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Posted on: 02 Dec 2007
Author: mandrei
Section: Server Operating Systems | Problems and Solutions
Views: 877
Comments: 2 (Add)

AIX 5.3 TL 6 and Apache 1.3 - httpd: bad user name nobody
After upgrading AIX version 5.3 Apache daemon httpd doesn't want to start: httpd: bad user name nobody

 



Technology Level 6 for AIX 5.3 can come with a surprise. Specially if you have Apache 1.3 running.

$ /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start
httpd: bad user name nobody
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start: httpd could not be started

I was very surprised seeing this. I imidiately checked httpd configuration file /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf to see under which user is apache supposed to start

$ grep ^User /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf
User cp1adm

Hmm... httpd configuration file is supposed to start under cp1adm user. So I try to start it again. Same result: httpd: bad user name nobody

The first that came to my mind was to start httpd with -f option:  -f file : specify an alternate ServerConfigFile

$ file /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd
/usr/local/apache/bin/httpd: 64-bit XCOFF executable or object module
$
$ /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -f /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf
httpd: bad user name nobody
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start: httpd could not be started

Seems that httpd ignores User cp1adm line stated in /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf configuration file.

Next, I try to see if httpd binary file even tries to read it's config file: 

$ truss /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -f /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf >truss.out 2>&1
httpd: bad user name nobody
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start: httpd could not be started

Now I start greping for "conf" or "httpd.conf" in truss.out which is the output of the truss command, but without result. Seems that httpd doesn't even read the configuration file. So it's a problem, maybe, with user nobody.

$ id nobody
uid=4294967294(nobody) gid=4294967294(nobody)
$ lsgroup nobody
nobody id=4294967294 admin=false users=nobody registry=files

The UID and GID of this user seem to be a little strange.

After searching the web for some information regarding these values, I try to change the UID and GID of user nobody to 65534. This can be done either by using smitty user and smitty group fast paths, either by using chgroup and chuser commands:

$ chgroup id=65534 nobody
3004-719 Warning: /usr/bin/chgroup does not update /etc/passwd with the new gid.
$ id nobody
uid=65534(nobody) gid=65534(nobody)

Please note that also /etc/passwd file must be edited to have the following UID and GID for user nobody:

$ id nobody
uid=65534(nobody) gid=65534(nobody)

After this apache starts without problems as the user it is supposed to

$ /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start: httpd started
$ ps -ef | grep http
root   332014 1 0 15:13:41  – 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd
cp1adm 237718 332014 0 15:13:41  – 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd
cp1adm 254028 332014 0 15:13:41  – 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd
cp1adm 311458 332014 0 15:13:41  – 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd
cp1adm 319734 332014 0 15:13:41  – 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd
cp1adm 323838 332014 0 15:13:41  – 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd

I don't quite understand why it was working fine before Technology Level 6 (Service Pack 3) upgrade.

Comments are welcome. 

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2 comment(s) to AIX 5.3 TL 6 and Apache 1.3 - httpd: bad user name nobody:

1. Re: AIX 5.3 TL 6 and Apache 1.3 - httpd: bad user name nobody
dddd by dushi_op@hotmail.com at February 18th, 2008 - 09:23
shhhhdhsd

2. Re: AIX 5.3 TL 6 and Apache 1.3 - httpd: bad user name nobody
kosova by dushi at February 18th, 2008 - 09:22
sbhbhhsdhdhd

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