Desired Behaviour

To be able to access localhost in browser without getting 403 Forbidden message.

Current Behaviour

Navigating to localhost in browser returns:

You don't have permission to access / on this server.
Apache/2.4.7 (Ubuntu) Server at localhost Port 80

Steps To Reproduce

I set up a local server on Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon using these steps:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2 php5
$ sudo apt-get install php5-dev php5-cli
$ sudo apt-get install php-pear
$ pear version
// PEAR Version: 1.9.4
// PHP Version: 5.5.9-1ubuntu4.5
// Zend Engine Version: 2.5.0
// Running on: Linux my-computer 3.13.0-24-generic #47-Ubuntu SMP Fri May 2 23:30:00 UTC 2014 x86_64

$ pecl version ## as above

$ sudo pecl install mongo ## this installs the mongo driver

At this point, I was prompted with something containing [no] and I pressed enter.

$ cd /etc/php5/apache2
$ sudo vi php.ini

At the end of the file I added: extension=mongo.so

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

At the end of this process, yesterday, I could access localhost successfully.

Today, I am getting the 403 error when navigating to localhost.


Apache Status

me@my-computer ~ $ /etc/init.d/apache2 status
 * apache2 is running



drwxr-xr-x  12 root root  4096 Nov 23 08:58 var


drwxr-xr-x  3 root root   4096 Nov 23 08:58 www


drwx------ 8 me me 4096 Nov 22 01:07 html


-rw-r--r-- 1 root  root  11510 Nov 23 08:59 index.html

Looking at the permissions of /var/www/html showed me that only user root had Read Write Execute permissions. As I was using the browser just as a standard user and not getting access, I assumed that 'Other' needed some permissions, so I did this:

sudo chmod 755 html -R

And the new permissions are now:

drwxr-xr-x 2 me me 4096 Nov 23 22:59 html

Now I can access localhost in a browser.

I found this video on "Users, Groups and Permissions in Linux" very helpful:


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  • 2
    That sounds exactly right. Thanks for taking the time to post it as an answer! – terdon Nov 23 '14 at 16:13
  • Thank you for assisting in clarifying my information sources! – user1063287 Nov 23 '14 at 16:19

You shoud give apache execute/read access. The way @user1063287 said is good but may have security issues, giving access to other. I think this way is better:

1) make apache owner of your site root:

chown -R www-data:www-data ROOT_OF_SITE

2) give it full access

chmod -R 700 ROOT_OF_SITE
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