Mac OS X 10.5: Web Sharing - "Forbidden 403" message appears instead of website content

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Issue or symptom

After upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5, you may be unable to access expected web site content (in your ~/Sites/ folder) via Web Sharing. Web Sharing appears to be enabled and working correctly, but trying to load your web site results in a "Forbidden 403" Web page.


If you installed Mac OS X 10.5 via an Upgrade Install (the default type), follow these steps:

  1. Open TextEdit.
  2. Click the Format menu and click Make Plain Text. Then click OK.
  3. Copy the below text as is and paste it into the TextEdit document.

    <Directory "/Users/myname/Sites/">
    Options Indexes MultiViews
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

  4. Replace the word "myname" with your user account's shortname. (This is the same name as the user's Home folder in the Users folder.)
  5. Save the TextEdit document on the desktop with the name "myname.conf" where "myname" is the shortname.
  6. At the prompt, click "Use .conf".
  7. Quit TextEdit.
  8. In Finder, from the Go menu choose Go to Folder.
  9. Type in: /etc/apache2/users/
  10. Click Go.
  11. Drag "shortname.conf" from the desktop into the Finder window for (/etc/apache2/users).
  12. At the prompt, click Authenticate.
  13. Enter the administrator username and password and click OK.
  14. Close the Finder window.
  15. Open Terminal.
  16. Enter this command on a single line, followed by Return:

    sudo chown root:wheel /etc/apache2/users/shortname.conf
  17. Enter your administrator password when prompted.
  18. Quit Terminal.
  19. Open System Preferences and click Sharing.
  20. Uncheck (deselect) Web Sharing to turn it off, then check Web Sharing to turn it back on.

You should now be able to access your web site content normally.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012

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