Just realised i posted this on stack overflow by mistake, so here it is in the correct place!

I have approx 50 sites that all use the exact same files other than CSS and IMAGES, i currently duplicate the files each time i create a new site and upload different css and images.

What I want do so set up each vhost to have the same DocumentRoot then add AliasMatch for the css and images folders e.g:

#Common Files VHOST
<VirtualHost xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:80>
    ServerName commonfiles.com
    ServerAlias www.commonfiles.com
    DocumentRoot /home/commonfiles/public_html

#Sample vhost for 1 of the 50 sites.
<VirtualHost xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:80>
    ServerName mytest.com
    ServerAlias www.mytest.com
    DocumentRoot /home/commonfiles/public_html
    AliasMatch /css/(.*) /home/ftpuser/public_html/mycss/$1

The alias works perfectly for the bespoke files but the common files cant be accessed because of permission errors:

[Mon Nov 16 09:31:01 2009] [crit] [client xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx] (13)Permission denied: /home/commonfiles/public_html/.htaccess pcfg_openfile: unable to check htaccess file, ensure it is readable

This is the current server setup which I think may be part of the problem (Previous Server Admin Set this up):

  • Apache(Apache/2.2.14 (Unix)
  • PHP 5.2.11
  • CentOS 4.8 i686 standard
  • PHP 5 Handler is dso
  • Apache suEXEC is on

Any suggestions?

  • Show us the full, real config files; you've got a permissions problem but haven't showed us any of the permissions-related config. – womble Nov 16 '09 at 11:25
  • I'm afraid, I'm not quite sure what to show, where can i obtain this info? – icelizard Nov 16 '09 at 11:33
  • Example: /home/commonfiles/public_html/.htaccess has 644 commonfiles:commonfiles – icelizard Nov 16 '09 at 11:34

It appears that by default the the public_html folder has permissions of 750, I changed to 755 and updated the open_basedir restrictions and all started to work great.

I just have to make sure that I can still have a .htaccess per site.


You've got an issue with a htaccess file somewhere.

If all your configuration is inside /etc/apache2 you don't even need htaccess file support enabled and can get a small speedup by disabling it.

You could also use something like mod_vhost_alias to simplify your configuration.


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