Repositories access control with apache, mod_dav_svn and mod_perl

Overview

In this documentation, we will configure apache to delegate authentication to mod_perl. It's tested on apache2 (apache2-mpm-prefork) with mysql and postgresql but should work with allmost every databases for which there is a perl DBD module. Apache2 with the high speed thread model might not load Perl correctly (apache2-mpm-worker).

You need a working apache on your SVN server and you must install some modules at least mod_dav_svn, mod_perl2, DBI and DBD::mysql (or the DBD driver for you database as it should work on allmost all databases).

On Debian/ubuntu you can do :

sudo aptitude install libapache2-svn libapache-dbi-perl \
libapache2-mod-perl2 libdbd-mysql-perl libdigest-sha1-perl \
libauthen-simple-ldap-perl

On Turnkey Redmine Virtual Appliance you can do :

apt-get install libapache2-svn libapache-dbi-perl \
libapache2-mod-perl2 libauthen-simple-ldap-perl

If the repositories are not created automatically by reposman.rb, it is important that the repository name is the same as the project identifier in Redmine, otherwise Redmine.pm will fail to authenticate users. For example, if the path to the repository is /path/to/repository/foo-bar, then the project Identifier on the Settings page must be foo-bar.

Enabling apache modules

On debian/ubuntu :

sudo a2enmod dav
sudo a2enmod dav_svn # if you want to use svn
sudo a2enmod dav_fs  # if you want to use git
sudo a2enmod perl

Apache configuration for Subversion repositories

You first need to copy or link Redmine.pm to /usr/lib/perl5/Apache/Redmine.pm
  • Redmine.pm can be found in $REDMINE_DIR/extra/svn/Redmine.pm
  • In the Debian install, it is found /usr/share/redmine/extra/svn/Redmine.pm

Then add the following Location directives to your apache configuration (for example in /etc/APACHE_DIR/conf.d/):

  • the old how-to which suggested two separate locations for with /svn and /svn-private can be avoided
  • with the Satisfy any keyword from Apache you can define different authentication policies
  • read access from the redmine-server or any validated user
  • write access only validated users
   # /svn location for users
   PerlLoadModule Apache::Redmine
   <Location /svn>
     DAV svn

     ### uncomment the following line when using subversion 1.8 or newer (see http://subversion.apache.org/docs/release-notes/1.8.html#serf-skelta-default)
     # SVNAllowBulkUpdates Prefer

     SVNParentPath "/var/svn" 
     Order deny,allow
     Deny from all
     Satisfy any
     # If a client tries to svn update which involves updating many files,
     # the update request might result in an error Server sent unexpected
     # return value (413 Request  Entity Too Large) in response to REPORT
     # request,because the size of the update request exceeds the limit
     # allowed by the server. You can avoid this error by disabling the
     # request size limit by adding the line LimitXMLRequestBody 0
     # between the <Location...> and </Location> lines. 
     LimitXMLRequestBody 0

     # Only check Authentication for root path, nor again for recursive
     # folder.
     # Redmine core does only permit access on repository level, so this
     # doesn't hurt security. On the other hand it does boost performance
     # a lot!
     SVNPathAuthz off

     PerlAccessHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::access_handler
     PerlAuthenHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::authen_handler
     AuthType Basic
     AuthName "Redmine SVN Repository" 
     AuthUserFile /dev/null

     #read-only access    
     <Limit GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
        Require valid-user
        Allow from redmine.server.ip
        # Allow from another-ip
         Satisfy any
     </Limit>
     # write access
     <LimitExcept GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
       Require valid-user
     </LimitExcept>

     ## for mysql
     RedmineDSN "DBI:mysql:database=databasename;host=my.db.server" 
     ## for postgres
     # RedmineDSN "DBI:Pg:dbname=databasename;host=my.db.server" 
     ## for SQLite3
     # RedmineDSN "DBI:SQLite:dbname=database.db" 

     RedmineDbUser "redmine" 
     RedmineDbPass "password" 
  </Location>

Testing the configuration:

After reloading apache conf, you can try to browse some repository with:

svn ls http://my.svn.server/svn/myproject

Any non-public repository should ask for a username and password.

To test the authentication that allows you redmine server to read all repositories:

Reading a private repository:

svn ls http://my.svn.server/svn/myproject

Try writing to the repository:
svn mkdir http://my.svn.server/svn/myproject/testdir

This should fail and ask for a password.

optional LDAP Authentication

If you want to connect your LDAP authentication to Apache, you can install the Authen::Simple::LDAP perl module. I found that connecting to my LDAP server to authenticate with every request can be quite slow. I added the following to my configuration and had a significant performance increase. If you have configured an encrypted connection to the LDAP server you will need the IO::Socket::SSL module.

NOTE: the above wording is a little confusing. I attempt to clear up the issues I had with this in the following paragraph.

First of all, make sure that you have the Net::LDAP module installed as well. I installed Authen::Simple::LDAP through CPAN and found that nothing worked. Eventually I figured out that this was because the Authen::Simple::LDAP did not require the Net::LDAP module as a dependency but it is needed for our purpose here. I did this on CentOS and it seems that the Net::LDAP module can be installed via yum (yum install perl-LDAP) but the Authen::Simple::LDAP had to be installed via CPAN since there's no RPM for it in the CentOS repositories.

