Webdav in Sixty Seconds

There’s a nice article over on the Nixcraft thing entitled Red Hat / CentOS Linux: Apache Enable WebDAV by Vivek Gite giving clear instructions on how to set up webdav on a stock Red Hat/CentOS web server.

Of course, like so many things, webdav support ships with RHEL and so is available for free out-of-the-box. No surprise then that many enterprises, including the one I work for, will still shell out tens of thousands of dollars to license commercial products based on the technology like Oracle Files.

Setting this up on an open source Linux system is actually quite simple. If you take the setup I did in my last post to protect a web directory using LDAP authentication for example, all you need to do is add a few lines to the <Directory /> block. So,

<Directory /var/www/html/media>
    AllowOverride All
    Dav On

That’s all there is to it! You could also add directives like “IndexOptions FancyIndexing” or “AddDefaultCharset UTF-8” as Vivek does, but the “Options +Indexes” shown will result in an error as an illegal in the context of a standard Apache 2.2 conf file on RHEL 5.3 — so don’t bother. Indexes are turned on further up the conf file in any event, so you won’t lose anything here.

I tested this by using Nautilus to set up a desktop connection object: Places… Connect to Server… WebDAV, filling out the connection details (host, directory name, user ID and connection name), and giving my LDAP password when prompted. An optional step would be saving the password to your Gnome Keyring.