This guide explains how to set up WebDAV with Apache2 on a CentOS 5.5 server. WebDAV stands for Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning and is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol that allow users to directly edit files on the Apache server so that they do not need to be downloaded/uploaded via FTP. Of course, WebDAV can also be used to upload and download files.
I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!
1 Preliminary Note
I’m using a CentOS 5.5 server with the IP address 192.168.0.100 here.
2 Installing WebDAV
If Apache is not already installed, install it as follows:
yum install httpd
Afterwards, open /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and make sure that the dav and dav_fs modules are enabled in the LoadModule section (they should be enabled by default):
[...] LoadModule dav_module modules/mod_dav.so [...] LoadModule dav_fs_module modules/mod_dav_fs.so [...]
Then create the system startup links for Apache and start it:
chkconfig –levels 235 httpd on
3 Creating A Virtual Host
I will now create a default Apache vhost in the directory /var/www/web1/web. For this purpose, I will add a default vhost at the end of /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf. If you already have a vhost for which you’d like to enable WebDAV, you must adjust this tutorial to your situation.
First, we create the directory /var/www/web1/web and make the Apache user and group (apache) the owner of that directory:
mkdir -p /var/www/web1/web
chown apache:apache /var/www/web1/web
Then add the new vhost at the end of /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:
[...] NameVirtualHost *:80 <VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost DocumentRoot /var/www/web1/web/ <Directory /var/www/web1/web/> Options Indexes MultiViews AllowOverride None Order allow,deny allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost>
Then reload Apache:
4 Configure The Virtual Host For WebDAV
Now we create the WebDAV password file /var/www/web1/passwd.dav with the user test (the -c switch creates the file if it does not exist):
htpasswd -c /var/www/web1/passwd.dav test
You will be asked to type in a password for the user test.
(Please don’t use the -c switch if /var/www/web1/passwd.dav is already existing because this will recreate the file from scratch, meaning you lose all users in that file!)
Now we change the permissions of the /var/www/web1/passwd.dav file so that only root and the members of the apache group can access it:
chown root:apache /var/www/web1/passwd.dav
chmod 640 /var/www/web1/passwd.dav
Now we modify our vhost at the end of /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and add the following lines to it:
[...] Alias /webdav /var/www/web1/web <Location /webdav> DAV On AuthType Basic AuthName "webdav" AuthUserFile /var/www/web1/passwd.dav Require valid-user </Location> [...]
The Alias directive makes (together with <Location>) that when you call /webdav, WebDAV is invoked, but you can still access the whole document root of the vhost. All other URLs of that vhost are still “normal” HTTP.
The final vhost should look like this:
[...] NameVirtualHost *:80 <VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost DocumentRoot /var/www/web1/web/ <Directory /var/www/web1/web/> Options Indexes MultiViews AllowOverride None Order allow,deny allow from all </Directory> Alias /webdav /var/www/web1/web <Location /webdav> DAV On AuthType Basic AuthName "webdav" AuthUserFile /var/www/web1/passwd.dav Require valid-user </Location> </VirtualHost>
Reload Apache afterwards:
5 Testing WebDAV
We will now install cadaver, a command-line WebDAV client:
yum install cadaver
To test if WebDAV works, type:
You should be prompted for a user name. Type in test and then the password for the user test. If all goes well, you should be granted access which means WebDAV is working ok. Type quit to leave the WebDAV shell:
[root@server1 ~]# cadaver http://localhost/webdav/
Authentication required for webdav on server `localhost’:
Connection to `localhost’ closed.
6 Configure A Windows XP Client To Connect To The WebDAV Share
Click on My Network Places on your desktop (I have a German Windows, so the names are a bit different in the screenshots):
Select Add a Network Place from the Network Tasks menu (on the left):
The Add Network Place Wizard comes up. Click on the Next button:
Select Choose another network location, and click on Next:
Enter http://192.168.0.100:80/webdav as the location and click on Next. You must specify the port in the WebDAV URL (:80). For some strange reason this makes Windows XP accept the normal username (e.g. test) – otherwise Windows XP expects NTLM usernames (that would have the form www.example.com\test).
You will be prompted for a user name and a password. Type in the user name test and the password for the user test:
Then type in a name for the WebDAV folder:
To open the new connection, keep the Open this network place when I click Finish box checked, and click on Finish:
The WebDAV folder will then open where you can browse the contents of the /var/www/web1/web directory and its subdirectories on the server, and you will find an icon for your new WebDAV share in the My Network Places folder:
7 Configure A Linux Client (GNOME) To Connect To The WebDAV Share
If you want to connect to the WebDAV share from a GNOME desktop, go to Places > Connect to Server…:
Select WebDAV (HTTP) as the Service type, type in the Server (192.168.0.100 in this example) and then the Folder (webdav). Do not fill in a User Name yet because otherwise the connection will fail. Click on Connect afterwards:
Now you are being prompted for a user name and password. Type in test along with the password, then click on Connect:
You might get the following error…
… but at the same time the WebDAV share should appear on the desktop, which means you can ignore the error:
Double-click on the icon to open the WebDAV share:
- WebDAV: http://www.webdav.org/
- Apache: http://httpd.apache.org/
- CentOS: http://www.centos.org/