Apache: DocumentRoot does not exist. Why SELinux?

20 Jul
2008

Once more SELinux has been playing up with the normal operations of a box. During the installation and set up of an Apache instance and a few virtual hosts I simply could not get around the dreaded error message:

Starting httpd: Warning: DocumentRoot [/home/www/myhost] does not exist

No matter which permissions and owners were given to the directories or files related the error still came up hindering the Apache httpd service to start. Obviously the path was correct, copied and pasted, to exclude any spelling issues.

After experiencing similar conundrums in the past I had a slight suspicion regarding SELinux, which comes enabled by default on Fedora, may have been blocking access to the directory somehow.

A bit of searching did confirm that SELinux indeed also intervened at this level blocking Apache’s normal operations. I fully understand and agree with the goal of SELinux, but it is simply too big a compromise between security and usability. As Theodore Tso pretty much summarises it:

SELINUX is so horrible to use, that after wasting a large amount of time enabling it and then watching all of my applications die a horrible death since they didn’t have the appropriate hand-crafted security policy, caused me to swear off of it. For me, given my threat model and how much my time is worth, life is too short for SELinux.

SELinux stays disabled again…

2 Responses to Apache: DocumentRoot does not exist. Why SELinux?

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pravink.22

December 4th, 2010 at 08:19

Thxs buddy…
Try this Url, looks gr8

http://www.redhatlinux.info/2010/11/selinux.html

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Digitalinux

March 23rd, 2012 at 07:13

Nice blog having nice information.
http://www.digitalinux.com/2010/11/selinux.html

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