Lighttpd restrict or deny access by IP address

last updated in Categories Howto, lighttpd, Linux, News, Security, UNIX
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So how do you restrict or deny access by IP address using Lighttpd web server?


Lighttpd has mod_access module. The access module is used to deny access to files with given trailing path names. You need to combine this with remoteip conditional configuration. Syntax is as follows:

$HTTP[“remoteip”] == “IP” : Match on the remote IP
$HTTP[“remoteip”] !~ “IP1|IP2” : Do not match on the remote IP (perl style regular expression not match)
$HTTP[“remoteip”] =~ “IP1|IP2” : Match on the remote IP (perl style regular expression match)

Task: Match on the remote IP

For example block access to url if IP address is NOT and (restrict access to these 2 IPs only):

Open /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf file
# vi /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
Append following configuration directive:

$HTTP["remoteip"] !~ "|" {
    $HTTP["url"] =~ "^/stats/" {
      url.access-deny = ( "" )

Save and restart lighttpd:
# /etc/init.d/lighttpd restart

Task: Block single remote IP

Do not allow IP address to access our site:

$HTTP["remoteip"] == "" {
       url.access-deny = ( "" )

Do not allow IP address, to access our site:
Do not allow IP address to access our site:

$HTTP["remoteip"] =~ "|" {
       url.access-deny = ( "" )

See also

=> Lighttpd deny access to certain files

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.


16 comment

  1. Great article! I have a question relating to restricting access to a local server.

    I have two applications(Radiant & Mephisto) on the same shared server. I want to be able to restrict access to RSS feeds generated by Mephisto to the other application (Radiant).

    I reasoned that this could be accomplished using either the servers IP address or localhost. When I tried, it did not restrict anyone.

    Am I on the right track with my logic for this type of mod_access module? Alternatively, is it possible to restrict by domain?



  2. Hello Bryan, is local loopback IP address. This ip address is not routable so you cannot use this IP for restriction i.e. any traffic that a server program sends on the loopback network is addressed to the same server.

    To solve your problem use IP address. For example

    IF user agent is not foo and if it is not our server IP address do something or
    deny access

    $HTTP["useragent"] !~ "foo" {
    $HTTP["remoteip" ] != "SERVER-IP" {

    You can restrict RSS usage using URL match also.

  3. Hello,

    Thanks for the information. I tried several variations without success.

    I spoke with my hosting provider. He explained that the remote ips will be because of the Apache 2 proxy.

    Is there a way to use the Apache HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR in the conditional instead of remoteip?

    The access seems to use that to record ips. This article talks about it a little.

    Thanks again for your help. I know this isn’t a standard question but there are probably a lot people in similiar Apache 2/Lighttpd setups.



  4. I don’t think so you can get HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR in conditional tags. However you can try something as follows:.

    $HTTP["url"] =~ "^/path/to/rss/" {
    $HTTP["remoteip"] != "your-shared-server-ip" {
    url.access-deny = ( "" )

    Or just paste your current config (removing your actual domain and IP for security purpose) and exact requirements (output) you want. Then may be I can help you out.

    Another possibility is – If you just need to give access to localhost lighttpd from Apache, configure iptables to drop all access.

  5. how to block multi IPs use mod_access in lighttpd?
    From To

  6. xmlspy,

    Noop, it is not possible to specify range using –. However, you can specify network such as network or 70.6.2..5/29. For example:

      $HTTP["remoteip"] != "" {
       url.access-deny = ( "" )
  7. reply nixcraft

    thanks 🙂


    $HTTP[“remoteip”] !~ “||||||||” {
    url.access-deny = (“”)

    why can’t access wesite ?

  8. When using a regular expression match, I seem to have had success by simply leaving out the octet I wanted to use as a wild card.

    instead of “/24”: $HTTP[“remoteip”] =~ “|10.0.0″
    instead of “/16”: $HTTP[“remoteip”] =~ “|10.0″

    It’s been more than a year since the last reply, but hey, a search led me here.

  9. What about denying access to subdomains? How is this done as what I have tried doesn’t work. If I have and I only wish IP 12.345.678.23 to access it how would this be done. The following doesn’t work:

    $HTTP["remoteip"] != "" { #example ip
    $HTTP["url"] =~ "^" {
    url.access-deny = ( "" )

  10. Nice info, thanks.

    Note, that you must be careful with comparison operators.
    If you want to deny access from everywhere except given IPs like in the example:

    $HTTP[“remoteip”] !~ “|” {

    the IPs like (i.e., .52. and so on) FAILS the condition and are allowed access.
    !~ and =~ are substring operators. You must either use them with ^ and $, or just use != and ==.

    $HTTP[“remoteip”] != “|” {
    will do exact IP matching.

  11. correction to my previous post:

    $HTTP[“remoteip”] != “|″ {
    in incorrect, of course.
    You can match only one IP using == or != operator, like this:
    $HTTP[“remoteip”] != “″ {

  12. This however lets you block ‘^/some/’ but anyone can access the same folder directory by playing with the CASES like although it does block “some” directory but i can access the same directory by requesting “Some” , “sOme” , “SoMe” and any similar combination.
    Webserver serves the directory without considering case-sensitivity while it blocks the request based on case-sensitive syntax provided in the conf.
    Is there a work around for this?

    1. This also sends 404 as the http response code,
      while I want to return 403 as the http response code and redirect the user to a custom error page.
      How can i do that?

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