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Is it possible to configure Apache to use the host machine's user accounts for authentication? Say I've got Apache running on a vanilla OS X install and want to basically allow admin users to authenticate with their system username/password.

Even pointing me towards the proper name for this type of authentication would help in my search (and I'll of course update my progress here in the spirit of StackExchange questions).

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So far it looks like what I need is to use mod_auth_external and then somehow connect it up with OS X's user auth system. Does that sound right? Any ideas on next steps? – Wilco Mar 26 '11 at 23:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You could use mod_auth_external together with pwauth. It should "just work" if configured correctly, because pwauth is known to work on OSX using authentication via PAM.

Be sure to think about the security risks of using system passwords for web logins. At the very least, you should ensure that whatever you're securing in this way is accessible only via https and not vanilla http.

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Thanks! This is exactly what I ended up doing and it works beautifully! – Wilco Nov 6 '12 at 0:37

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