password "milkshakes":

basicauth "Mary Lou" milkshakes { realm "Mary Lou's documents" /notes-for-mary-lou.txt /marylou-files /another-file.txt }

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