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How can I use Apache htaccess to handle case sensitive file names on a website?

Posted on 2010-08-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a client who just moved to a new server and has a ton of file names with various capitalization.  It's a Linux server, so "INDEX.php" and "index.php" are not the same.  I did some research and found I could use .htaccess to rewrite URLs to lowercase.  Bingo!  Here's the current version of what I'm trying:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteMap lc int:tolower
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} [A-Z]
RewriteRule (.*) ${lc:$1} [R=301,L]

That code results in a 500 server configuration error.  I have read that I also need to change something in httpd.conf, but the documentation on the Apache site is not making sense to me.  Can this all be done just in .htaccess?  If not, exactly what do I need to do in her httpd.conf?  I hate to seem like I'm asking experts to do the work for me, but I'm under a deadline and I learn best by seeing a working example and reverse engineering it in my brain.

I'm really hoping to get this rolling so she won't need to change possibly hundreds of file names.  I have, however, told her and her staff to be sure to use all lowercase file names from now on.

Thanks in advance!

Jeremy
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Question by:mrcoulson
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Accepted Solution

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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 33442568
If you put "CheckSpelling On" in your 'htaccess', it will ignore case in the files names.  And then you don't need the re-write.  At least it worked for me.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442569
For real?  I'm trying that now!

Jeremy
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442572
Bummer!  Ye olde internal server error returns with that one.

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442576
Did you remove the 'rewrite' code?
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442580
Yep.  Well, I commented it away.

# RewriteEngine On
# RewriteMap lc int:tolower
# RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} [A-Z]
# RewriteRule (.*) ${lc:$1} [R=301,L]
CheckSpelling On

Jeremy
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442590
What did you do to get the error?  Can you access a simple HTML file without error?  Remove the 'htaccess' completely and recheck?  I'm trying to establish what does work.  Something must...
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442601
If I comment those lines out of the .htaccess or rename it to something else, I can access a simple HTML file.  If I leave them uncommented or do not rename the .htaccess file, I get the 500 error.

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442611
What hosting or server are you on?  What happens if 'htaccess' only has 'CheckSpelling On' and nothing else?  What if it only has '#' in it?
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442617
The hosting company is Verio.

Just "CheckSpelling On" gives 500 error.

Just a "#" character gives no error.

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442651
They say they're running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).  I can't find anything that says whether they support 'htaccess' or not.  You may need to call them and ask.  Try "ErrorDocument 400 /400.html" in 'htaccess'.  Pretty much your most basic 'htaccess' command.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442652
Yeah, that works.  I was playing with it earlier.

Jeremy
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442655
Also, they already told me they can't help me with the .htaccess file.

Jeremy
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442658
I found this inside the httpd.conf.

 <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
        RewriteEngine On
        RewriteOptions inherit
    </IfModule>

Jeremy
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442660
How about an error?  Here's what I found for when I tried "CheckSpelling":

[Sun Aug 15 21:01:04 2010] [alert] [client 71.62.239.244] /path/www/stuff/.htaccess: Invalid command 'CheckSpelling', perhaps mis-spelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration

Jeremy
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442667
Oh, and when I use rewritemap, I get that "RewriteMap not allowed here"

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442680
Here's the Apache page on the subject.  'CheckSpelling' is include but not necessarily loaded.  "CheckCaseOnly on" is another option.  
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/mod/mod_speling.html.en

Look for:

LoadModule speling_module modules/mod_speling.so

in httpd.conf.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442713
I found it!  I uncommented it!  Nothing changed.  Do I need to restart Apache for config changes to take effect?

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442731
Yes, restart Apache any time you change httpd.conf or any of the conf files.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442741
GOT IT!

Had to do this as root.  Found the module in httpd.conf.  Uncommented.  Restarted httpd.  Added "CheckSpelling On" to .htaccess.  "INDEX.php" now goes right for "index.php".  Beautiful.  Thank you so much.  500 points coming your way.

By the way, any "gotchas" I should be aware of with this?

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442746
There is one in the documentation.  It will do a one-character spelling correction which you may or may not want.  That's why I noted the  "CheckCaseOnly on" option which only affect capitalization.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442797
Ah, I see.  When I try to use CheckCaseOnly, I get the 500 error.  I see it's part of the same module.  Did I miss something?

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442813
Apparently it's on for Apache 2.2.  See if you have 2.0 or 1.3.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442820
2.0.63

Jeremy
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442844
You'll have to use "CheckSpelling On" then.  It's been working for me on two websites.
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Author Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442906
Sounds good.  Really appreciate your assistance!

Jeremy
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Author Closing Comment

by:mrcoulson
ID: 33442910
Thanks for all the help, man!
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 33442926
You're welcome and thanks for the points.  Your points just helped put me over 1,000,000 points.
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