I'm trying to use the built-in Apache server in MacOS mojave.

In my browser, accessing http://localhost/~myusername/mypage.html (in case of user dir) or http://localhost/mypage.html (in case of default dir) both throw the same error in the browser:

Forbidden You don't have permission to access /mysite/ on this server.

I' trying to make both the default dir /Library/WebServer/Documents and an user dir ~/myusername/Sitesworks. I tried 2 solutions:

  1. I tried to add a vhost in /etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

    <VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName localhost
    DocumentRoot /Library/WebServer/Documents/
  2. I tried to add a myusername.conf file in /etc/apache2/users with the following content

    <Directory "/Users/myusername/Sites/">
    Options Indexes MultiViews
    AllowOverride All
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

Is there a guide to understanding permission errors on Mojave using Apple shipped Apache?

EDIT: It looks like the accepted answer here solved the reading permission for me. From the answer:

  1. Load the module mod_userdir in /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
  2. At the end of the httpd.conf make sure to load httpd-userdir.conf
  3. In httpd-userdir.conf include a local file in /etc/apache2/users/<username>.conf
  4. Put a directory section into that file, containing the rules for the directory where your webserver files are located:

      <Directory "/Users/<myusername>/Sites/">
          AllowOverride All
          Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
          Require all granted

Writing access to files is still a problem: Apache cannot edit a file if the ownership is mine (the admin user). I'm still wondering if there is a proper way to fix the permission without messing up each directory permissions every new project.

This is the script I'm using for testing write permission:

    echo 'Current script owner: ' . get_current_user();
    echo 'Current user:' . system('whoami');
    $current = file_get_contents('people.txt');
    $current .= "John Smith\n";
    file_put_contents($file, $current);

I get the error:

Warning: file_put_contents(people.txt): failed to open stream: Permission denied

  • 1
    What action yields the permission error?
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 22:12
  • 2
    all the actions from the browser: when I try to access http://localhost/~myusername/mypage.html (in case of user dir) or http://localhost/mypage.html (in case of default dir) Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Apache in macOS Server runs as the _www user. Try granting this user write access to the directory with an ACL entry.

chmod +a "_www allow list,search,add_file,add_subdirectory,delete_child,write,append,file_inherit,directory_inherit" "/Users/<user>/Sites"
  • nop, it doesn't solve..I still get Permission denied when I try to write in a file Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 0:19

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