To install the Authen::Simple::LDAP using CPAN use commands:

cpan
cpan> install Authen::Simple::LDAP

if the installation failed due to some dependencies, resolve the dependencies first.

My second point is related to the below Apache config. The PerlLoadModule Authen::Simple::LDAP is actually not required for having users authenticated via LDAP. It will happen automatically if both of the above modules are installed. So there really is no difference between the config snippet below and the one above except for the RedmineCacheCredsMax 50 line which is probably a good idea although it can result in users that have been deleted or removed in redmine still getting access to the repositories, at least for a little while.

   PerlLoadModule Apache::Redmine
   PerlLoadModule  Authen::Simple::LDAP
   # PerlLoadModule  IO::Socket::SSL
   <Location /svn>
     DAV svn
     # If a client tries to svn update which involves updating many files, the
     # update request might result in an error Server sent unexpected return
     # value (413 Request  Entity Too Large) in response to REPORT request,
     # because the size of the update request exceeds the limit allowed by the
     # server. You can avoid this error by disabling the request size limit by
     # adding the line LimitXMLRequestBody 0 between the <Location...> and
     # </Location> lines. 
     LimitXMLRequestBody 0

     # Only check Authentification for root path, nor again for recursive folder
     # Redmine core does only permit acces on repository level, so this doesn't
     # hurt security. On the other hand it does boost performance a lot!
     SVNPathAuthz off

     SVNParentPath "/var/svn" 

     AuthType Basic
     AuthName redmine
     Require valid-user

     PerlAccessHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::access_handler
     PerlAuthenHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::authen_handler

     ## for mysql
     RedmineDSN "DBI:mysql:database=databasename;host=my.db.server" 
     ## for postgres
     # RedmineDSN "DBI:Pg:dbname=databasename;host=my.db.server" 

     RedmineDbUser "redmine" 
     RedmineDbPass "password" 
     #Cache the last 50 auth entries
     RedmineCacheCredsMax 50
  </Location>

Apache configuration for Git repositories

TODO: This should probably be moved into HowTo configure Redmine for advanced git integration

Now that reposman.rb can create git repositories, you can use Redmine.pm to access them the same way than subversion.

You first need to copy or link Redmine.pm to /usr/lib/perl5/Apache/Redmine.pm, then you add this configuration to apache :


PerlLoadModule Apache::Authn::Redmine

SetEnv GIT_PROJECT_ROOT /path/to/git/repos
SetEnv GIT_HTTP_EXPORT_ALL

ScriptAlias /git/ /usr/bin/git-http-backend/

<Location /git>
  AuthType Basic
  Require valid-user
  AuthName "Git" 

  PerlAccessHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::access_handler
  PerlAuthenHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::authen_handler

  RedmineDSN "DBI:mysql:database=redmine;host=localhost" 
  RedmineDbUser "redmine" 
  RedmineDbPass "password" 
  RedmineGitSmartHttp yes
</Location>

Alias /git-private /var/git

<Location /git-private>
   Order deny,allow
   Deny from all
   <Limit GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
      Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
   Allow from 127.0.0.1
   </Limit>
</Location>

To verify that you can access repository through Redmine.pm, you can use curl :

% curl --netrc --location http://localhost/git/ecookbook/HEAD   
ref: refs/heads/master

Apache configuration for Mercurial repositories

TODO: This should probably be moved into HowTo configure Redmine for advanced Mercurial integration

Create a file caled "hgweb.config" in the same folder as "hgwebdir.cgi". This foder will be the root repository folder. Then edit the "hgweb.config" with something like this:

[paths]
/=/path/to/root/repository/**

[web]
allow_push = *
allowbz2 = yes
allowgz = yes
allowzip = yes

Follows the instructions to install Redmine.pm as described and configure your apache like this.

    RewriteEngine on
    PerlLoadModule Apache2::Redmine
    PerlLoadModule Authen::Simple::LDAP
    ScriptAliasMatch ^/hg(.*)  /path/to/the/hgwebdir.cgi/$1
    <Location /hg>
        AuthType Basic
        AuthName "Mercurial" 
        Require valid-user

        #Redmine auth
        PerlAccessHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::access_handler
        PerlAuthenHandler Apache::Authn::Redmine::authen_handler
        RedmineDSN "DBI:mysql:database=redmine;host=localhost" 
        RedmineDbUser "DB_USER" 
        RedmineDbPass "DB_PASSWD" 
    </Location>

    # Note: Do not use hg-private as the rewrite rule above will cause strange things to occur.
    Alias /private-hg /path/to/hg/repos

    <Location /private-hg>
        Order deny, allow
        Deny from all
        <Limit GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
            Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
            Allow from 127.0.0.1
        </Limit>
    </Location>

Gotchas

If you run this in Phusion Passenger, make sure you don't turn PassengerHighPerformance on. If you do, the rewrites to catch subversion dav will be bypassed with some interesting dump in the log as a result.
Example:

ActionController::RoutingError (No route matches "/svn/rm-code" with {:method=>:get}):

(if your repo are named rm-code)

When using Authen::Simple::LDAP for authentication, it is not sufficient to have the Administrator role to access a repository. The user must have a role with that specifically allows the user to browse, read, or write the repository.