Red Hat / CentOS Linux: Apache Enable WebDAV

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Q. Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning ( WebDAV) – is a set of extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote World Wide Web servers. How do I enable WebDAV under CentOS / RHEL 5 Linux server?

A. WebDAV can be easily created under httpd. All you have to do is add following directive alias.

httpd Dav on

Open httpd.conf file:
# vi httpd.conf
Append following directive:

Alias /webdav /home/httpd/webdav
Dav on

Save and close the file. Update: here is my sample /etc/httpd/conf.d/webdav.conf file. Instead of putting above two lines in httpd.conf, create /etc/httpd/conf.d/webdav.conf as follows:

 <IfModule mod_dav.c>
    LimitXMLRequestBody 131072
    Alias /webdav "/home/httpd/webdav"
    <Directory /home/httpd/webdav>
        Dav On
        Options +Indexes
        IndexOptions FancyIndexing
        AddDefaultCharset UTF-8
        AuthType Basic
        AuthName "WebDAV Server"
        AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/webdav.users.pwd
        Require valid-user
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

The configuration file will automatically be included. Run following to create user and password for user called tom:
# htpasswd -c /etc/httpd/webdav.users.pwd tom
You need to enter a password. The -c option creates the /etc/httpd/webdav.users.pwd. It can be left out when others users are added to the database. Now, create /home/httpd/webdav and set ownership:
# mkdir -p /home/httpd/webdav
# chown apache:apache /home/httpd/webdav

Finally, restart apache, enter:
# /etc/init.d/httpd restart

How do I access WebDAV in Windows / Linux / UNIX and Mac OS X?

Windows XP / 2003 server or higher have WebDAV client. Open My network places and click Add network place. Enter the WebDAV URL (e.g.

WebDAV in OS X

Click Finder > From the Finder menu, select Go > Connect to Server.

Type in the URL (e.g., and press the + button to save it as a favourite. Finally, provide username and password.

WebDAV in Linux / UNIX

Use GUI file manager.

KDE supports WebDAV by just using URLs that start with webdav:// or webdavs://. For e.g, open konqueror and type the url webdav://

The Gnome file browser Nautilus also has WebDAV support in recent versions, using normal URLs with http://. Open Nautilus and type the url

Command-line WebDAV client for Unix / Linux

Use cadaver client, it supports file upload, download, on-screen display, namespace operations (move and copy), collection creation and deletion, and locking operations. Its operation is similar to the standard ftp client and the Samba Project’s smbclient. A user familiar with these tools should be quite comfortable with cadaver. cadaver supports automatically logging in to servers requiring authentication via a .netrc file (similar to ftp).

To onnect to webdav server, from a shell prompt enter:
$ cadaver


  • webdav
  • man page httpd.conf and cadaver

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

18 comment

  1. getting error while restarting my apache
    [root@testbox ~]# /etc/init.d/httpd restart
    Stopping httpd: [FAILED]
    Starting httpd: Syntax error on line 555 of /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:
    DAV not allowed here
    [root@testbox ~]#

  2. menting “Dav on” under would work

    Alias /webdav /home/httpd/webdav

    Options None
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
    Dav on


  3. I think this article is missing something and the comments tried to clean it up, but they too didn’t work on my CentOS system. Put the following in a file /etc/httpd/conf.d/webdav.conf and then reload httpd.

    Alias /webdav /home/httpd/webdav/

    Options None
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
    Dav on

  4. Thanks for the update. Your website has been so helpful. One more tip: if you’re doing WebDAV over the Internet and using authentication (which you should) be sure to enable HTTPS to protect those passwords.

  5. Hi

    I am wondering if this is possible;

    read only for everyone, and only write access for people allowed to modify the site.

    im in the process of rebuilding a website and will be using Adobe Contribute for 3 staff to update the site, but it will need to be publically viewable, but only writable by 3 staff, is this easy to acomplish?

  6. Hi, Im on a BlueOnyx box (CentOS 5.3).
    I used the updated part, not the example above it.
    My Apache httpd.conf already had WebDAV, which I left untouched:

    # Location of the WebDAV lock database.
    DAVLockDB /var/lib/dav/lockdb

    I have user includes, for user specific httpd config. There, I added your example. And I changed to my . Works like a charm. Connected on my OS-X desktop. And on the interwebs it asked for authentication. Thanks for the example here.

  7. Hi,

    I have an Centos 5.3 Server running
    But it won’t work. When i try to connect i’am getting the message :
    Could not acces /webdav/ 405 Method Not Allowed
    Connection to ‘localhost’ closed..

    Can you help me?

  8. Niels, that is what I’m experiencing at my live BX box too. However, it works perfect in my localhost testing box at home. Both are BX CentOS5.3. The example above works. Im a rookie, Im figuring out my next move.

  9. Okay, here is what I did on my CentOS 5.3 BlueOnyx box..
    In /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf , I have the following:
    If you don’t have dav_fs module I guess you’ll simply use mod_dav.c..

    <IfModule mod_dav_fs.c>
    DAVLockDB /var/lib/dav/lockdb
    DAVDepthInfinity On
    DAVMinTimeout 600

    I make a my directory webdav (in root, not in /web).
    I add my user-login to a pwd file.

    mkdir /home/sites/your.domain.tld/webdav (give it rights)
    htpasswd -c /etc/httpd/your.webdav.users.pwd yourname

    For my sites, BX takes care of loading configs for vhosts.
    So, for vhost #14 I have the following for /etc/httpd/conf/vhosts/site14.include

    <Directory /home/sites/your.domain.tld/web>
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None
    Order deny,allow
    Allow from all

    <IfModule mod_dav_fs.c>

    LimitXMLRequestBody 131072

    <Directory /home/sites/your.domain.tld/webdav>
    # Options none
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    IndexOptions FancyIndexing
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

    Alias /webdav "/home/sites/your.domain.tld/webdav"

    <Location /webdav>
    DAV On
    AuthType Basic
    AuthName DAV
    AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/your.webdav.users.pwd
    <LimitExcept GET HEAD OPTIONS>
    require user yourname

    This way, you can make seperate settings, like if you want browser web-access. If not, you can uncomment the commented Options None, and comment the current Options and IndexOptions. Alike you can change access by chaging the Limit or LimitExept.

    Keep in touch with the dutch.
    regards, Frank

  10. Hi, a few months ago, i configure my apache server to allow web dav calendar sharing.
    im using outlook 2007 as a cliente, and now people who share their calendar, has loss all the appointments and task, olders than three monts.
    If someone know how this could happend, i really appreciate your help.

  11. Thank you very much! Worked like a charm on my Centos virtual machine. I use dyndns to forward to the centos VM and can now easily access, transfer (up and download) and edit files on my iPad from anywhere. The free iPad App Webdav Nav works excellent in this combination!

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