Compatibility Notes with NCSA's Server
While Apache 0.8.x and beyond are for the most part a drop-in
replacement for NCSA's httpd and earlier versions of Apache, there are
a couple gotcha's to watch out for. These are mostly due to the fact
that the parser for config and access control files was rewritten from
scratch, so certain liberties the earlier servers took may not be
available here. These are all easily fixable. If you know of other
non-fatal problems that belong here, let us know.
Please also check the known bugs page.
More to come when we notice them....
- The basic mod_auth
AuthGroupFile-specified group file
format allows commas between user names - Apache does not.
- added 12/1/96
AddType only accepts one file extension per line, without
any dots (
.) in the extension, and does not take full filenames.
If you need multiple extensions per type, use multiple lines, e.g.
AddType application/foo foo
AddType application/foo bar
If you follow the NCSA guidelines for setting up access restrictions
based on client domain, you may well have added entries for,
AuthType, AuthName, AuthUserFile or
None of these are needed (or appropriate) for restricting access
based on client domain.
When Apache sees
AuthType it (reasonably) assumes you
are using some authorization type based on username and password.
AuthType, it's unnecessary even for NCSA.
AuthUserFile requires a full pathname. In earlier
versions of NCSA httpd and Apache, you could use a filename
relative to the .htaccess file. This could be a major security hole,
as it made it trivially easy to make a ".htpass" file in the a
directory easily accessible by the world. We recommend you store
your passwords outside your document tree.
OldScriptAlias is no longer supported.
exec cgi="" produces reasonable malformed header
responses when used to invoke non-CGI scripts.
The NCSA code ignores the missing header. (bad idea)
Solution: write CGI to the CGI spec or use
exec cmd="" instead.
We might add
virtual support to
exec cmd to
make up for this difference.
- <Limit> silliness - in the old Apache 0.6.5, a
directive of <Limit GET> would also restrict POST methods - Apache 0.8.8's new
core is correct in not presuming a limit on a GET is the same limit on a POST,
so if you are relying on that behavior you need to change your access configurations
to reflect that.
- Icons for FancyIndexing broken - well, no, they're not broken, we've just upgraded the
icons from flat .xbm files to pretty and much smaller .gif files, courtesy of
Kevin Hughes at
If you are using the same srm.conf from an old distribution, make sure you add the new
AddIcon, AddIconByType, and DefaultIcon commands.
- Under IRIX, the "Group" directive in httpd.conf needs to be a valid group name
(i.e. "nogroup") not the numeric group ID. The distribution httpd.conf, and earlier
ones, had the default Group be "#-1", which was causing silent exits at startup.
.asis files: Apache 0.6.5 did not require a Status header;
it added one automatically if the .asis file contained a Location header.
0.8.14 requires a Status header.
- Apache versions before 1.2b1 will ignore the last line of configuration
files if the last line does not have a trailing newline. This affects
configuration files (httpd.conf, access.conf and srm.conf), and
htpasswd and htgroup files.