Crowd provides a number of modules that allow you to configure Crowd to authenticate HTTP Basic Authentication requests made to an Apache web server.
The following features are supported:
- Authentication: Use Crowd to password-protect resources on your website.
- Authorisation: Configure website locations to restrict access to specific Crowd groups or users.
This version of the connector is supported under Linux. Please see Choosing the Correct Apache Connector for your Operating System for details and alternatives.
Note: These instructions apply to Crowd 2.1 and later. We assume some UNIX system and Apache configuration knowledge.
On this page:
Download and configure Crowd. Refer to the Crowd installation guide for detailed information on how to do this.
Step 1. Disabling any Previous Version of the Crowd Apache Connector
If you are upgrading from a previous version of the Connector, you must disable it by following these instructions before proceeding.
Step 2. Configuring Crowd to Talk to Apache
If you are upgrading from an earlier version of the Apache Connector, you will have already completed this step and you can skip it.
Crowd needs to be aware that Apache will be making authentication requests to Crowd. In brief, you will need to do the following:
- Define Apache as a Crowd-connected application to Crowd.
- Add and configure the directories visible to Apache.
- Add and map the groups which are allowed to authenticate with Apache.
Step 3. Choosing the Correct Apache Connector for your Operating System
The installation procedures for Apache and the Crowd Apache connector vary depending on the operating system you are using. Use the links below to find installation instructions for your chosen operating system. If you have not chosen an operating system yet, you will probably find one of the Linux variants easiest to set up.
The 2.x version of the Crowd-Apache connector supports advanced features such as nested groups and single sign-on but is currently only supported for certain operating systems.
Note about Crowd-Apache 1.4 Connector
This document is for the 2.x version of Crowd-Apache Connector, if you can't find an compatible version of the 2.x Subversion Connector for your O/S in the table below then refer to the 1.4 version of the Crowd-Apache Connector.
Previous version of Crowd-Apache connectors don't support the SVNParentPath directive.
Crowd-Apache Connector 2.0
Crowd-Apache Connector 1.4
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
6.0 5.5 Installation guide
11.04 10.10 10.04 Installation guide
Other UNIX-Like Systems
*The Crowd-Apache Connector 2.0 source code is available with instructions to build from source. If you have the expertise to compile the C library and get it working for an environment that is currently not supported then feel free to contribute by adding a comment to this page. We will try to incorporate your fix in the next release of the Crowd-Apache Connector.
Step 4. Configuring Authentication
In this section, you will tell Apache to use Crowd to authenticate requests for a particular location. Edit the Apache config file and add the following commands to a
This is the minimum configuration required to password-protect a location with Crowd.
These commands must be added to the Apache config. It does not work with .htaccess.
See the Apache documentation for the format of the <Directory> and <Location> directives. We have used the directory path of
Defines the realm of the authentication. This information is typically provided to the user in the dialogue box popped up by their browser. This must be a unique name for each Crowd application
Tells Apache to use HTTP Basic authentication. HTTP Digest authentication is not currently supported.
Tells Apache to delegate authentication to the Apache Crowd connector.
Set 'myappname' to the application Apache should authenticate as.
Set 'mypassword' to the password for the application.
The URL of the Crowd server.
Tells Apache that clients must provide a valid username/password to access the location.
The following configuration commands are optional, and can be used to customise your configuration further:
When set to 'On', the Apache Crowd connector will attempt to validate single sign-on (SSO) tokens provided in requests, avoiding the need for the user to log in if they have already logged in to another application.
When set to 'On', the Apache Crowd connector will create a single sign-on (SSO) token whenever a user successfully authenticates, avoiding the need for the user to log in to other applications.
Sets the list of character encoding schemes that the Apache Crowd connector will use to decode usernames and passwords. Each is tried in turn, until authentication succeeds. This setting may need to be changed if you have users with non-ASCII characters in their usernames or passwords, as browsers differ in the encoding schemes they use. Note that when an authentication attempt fails with one or more encodings before succeeding with another, the failures may still be counted and logged as failures by the directory.
The maximum number of seconds that the Apache Crowd connector should wait for a response from Crowd. If set to 0, the connector will wait indefinitely.
The maximum number of seconds that a response from Crowd will be cached by the Apache Crowd connector.
The maximum number of entries cached at any time by the Apache Crowd connector. If set to 0, caching is disabled.
For more detail about Apache configuration, please refer to the Apache documentation.
Step 5. Configuring Authorisation
Note that you must also remove any
Require valid-user command from this
<Location> for the new restrictions to take effect.
Allow the users
Allow members of the
If both 'Require user' and 'Require group' are used, these are combined using OR rather than AND, so any user that authenticates successfully will be able to access the resource.
If you are using "Require user" and "Require group" directives together, you will need to add the following setting:
When set to 'On', authorisation decisions made by mod_authz_user on the basis of "Require user" directives are final. When set to 'Off', they may be overruled by other Apache authorisation providers.
If you have configured authorisation providers in addition to the Crowd Apache connector, you may need to add the following optional setting:
When set to 'On', authorisation decisions made by Crowd are final. When set to 'Off', they may be overruled by other Apache authorisation providers.
Step 6. Configuring Subversion (Optional)
If you are using Subversion under Apache, Crowd's Subversion connector allows you to password-protect a Subversion repository and provide fine-grained access control by group or user.
Follow the instructions on integrating Crowd with Subversion.
- Typically, only one of the
Require groupcommands is needed for a particular location. You can define both. If you do, then access is granted if either is satisfied.
- If the
CrowdCacheMaxEntriessetting is missing or set to a non-zero value, then requests to Crowd are cached in order to increase performance. This means that changes to passwords, group membership and session expiry in Crowd may not be reflected immediately in user access.
Although the Apache Connector does not support Digest Authentication, the connection with Crowd can still be secured by using httpsto make the SOAP connections.
For information on how to secure Crowd connections, refer to the documentation on configuring Crowd to work with SSL.
- If you are using Crowd 2.0 or earlier, you need to follow the instructions for Crowd 2.0.
- Using the Application Browser
- Adding an Application
- Configuring the Google Apps Connector
- Mapping a Directory to an Application
- Effective memberships with multiple directories
- Specifying an Application's Address or Hostname
- Testing a User's Login to an Application
- Enforcing Lower-Case Usernames and Groups for an Application
- Managing an Application's Session
- Deleting or Deactivating an Application
- Configuring Caching for an Application
- Overview of SSO
- Configuring Options for an Application