Bug 39238 - mod_auth_dbm requires mod_auth or "no groups file?" error
Summary: mod_auth_dbm requires mod_auth or "no groups file?" error
Alias: None
Product: Apache httpd-2
Classification: Unclassified
Component: mod_auth_dbm (show other bugs)
Version: 2.0.55
Hardware: All All
: P2 normal (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Apache HTTPD Bugs Mailing List
Keywords: ErrorMessage, MassUpdate
Depends on:
Reported: 2006-04-07 14:22 UTC by John C Saunders
Modified: 2018-11-07 21:08 UTC (History)
2 users (show)


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Description John C Saunders 2006-04-07 14:22:44 UTC
Apache 2.0.55 on win2000 with mod_auth worked great. I disabled mod_auth and 
tried mod_auth_dbm with no AuthDBMGroupFile directive since all I want to check 
are username and password. Got the error message "configuration error:  couldn't 
check access.  No groups file?". A google check of this revealed that many 
different authentication schemes were encountering this error message and I 
didn't see any answers. After much configuration experimentation, I re-enabled 
mod_auth along with mod_auth_dbm, and then mod_auth_worked! I suspect this 
dependency is not wanted.  As a minimum, the mod_auth_dbm documentation should 
note this dependency.
Comment 1 Jeff Trawick 2006-04-07 16:14:11 UTC
I posted this to the development list a while back but didn't get any feedback.
Does it work for you (i.e., allow mod_auth_dbm to stand on its own two feet)?

Comment 2 Brad Nicholes 2006-04-07 16:42:01 UTC
The dependancy actually exists in the httpd core rather than with the modules 
themselves.  The problem is that the ap_run_check_user_id and the 
ap_run_auth_checker hooks are tied very closely together in the request 
processing.  Without mod_auth loaded, there is no valid-user handler 
implemented.  And since you decided not to use the group authorization 
handler, nothing handled the ap_run_auth_checker hook so it threw an error.  
Unfortunately the error message, rather than telling you what really happened, 
gave you some error about "no groups file" which is targeted directly at 

This issue will still exist in Apache 2.2 but the auth architecture of 2.2 
makes it more clear that you need to have the correct authz module loaded to 
handle the authorization hook.  Apache 2.3 eliminates this problem by 
decoupling the various auth hooks and extending the definition of 
authorization.  mod_auth_dbm in Apache 2.3 will work as you expect it to.  But 
unfortunatly the 2.3 functionality can not be back ported into 2.0 or 2.2.  
However, Jeff's patch should get you what you want.
Comment 3 William A. Rowe Jr. 2018-11-07 21:08:28 UTC
Please help us to refine our list of open and current defects; this is a mass update of old and inactive Bugzilla reports which reflect user error, already resolved defects, and still-existing defects in httpd.

As repeatedly announced, the Apache HTTP Server Project has discontinued all development and patch review of the 2.2.x series of releases. The final release 2.2.34 was published in July 2017, and no further evaluation of bug reports or security risks will be considered or published for 2.2.x releases. All reports older than 2.4.x have been updated to status RESOLVED/LATER; no further action is expected unless the report still applies to a current version of httpd.

If your report represented a question or confusion about how to use an httpd feature, an unexpected server behavior, problems building or installing httpd, or working with an external component (a third party module, browser etc.) we ask you to start by bringing your question to the User Support and Discussion mailing list, see [https://httpd.apache.org/lists.html#http-users] for details. Include a link to this Bugzilla report for completeness with your question.

If your report was clearly a defect in httpd or a feature request, we ask that you retest using a modern httpd release (2.4.33 or later) released in the past year. If it can be reproduced, please reopen this bug and change the Version field above to the httpd version you have reconfirmed with.

Your help in identifying defects or enhancements still applicable to the current httpd server software release is greatly appreciated.