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How do I enable apache file and directory indexing under Linux or UNIX?

Q. I’m using Apache 2 under Linux. How do I enable apache file and directory indexing? Currently it is disabled and I would like to enable the same for /pdfs/ directory (http://domain.com/pdfs).

A. Under Apache web server automatic index generation is enabled with using Options +Indexes or Options Indexes directive.

If a URL which maps to a directory is requested, and there is no DirectoryIndex (e.g., index.html) in that directory, then mod_autoindex will return a formatted listing of the directory.

Option # 1: Using Apache config file

Add directory option to Apache configuration file /etc/httpd/httpd.conf or /etc/apache2/apache2.conf:
# vi /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
Add following code:
<Directory /var/www/domain.com/pdfs>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks

Save and close the file. Restart Apache:
# /etc/init.d/httpd restart
# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Option #2: Using .htaccess Files with Apache

You can place config line Options Indexes in .htaccess file. Make sure .htaccess file support is enabled.
Change directory to pdfs
$ cd pdfs
Open .htaccess file
$ vi .htaccess
Append following apache directive:
Options Indexes
Save and close the file.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • LinuxFreaker October 22, 2009, 7:37 am

    Make sure .htaccess file support is enabled.

    How to check if thats there in apache Distros.
    What is the aim of “Using .htaccess Files with Apache”?

  • M kazzaz February 11, 2012, 8:21 am

    I did so but i still have the Forbidden Error message I can read the files but i can’t list them

  • sarah robert September 11, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I have the same problème
    can you help me?
    i tried with options indexes// options -indexes//options +indexes//
    i have dedecated server

  • Mike Schinkel September 29, 2012, 2:25 am

    This is wrong for


    Options Indexes

    It should be :

    Options +Indexes

  • alds June 27, 2014, 3:17 am

    Thanks for this article and your website in general. Your site has been my go-to resource for linux commands. I like the way you structure your articles so that they appear cookbook-style where you describe a scenario and provide the solution concisely. There is no need to read through long articles for a particular command like what other sites do. Keep up the good work!

  • Shamal Sandeep October 24, 2014, 2:25 am

    Thanks dude! Just worked like a charm. This is what I was really expected!

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