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My htaccess is as follows.
AuthName "Web Admin"
the page is delivered ok (without prompt) when I comment out the 'require' line so I doubled checked that I had
set in the websites directory in my access.conf file. I'm almost positive the file permissions for .htpasswd are ok too. I've checked the error log and there's no corresponding error message. Its returning 401 (unauthorized) instead of 500 like I would have guessed.
Can anyone please please please help?
Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]!
Check the path to the .htpasswd file. This should be the complete path on the server, without reference to any "assumed" prefix.
You may be able to gather a little more troubleshooting information by intentionally putting bad information into two places - the .htpasswd pathname and the Require directive. If changing either one of them to some ridiculous value leaves the failure mode unchanged, that may indicate that the problem is there. Try:
If the bahaviour stays the same, that may indicate that the server cannot find the auth file *after* it has issued (and logged) the 401 response to request the user's username and password from the client browser.
I would look most carefully at that authorization filepath, and make sure it's correct and does not involve symlinks or aliased file pathnames. Re-checking the permissions on the authorization files and their parent directories is worthwhile, too. Compare to a working "account" on the same system.
Ref: Apache documentation [httpd.apache.org]
I'm almost at the point where I'm going to write my own authentication script rather than waste anymore time :-/
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php4 .html
I assumed you could just keep listing space separated file extensions but apparently not. So after removing the '.html' everything worked fine. Why the hell this affected authentication and not the rest of the site I have no idea. Thanks for your help jdMorgan.