I'm developing a mobile web application using Django. Currently I can start the Django development server like this:

python ./manage.py runserver <my-ip>:8000

When I do that, I'll get a popup window on my Mac that says,

Do you want the application "python" to accept incoming network connections?

If I click the Allow button and then enter the URI ":8000" I can access the website from my cell phone.

However, their are times that I'd like view plain HTML pages on my phone as well. To that end, I've created an Apache virtual host call "localdev" that is mapped to my /www directory:

# /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
DocumentRoot "/www"
<Directory "/www">
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

# /etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf
NameVirtualHost *:80
<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot "/www"
    ServerName localdev
    ErrorLog "/private/var/log/apache2/localdev_error_log"
    CustomLog "/private/var/log/apache2/localdev_access_log" common
    <Directory "/www"> 
        DirectoryIndex index.html 

If I have a website in /www/mysite, I can access it on my Mac using this URI:


However, if I try to access that virtualhost site on my phone with this URI:


... I get this message:

You don't have permission to access /mysite/index.html on this server

I have two questions, the first one being more important:

  1. How can I access this site from my phone? This appears to be a pretty common Apache error message that can be caused by any number of things. I've read many articles about it but haven't been able to resolve the problem. What am I doing wrong? Since I can access the site via my computer browser but not from my phone, I'm thinking perhaps it's an OS X firewall issue.

  2. Is there some way I can configure my OS X (Mavericks) firewall so that when I start the Django development webserver, my computer will automatically allow incoming connections and I won't get the pop-up window I described above? I've gone into System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall Options and selected "Allow incoming connections" from the three "python" connections that are shown but I'm still getting the popup window.

  • Try moving the Order allow, deny and Allow from all in the Directory block of the Virtualhost. – user186340 Jun 10 '14 at 15:14
  • Did you mean "Try _re_moving..."? Thanks. – Ray Jun 10 '14 at 15:17
  • I mean put the access control directives in the VirtualHost's Directory block rather than in the Directory block at the beginning of your httpd.conf. – user186340 Jun 10 '14 at 15:20
  • The easiest approach is to put your computer and your phone to same WLAN. The do python runserver (binds all IPs) and use your computer WLAN IP to access the site in the phone e.g. – Mikko Ohtamaa Jun 11 '14 at 11:18
  • Andre, you're suggestion that I move the access control block solved the first problem of accessing the virtualhost from my cell phone. Thanks! Mikko, your solution worked as well. I still can't seem to get rid of that Python popup but I can live with that for now. – Ray Jun 12 '14 at 3:18

Are you actually including the file you have your virtual hosts defined in? From your question:

Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf


# /etc/apaches/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

The file paths are different, making it appear you're not actually including the file you have your virtual host definitions in.

  • That was a typo. I meant "apache2", not "apaches". I've corrected it in my question. – Ray Jun 10 '14 at 17:40
  • You still have /private/ at the start of your include, and not in the file name portion. Are you sure it's correctly pulling in the virtual host? Do you see it in your apachectl -S output? – Christopher Karel Jun 10 '14 at 18:01
  • On Mac OS X, /etc is a symlink to /private/etc. – Ray Jun 12 '14 at 2:46
  • My bad. I clearly don't know OSX. – Christopher Karel Jun 12 '14 at 14:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.