This post describes the steps to set up the UserDir feature with the Apache HTTP server in Ubuntu Linux.
In some school environments, you’ll see examples where teachers are given their website to publish materials for students to access. Instead of creating multiple server blocks, the system administrator can use the UserDir feature.
The URL to reach the teacher’s page is usually the domain name followed by /~teacher_name.
User Directory, or UserDir for short, is a feature for Apache web servers that allows user-specific directories to be accessed via Nginx.
For example, when you enable this feature in Apache, users with accounts on the system can share content in their home directories with the world via Apache.
This tutorial assumes that you already have an Apache2 web server installed. If you haven’t, you may want to do that before continuing below.
Install Apache2 HTTP Server
First, run the commands below to install Apache2 HTTP Server on Ubuntu
sudo apt install apache2
Enabling UserDir on Apache2
To enable the Userdir module for Apache2 webservers, run the commands below.
sudo a2enmod userdir
After running the commands above, the feature will be enabled and ready to be used. The configuration file is at /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/userdir.conf. But you don’t have to do anything. It’s already configured with the best options.
To access the config file, run the commands below
sudo nano /etc/apache2/mods-available/userdir.conf
Then validate the settings below:
<IfModule mod_userdir.c> UserDir public_html UserDir disabled root <Directory /home/*/public_html> AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit Indexes Options MultiViews Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch IncludesNoExec Require method GET POST OPTIONS </Directory> </IfModule> # vim: syntax=apache ts=4 sw=4 sts=4 sr noet
Creating User Directories
Now that the feature is enabled, all users have to do is run the commands below to create a folder in their home directories called public_html by running the commands below.
In the ~/public_html folder, create html documents to be shared and accessed via the web server.
Restart the Apache2 webserver to load the settings.
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service
Test it by browsing the server hostname or IP address followed by the username.
This is how the Apache2 Userdir module is configured for users to allow users with accounts on the systems to share content from their home directories.