Bug 52139 - Never Syntax Error on non-existent DocumentRoot
Summary: Never Syntax Error on non-existent DocumentRoot
Alias: None
Product: Apache httpd-2
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Core (show other bugs)
Version: 2.2.21
Hardware: PC All
: P2 normal (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Apache HTTPD Bugs Mailing List
Keywords: MassUpdate
Depends on:
Reported: 2011-11-05 07:15 UTC by Edward Z. Yang
Modified: 2018-11-07 21:09 UTC (History)
0 users


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Description Edward Z. Yang 2011-11-05 07:15:58 UTC
Right now Apache has two different behaviors with respect to an invalid DocumentRoot: if it's a VirtualHost, it only warns if the DocumentRoot is invalid; if it's not a VirtualHost, it will "Syntax Error" and bail out.

I suggest that we should always warn if there is an invalid DocumentRoot, and never fail if it is invalid. This is handy if your DocumentRoot is, say, on a network mounted filesystem, which may not have come up by the time Apache runs (but will come up soon!)

The patch for this is very simple:

--- server/core.c.bak	2011-11-05 03:15:37.000000000 -0400
+++ server/core.c	2011-11-05 03:15:39.000000000 -0400
@@ -1211,16 +1211,11 @@
     if (apr_filepath_merge((char**)&conf->ap_document_root, NULL, arg,
                            APR_FILEPATH_TRUENAME, cmd->pool) != APR_SUCCESS
         || !ap_is_directory(cmd->pool, arg)) {
-        if (cmd->server->is_virtual) {
-            ap_log_perror(APLOG_MARK, APLOG_STARTUP, 0,
-                          cmd->pool,
-                          "Warning: DocumentRoot [%s] does not exist",
-                          arg);
-            conf->ap_document_root = arg;
-        }
-        else {
-            return "DocumentRoot must be a directory";
-        }
+        ap_log_perror(APLOG_MARK, APLOG_STARTUP, 0,
+                      cmd->pool,
+                      "Warning: DocumentRoot [%s] does not exist",
+                      arg);
+        conf->ap_document_root = arg;
     return NULL;
Comment 1 William A. Rowe Jr. 2018-11-07 21:09:22 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.