Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.4 > Modules

Apache Module mod_authn_file

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Description:User authentication using text files
Module Identifier:authn_file_module
Source File:mod_authn_file.c
Compatibility:Available in Apache 2.1 and later


This module provides authentication front-ends such as mod_auth_digest and mod_auth_basic to authenticate users by looking up users in plain text password files. Similar functionality is provided by mod_authn_dbm.

When using mod_auth_basic or mod_auth_digest, this module is invoked via the AuthBasicProvider or AuthDigestProvider with the file value.

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AuthUserFile Directive

Description:Sets the name of a text file containing the list of users and passwords for authentication
Syntax:AuthUserFile file-path
Context:directory, .htaccess

The AuthUserFile directive sets the name of a textual file containing the list of users and passwords for user authentication. File-path is the path to the user file. If it is not absolute, it is treated as relative to the ServerRoot.

Each line of the user file contains a username followed by a colon, followed by the encrypted password. If the same user ID is defined multiple times, mod_authn_file will use the first occurrence to verify the password.

The encrypted password format depends on which authentication frontend (e.g. mod_auth_basic or mod_auth_digest) is being used. See Password Formats for more information.

For mod_auth_basic, use the utility htpasswd which is installed as part of the binary distribution, or which can be found in src/support. See the man page for more details. In short:

Create a password file Filename with username as the initial ID. It will prompt for the password:

htpasswd -c Filename username

Add or modify username2 in the password file Filename:

htpasswd Filename username2

Note that searching large text files is very inefficient; AuthDBMUserFile should be used instead.

For mod_auth_digest, use htdigest instead. Note that you cannot mix user data for Digest Authentication and Basic Authentication within the same file.


Make sure that the AuthUserFile is stored outside the document tree of the web-server. Do not put it in the directory that it protects. Otherwise, clients may be able to download the AuthUserFile.

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