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From Tim Gollschewsky <>
Subject [users@httpd] server reverts to global config briefly then back to vhost
Date Thu, 29 Apr 2004 13:24:17 GMT

We are experiencing some very strange behaviour from apache on our
servers.  I'm running 1.3.29 on SuSE SLES Linux.  Our servers run
mutiple vhosts (from 5 up to 200).  Most are name-based virtual
hosts, but some are IP based (the SSL ones and a few others).

All our sites are VirtualHosts, the global "Root" site is not used
to serve any content at all.  Due to this, we set its DocumentRoot
to be "/var/www/default" which is a directory we deny access to.  No
VirtualHost is ever configured without a DocumentRoot, so no request
should ever hit this directory.

The problem is:  every now and then, a VirtualHost will send a client
request through to this directory!  Its almost as if this apache vhost
"temporarily" forgets where its DocumentRoot is, and reverts back to
the global one.  Then immediately after, it remembers and all is back to
normal.  But this breaks our client's session and makes them very unhappy.

Messages in the error_log for our vhosts even say /var/www/default, which
blatantly is not the DocumentRoot for that virtualhost (it is always
set to /vhosts/[something]/htdocs).  e.g:

(chroot) root@xxx:/ # grep 'client denied' /vhosts/dw02456/logs/www/error_log 
[Thu Apr 29 03:57:14 2004] [error] [client] client denied by server
configuration: /var/www/default
[Thu Apr 29 04:38:15 2004] [error] [client] client denied by
server configuration: /var/www/default
[Thu Apr 29 05:43:57 2004] [error] [client] client denied by
server configuration: /var/www/default
[Thu Apr 29 10:20:12 2004] [error] [client] client denied by
server configuration: /var/www/default
(chroot) root@xxx:/ # grep 'client denied' /vhosts/dx00005/logs/www/error_log 
[Thu Apr 29 04:41:37 2004] [error] [client] client denied by
server configuration: /var/www/default

Yet, the global error_log says nothing:

(chroot) root@xxx:/ # grep 'client denied' /var/log/www/error_log             
(chroot) root@xxx:/ # 

I can't find out what causes this to happen.  Note no gracefuls have happened
or any kind of restarts.  I'm completely at a loss.

Does apache occasionally forget where a DocumentRoot for a vhost should

Any help will be appreciated.  Thanks and regards,


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