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== link:index.html[Index] -> link:cookbook.html[Cookbook]
Cookbook: Authentication
In this section you will find information useful to set up
authentication mechanisms with several of Cherokee's validators.
You can find information and basic examples in each validator's
documentation. This is the list of validator modules provided by
* link:modules_validators_htdigest.html[htdigest]
* link:modules_validators_htpasswd.html[htpasswd]
* link:modules_validators_ldap.html[LDAP]
* link:modules_validators_mysql.html[MySQL]
* link:modules_validators_pam.html[PAM]
* link:modules_validators_plain.html[Plain]
* link:modules_validators_authlist.html[Fixed List]
You will also find interesting information in the
link:modules_validators_plain.html["Validator Modules Overview"] and
step by step examples for Plain and PAM mechanisms in the
link:config_walkthrough.html["Quickstart"] section.
There are two types of authentication:
This method sends the username and password in clear text over the network.
It is not the most secure method. If the connection to the web server is
through HTTPS then this method is as secure as the encryption used. This
method is very easy to implement, so most clients support it.
This method is by far the most secure, but also more complex. Most modern
web browsers support this method.
The details to set up the `htdigest` and `htpasswd` are exactly the
same as for `plain` validation. The only difference is the tools used
to create the passwords' file.
=== htdigest
To use this validator you will need a file created by the `htdigest`
command. It is a tool to manage user files for digest (and basic)
htdigest [ -c ] passwdfile realm username
The only optional parameter is `-c`, used to create the passwdfile or
overwrite it if it is present.
To create a file for a `testuser` with `testpassword` you would have
to issue:
$ htdigest -c passwords.digest secret testuser
Adding password for testuser in realm secret.
New password:
Re-type new password:
$ cat pass
=== htpasswd
For this validator, the tool `htpasswd` is needed to create the
files. The basic usage information is this:
htpasswd [-cmdpsD] passwordfile username
htpasswd -b[cmdpsD] passwordfile username password
htpasswd -n[mdps] username
htpasswd -nb[mdps] username password
Refer to its documentation for details about the parameters. For our example, this
will suffice:
$ htpasswd -c /var/www/.htpasswd testuser
New password:
Re-type new password:
Adding password for user testuser
$ cat /var/www/.htpasswd
Remember that it is never recommended to place the file with the
passwords in a location fetchable from the webserver. This is true for
plain validation, htdigest, htpasswd and whatever file based system
you cross paths with.
=== MySQL
Lets set up a simple server requiring authentication against a MySQL
database to fetch any content.
First, lets define a unique rule in our virtual server managed by the
`List and Send` handler. Through the `Security` tab we can configure
it to use MySQL as authentication mechanism. Filling up just the
essential fields will be enough. Those are realm, database name, user,
password, and an SQL query that must return one row with one column as
image::media/images/cookbook_mysql_validator.png[MySQL validator set up]
In this case, we have used:
SELECT password FROM auth_users WHERE username = '${user}'
And that is about it.
In this example you will need a MySQL server running (localhost in
this case, as it takes the default value), a database called
`cherokee` with `cherokee` as user and password, and a table that
suits the shown query.
Assuming you have a MySQL user with privileges granted to create
databases, a MySQL session similar to this one would suffice:
$ mysql -u cherokee -D cherokee -p
mysql> CREATE DATABASE cherokee;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> CREATE TABLE auth_users(
username varchar(32),
password varchar(32),
PRIMARY KEY (username));
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> INSERT INTO auth_users VALUES('cherokee','cherokee');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> quit
When we are done, our simple virtual server should only have a
`Default` rule, managed by the `List & Send` hander, and with `MySQL`
authentication set.
image::media/images/cookbook_mysql_rule.png[MySQL Authenticated rule]
And any content requested to Cherokee will require prior
authentication against the database.
Another usage example
As you can see, getting the hang of how authentication works is pretty
easy. Let's illustrate another easy example. How to serve PHP files,
both from a protected location and an unprotected one?
Let's assume our locations are targets are:
- /unprotected/*.php
- /protected/*.php
Well... this would be really easy. You just have to remember that
rules are evaluated from top to bottom, and the evaluation proceeds
until a final rule is matched.
This means that we would only have to be careful with the order of our
rules, and it would be as simple as setting a couple of rules:
- The first one, of type `Directory` applied to the path
`/protected`. This would be the top rule, should use one of the
authentication mechanisms mentioned above and should not be set as
- The second one, of type `Extension` would apply to `php` files and
should be configured as according to the link:cookbook_php.html[PHP
recipe]. This one should be a _FINAL_ rule.
And this would be more than enough. The files from the secure location
would match the first rule and the authentication would be
required. In case it was successful, not being a final rule, the
request would proceed to the second rule. Once there, the regular
processing of PHP files would take place. This one is a _FINAL_ rule,
so the rule evaluation would stop.
In case the PHP files were not being requested from the secured
directory, just the second rule would apply.
=== Fixed list
For this validator you will only need to add user-password pairs, and
the mandatory `realm` field.
image::media/images/admin_validators_authlist.png[Fixed List]
=== LDAP
Here is a basic example of the LDAP validator in action. It assumes
you have a working LDAP service running at your localhost, and it uses
no TLS of CA files.
|Field | Value
|Validation Mechanism |`LDAP Server`
|Methods | `Basic`
|Realm | secret
|Server | localhost
|Port | 389
|Bind Domain | my_domain
|Bind Password | my_password
|Base Domain |
image::media/images/admin_validators_ldap.png[LDAP example]