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Linux w/ Apache - Bind / chroot idea - need fast help!

Posted on 1999-06-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I am running a dedicated web server w/ Linux & Apache.  I am trying to setup a way to give each IP address on my box their own minimal version of files such as httpd.conf, passwd, etc. so that each IP is for the MOST part, it's own entity, even if it shares the hard drive with 20 others.

My initial idea is to somehow bind each service to a single IP and have any login services chrooted before they check the passwd file.

Apache should be easily configurable by setting the BindAddress option in the httpd.conf to an IP.

I am looking for someone who can help me set this up pronto... If the points aren't enough, web hosting or website submission services are easily available for compensation....

Please contact via email if you have the time to help me set this up... I need something working right away!

Terrence R. Williams
Virtual Magic Technologies
Question by:thespis
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Expert Comment

ID: 1634849
you recommand you not to set ANY webserver up with real logins! this is the worst security hole you may create.

as for logins it is not possible on a standard unix system to have what you'd like. it *could be* possible on bigger systems, which will let you run multiple os's (unix's).

i know of no case, where this would be usefull. perhaps if you could tell us what your intentions/requirements are, it would be easier to suggest other solutions.

if you want to let different *ftp-users* see only their homedirectory as root, this is possible, as you will know.

as for apache, you are right. you may either use BindAddress for multiple webservers or VirtualHost for a single webserver.

Author Comment

ID: 1634850
The goal is to let each IP'd host set their own httpd.conf, their own passwd, etc.  The application is web hosting.  We have a dedicated Linux box w/ 8GB hard drive.  To allow only 1 person on the entire hard drive to have the POP address "webmaster" would be entirely too hard to explain to customers who want things their way.

As for impossible, I don't believe that.  My previous host had a Linux box running in this fashion.  I had a set of system files in my partition.  There were no conflicts between myself and other groups on the hard drive.

I just don't know how they did it....

Expert Comment

ID: 1634851
well, if it is simply to set up the following:

- a web site for a customer
- guarantee this customer ftp access to, and only to, HIS web-files (without even seeing the others). this includes giving each a different login w/ password
- give each customer it's own "webmaster" (note: they must have different domains, ie. and
- change everything so that the customer does not get in contact/confusion with others on the same system

this is what most webproviders (as we) do. this is not a problem and we (I) will tell you everything you need to do. but as for the point to give each user "it's own passwd and system files" it is not possible on a "standard" unix system. i'm not talking about it to be impossible (even if there is still no reason to do so).
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Expert Comment

ID: 1634852
if you want to set up multiple hosts like

on the same machine, along with

there is no problem

Expert Comment

ID: 1634853
Well, I think I can see the utility in doing this...the howto may be a bit more difficult though.  A wrapper for telnet (or whatever else you allow them to login with) that checks the incoming IP address and does the chroot before actually handing the connection over to the requested daemon might work.  Might be able to run multiple chrooted Apaches too...this would allow individual configurations...

Accepted Solution

lavatech earned 600 total points
ID: 1634854
This has been done before and is well documented in the Virtual Services HOW-TO, including set up and configuration for most network services.

You can find the latest version of the HOW-TO's at:

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