HTTPD::UserAdmin - Management of HTTP server user databases


    use HTTPD::UserAdmin ();


This software is meant to provide a generic interface that hides the inconsistencies across HTTP server implementations of user and group databases.


new ()

Here's where we find out what's different about your server.

Some examples:

    @DBM = (DBType => 'DBM',
            DB     => '.htpasswd',
            Server => 'apache');

    $user = new HTTPD::UserAdmin @DBM;

This creates an object who's database is a DBM file named '.htpasswd', in a format that the Apache server understands.

    @Text = (DBType => 'Text',
             DB     => '.htpasswd',
             Server => 'ncsa');

    $user = new HTTPD::UserAdmin @Text;

This creates an object whose database is a plain text file named '.htpasswd', in a format that the NCSA server understands.

    @SQL =  (DBType =>    "SQL",          
             Host =>      "",             #server hostname 
             Port =>      "",             #server port
             DB =>        "www",          #database name
             User =>      "",             #database login name      
             Auth =>      "",             #database login password
             Encrypt =>   "crypt",        #encryption method
             Driver =>    "mSQL",         #driver for DBI
             Server =>    "apache",       #HTTP server type, not required
             UserTable => "www-users",    #table with field names below
             NameField => "user",         #field for the name
             PasswordField => "password", #field for the password

    $user = new HTTPD::UserAdmin @SQL;

This creates an object who's mSQL database is named 'www', with a schema that the Apache server (extention) understands.

Full list of constructor attributes:

Note: Attribute names are case-insensitive

DBType - The type of database, one of 'DBM', 'Text', or 'SQL' (Default is 'DBM')

DB - The database name (Default is '.htpasswd' for DBM & Text databases)

Server - HTTP server name (Default is the generic class, that works with NCSA, Apache and possibly others)

Note: run 'perl t/support.t matrix' to see what support is currently availible

Encrypt - One of 'crypt', 'MD5', or 'none' (no encryption. Defaults to 'crypt'

Locking - Boolean, Lock Text and DBM files (Default is true)

Path - Relative DB files are resolved to this value (Default is '.')

Debug - Boolean, Turn on debug mode

Flags - The read, write and create flags. There are four modes: rwc - the default, open for reading, writing and creating. rw - open for reading and writing. r - open for reading only. w - open for writing only.

Specific to DBM files:

DBMF - The DBM file implementation to use (Default is 'NDBM')

Mode - The file creation mode, defaults to '0644'

Specific to DBI: We talk to an SQL server via Tim Bunce's DBI interface. For more info see:

Host - Server hostname

Port - Server port

User - Database login name

Auth - Database login password

Driver - Driver for DBI (Default is 'mSQL')

UserTable - Table with field names below

NameField - Field for the name (Default is 'user')

PasswordField - Field for the password (Default is 'password')

From here on out, things should look the same for everyone.


Add a user.

Fails if $username exists in the database

    if($user->add('dougm', 'secret')) {
        print "You have the power!\n";

You may need to pass additional fields, such as the user's real name. This depends on your server of course.

    $user->add('JoeUser', 'try2guess', '', 'Joseph A. User');

You can also pass a set of field name/value pairs in the form of a hash ref. Example

                        {'Name'=>'Joseph A. User','Credit_limit'=>2000});

Delete a user

    if($user->delete('dougm')) {
        print "He's gone\n";

Suspend a user

    if($user->suspend('dougm')) {
        print "Account suspended\n";

Unsuspend a suspended user

    if($user->unsuspend('dougm')) {
        print "Account restored to normal\n";

True if $username is found in the database

    if($user->exists('dougm')) {
        die "oh no!";

Returns the encrypted password for a user

    $passwd = $user->password("dougm");

Useful for copying users to another database.

    Fetch a list of field values from the indicated user.  Field names may
    be provided as a list or as an array reference.  The return value is a
    reference to a hash containing the field/value pairs.

Returns a list of usernames in the current database

    @users = $user->list
update($username,$password,\%fields) SQL only

Update $username with a new $password

    if($user->update('dougm', 'idunno')) {
        print "Updated\n";

With SQL servers, you can update other fields in the table by passing a hash reference:


An undefined value in the password field will leave the field unchanged.


Short cut for creating an HTTPD::GroupAdmin object. All applicable attributes are inherited, but can be overridden.

    $group = $user->group(NAME => 'www-group');

(See HTTPD::GroupAdmin)


Convert a database.

    $dbmuser = $user->convert(@Apache);

These methods give you control of the locking mechanism.

    $user = new HTTPD::UserAdmin (Locking => 0); #turn off auto-locking
    $user->lock; #lock the object's database
    $user->add($username,$passwd); #write while file is locked
    $user->unlock; release the lock

Select a different database.

    $olddb = $user->db($newdb);
    print "Now we're reading and writing '$newdb', done with '$olddb'n\";

Get or set read, write, create flags.


Commit changes to disk (for Text files).

Message Digest User Databases

Currently, you can store user info in a format for servers who support Message Digest Authentication. Here's an example:

  $user = new HTTPD::UserAdmin (DB => '.htdigest', Encrypt => 'MD5');
  ($username,$realm,$password) = ('JoeUser', 'SomePlace', '14me');

  #The checksum contains more info that just a password
  $user->add($username, "$username:$realm:$password");
  $user->update($username, "$username:$realm:newone");

  $info = $user->password($username);
  ($realm, $checksum) = split(":", $info);


See <URL:> for NCSA's implementation.

So, it's a little more work, but don't worry, a nicer interface is on the way.


HTTPD::GroupAdmin(3), HTTPD::Authen(3)


Doug MacEachern <>

Copyright (c) 1996, Doug MacEachern

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.