I upgraded from Apache 2.2 to 2.4 and i'm having trouble getting everything working again. The error in /var/log/apache2/error.log is:

[Sat May 07 22:36:38.152432 2016] [authz_core:error] [pid 30664] [client xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:54441] AH01630: client denied by server configuration: /var/www/html/

The strange thing is, /var/www/html isn't used at all in /etc/apache2.

Steps taken to solve this:

  • use require instead of order
  • disable access_compat.load (still disabled)
  • chmod 777 on /srv/www/abc (has been reverted now)
  • reading a lot of similar problems

My apache2.conf:

Mutex file:${APACHE_LOCK_DIR} default
Timeout 300
KeepAlive On
MaxKeepAliveRequests 100
KeepAliveTimeout 5


HostnameLookups Off

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
LogLevel warn

IncludeOptional mods-enabled/*.load
IncludeOptional mods-enabled/*.conf
Include ports.conf

<Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all denied

<Directory /usr/share>
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

<Directory /srv/www>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

AccessFileName .htaccess

<FilesMatch "^\.ht">
    Require all granted

LogFormat "%v:%p %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" vhost_combined
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O" common
LogFormat "%{Referer}i -> %U" referer
LogFormat "%{User-agent}i" agent

IncludeOptional conf-enabled/*.conf
IncludeOptional sites-enabled/*.conf

My vhost.conf:

<Directory /srv/www/abc>
        Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks +Includes
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

<VirtualHost *:80>
        DocumentRoot /srv/www/abc

        ServerName xxx.xxx.nl

What am i doing wrong?

  • In which directory is your vhost.conf? Commented May 7, 2016 at 22:53
  • 1
    in /etc/apache2/sites-available. it's the only symlink in sites-enabled.
    – Raymond
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 5:13
  • Thanks for the additional details. Have you also restarted Apache afterwards, e.g. with service apache2 restart? (Sorry for this basic questions, but since you asked "What am i doing wrong?" we should try to wipe out the things you didn't do wrong. :-)) Commented May 8, 2016 at 8:58
  • I did, once more, and then noticed the problem. In the browser I got the message 'Server unable to read htaccess file, denying access to be safe'. I looked at the file permissions and there was my problem. In my case chmod a+x /srv/www/abc solved the problem. Apache 2.2 apparantly only needs read permissions, while 2.4 also needs execute permission. Thanks a lot for your help Axel!
    – Raymond
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


/var/www/html/ is usually declared in /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf. If you haven't deleted that file or its symlink at /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf or removed the directive DocumentRoot /var/www/html in it, that's where the /var/www/html/ directory is configured.

If you've put your vhost.conf into /etc/apache2/sites-available/, but haven't called a2ensite vhost.conf afterwards (which will create an according symlink in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/, it won't be recognized.

  • 1
    I removed all the symlinks except the vhost.conf. I've also edited 000-default.conf and default-ssl.conf so that /var/www/html became /var/www/html1 or /var/www/html2, to see if that changed the error. If I grep -irn /var/www/html in /etc/apache2 i don't find /var/www/html anymore (just the 1 and 2)
    – Raymond
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 5:15

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