Bug 43666 - CGI works, but client denied error messages in error.log
Summary: CGI works, but client denied error messages in error.log
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: Apache httpd-2
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Core (show other bugs)
Version: 2.5-HEAD
Hardware: PC Linux
: P2 normal with 5 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Apache HTTPD Bugs Mailing List
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-10-20 12:57 UTC by Georg Sauthoff
Modified: 2013-10-23 13:52 UTC (History)
2 users (show)


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Description Georg Sauthoff 2007-10-20 12:57:12 UTC

I have a working Apache 2 setup and Apache calls successfully the
cgi-scripts. The problem is, that for every successfull CGI-call I get a
'client denied by server configuration' error message into the error.log

This message conflicts with the fact, that the CGI-call was executed
successfully and I saw the correct output in the Web browser.

I am basically using a '/ Deny all' policy and a ScriptAlias definition.

A minimal working example which reproduces the error follows at the end of the 

I debugged this issue a bit and it:
- check_dir_access() is called two times for every cgi request
- the 2nd check_dir_access() call actually prints the 'client denied' error 
=> the cause is server/util_script.c:ap_add_cgi_vars()
   - to construct PATH_TRANSLATED ap_sub_req_lookup_uri() is called and as a 
result a few frames later check_dir_access() is called

Well, the problems with this wrong error messages are:
1. it makes no sense, because the cgi-script don't use apaches access control 
2. such wrong messages hide real error messages

Minimal working example:
NameVirtualHost *
<VirtualHost *>
  DocumentRoot /var/www/

  <Directory />
    Options -FollowSymLinks -Indexes -Includes -ExecCgi
    AllowOverride None
    Order Deny,Allow
    Deny from all

  ScriptAlias /project /var/www/project/cgi-bin/test.cgi
  <Directory /var/www/project/cgi-bin>
    SetHandler cgi-script
    Options +ExecCGI
    Order Deny,Allow
    Allow from all

# cat test.cgi

cat out.min

# cat out.min
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Status: 200 OK


# curl

Error message in error.log:
[error] [client] client denied by server configuration: /var/www/bar

Before the debugging the problem with gdb I discussed it two months ago at the 
apache user mailing list:
(at that time nobody could identify the cause for this wrong error messages)

Best regards
Georg Sauthoff
Comment 1 Jeremy Prevost 2009-02-09 09:56:11 UTC
I see this issue on Windows 2003, Windows 2008 and Mac 10.5.6 running Apache 2.2.
Comment 2 David Tonhofer 2010-07-13 07:26:39 UTC
Looks like this is alive on 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.5


Comment 3 Ulrich Windl 2013-10-23 13:52:43 UTC
I also see this problem in SLES11 SP2 (Apache 2.2.12):
I wrote a Perl CGI script that uses path info heavily to select the function to dispatch (virtually encoding the function to perform in the URI). In combination with ScriptAlias I call functions like http://vserver.domain.org/topic/session/function/transaction/step where http://vserver.domain.org/topic is a ScriptAlias to /srv/www/cgi-bin/freaky.pl
So freaky.pl processes parameters like "/session/function/transaction/step". I verified (in the browser) that freaky.pl creates hyperlinks like http://vserver.domain.org/topic/session/function2/transaction2/step2, and those hyperlinks _work_ (i.e. the function is performed with the proper URI).

Unfortunately at the same time Apache logs an _error_ like this:
client denied by server configuration: /srv/www/vserver/session, referrer http://vserver.domain.org/topic/session/function/transaction/step

So I guess Apache gets somewhat confused. I'd like to see this problem fixed, or at least to be presented a work-around.