Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.4 > Modules

Apache Module mod_authn_anon

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Description:Allows "anonymous" user access to authenticated areas
Module Identifier:authn_anon_module
Source File:mod_authn_anon.c
Compatibility:Available in Apache 2.1 and later


This module provides authentication front-ends such as mod_auth_basic to authenticate users similar to anonymous-ftp sites, i.e. have a 'magic' user id 'anonymous' and the email address as a password. These email addresses can be logged.

Combined with other (database) access control methods, this allows for effective user tracking and customization according to a user profile while still keeping the site open for 'unregistered' users. One advantage of using Auth-based user tracking is that, unlike magic-cookies and funny URL pre/postfixes, it is completely browser independent and it allows users to share URLs.

When using mod_auth_basic, this module is invoked via the AuthBasicProvider directive with the anon value.

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The example below is combined with "normal" htpasswd-file based authentication and allows users in additionally as 'guests' with the following properties:


<Directory "/var/www/html/private">
    AuthName "Use 'anonymous' & Email address for guest entry"
    AuthType Basic
    AuthBasicProvider file anon
    AuthUserFile "/path/to/your/.htpasswd"
    Anonymous_NoUserID off
    Anonymous_MustGiveEmail on
    Anonymous_VerifyEmail on
    Anonymous_LogEmail on
    Anonymous anonymous guest www test welcome
    Require valid-user

Anonymous Directive

Description:Specifies userIDs that are allowed access without password verification
Syntax:Anonymous user [user] ...
Context:directory, .htaccess

A list of one or more 'magic' userIDs which are allowed access without password verification. The userIDs are space separated. It is possible to use the ' and " quotes to allow a space in a userID as well as the \ escape character.

Please note that the comparison is case-IN-sensitive.
It's strongly recommended that the magic username 'anonymous' is always one of the allowed userIDs.


Anonymous anonymous "Not Registered" "I don't know"

This would allow the user to enter without password verification by using the userIDs "anonymous", "AnonyMous", "Not Registered" and "I Don't Know".

As of Apache 2.1 it is possible to specify the userID as "*". That allows any supplied userID to be accepted.

Anonymous_LogEmail Directive

Description:Sets whether the password entered will be logged in the error log
Syntax:Anonymous_LogEmail On|Off
Default:Anonymous_LogEmail On
Context:directory, .htaccess

When set On, the default, the 'password' entered (which hopefully contains a sensible email address) is logged in the error log.

Anonymous_MustGiveEmail Directive

Description:Specifies whether blank passwords are allowed
Syntax:Anonymous_MustGiveEmail On|Off
Default:Anonymous_MustGiveEmail On
Context:directory, .htaccess

Specifies whether the user must specify an email address as the password. This prohibits blank passwords.

Anonymous_NoUserID Directive

Description:Sets whether the userID field may be empty
Syntax:Anonymous_NoUserID On|Off
Default:Anonymous_NoUserID Off
Context:directory, .htaccess

When set On, users can leave the userID (and perhaps the password field) empty. This can be very convenient for MS-Explorer users who can just hit return or click directly on the OK button; which seems a natural reaction.

Anonymous_VerifyEmail Directive

Description:Sets whether to check the password field for a correctly formatted email address
Syntax:Anonymous_VerifyEmail On|Off
Default:Anonymous_VerifyEmail Off
Context:directory, .htaccess

When set On the 'password' entered is checked for at least one '@' and a '.' to encourage users to enter valid email addresses (see the above Anonymous_LogEmail).

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