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Entry in the Apache error log (.htaccess-related)

Author Jaime
#1 | Posted: 19 Oct 2012 11:47 
Does anyone have problems when YandexBot visit the forum ? The pages are delivered without error.

Again and again, but the error message:

(13)Permission denied: /xyz/.htaccess pcfg_openfile: unable to check htaccess file, ensure it is readable

A few days ago I wrote to Yandex and described the problem. So far I have not received a reply, but now only does this message:

(13)Permission denied: Couldn't read /xyz/.htaccess, closing connection

is written to the apache errorlog. Mostly with contributions from a forum that is read-only ?

This problem occurs only when yandex[.]com/bots vistit my forum!? Did anyone have similar problems with this bot ?

Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#2 | Posted: 19 Oct 2012 12:42 
How did you get the idea, that this is only YandexBot which produces these errors?

I suppose, any normal bot including YandexBot too, just opens some URL and reads the document available under this URL. Then it indexes any hyperlinks available under this URL, and spiders them, too.

I'm not sure that any server-side issue may be related to that. Definitely, no bot will even know that you have .htaccess

I've Googled some snippets from the error text you provided, and for example, one of the first documents claims it's Apache access rights related error.

it would imply that apache does not have read access on your /home/username directory.
The cause for this can be permission related, config related or ownership related.
Apache runs as user "apache", thus the directory must be +x for that user or group.
May be you may start from that... I'm almost sure it's not related to Yandex or any other specific bot.

Author Jaime
#3 | Posted: 20 Oct 2012 08:44 
How did you get the idea, that this is only YandexBot which produces these errors?
I observe the error messages for a few weeks. Other bots also visit the same sites without leaving an error entry. Only when Yandex came to this site, so my guess.

And of course, I googled for the error message ;-), thank you for your note! But my web server have all rights. And there are no other problems.

Today 00:00 clock since I certainly have in the past 7 hours not one of these errors - and Yandex is here for visiting.

Quite strange, I will continue to monitor. Thank you for your opinion.

Author tom322
Active Member
#4 | Posted: 20 Oct 2012 18:06 
I would try to contact Yandex - it's their business to make their bots work correctly too ;)

Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#5 | Posted: 22 Oct 2012 11:33 
Other bots also visit the same sites without leaving an error entry. Only when Yandex came to this site, so my guess.
That was my question - how could you be sure or knowing that this happens when Yandex visits your page?
I.e. where does it leave a note or something to conclude it is Yandex. I'm not sure how you track it.

Author Jaime
#6 | Posted: 24 Oct 2012 18:42 
Paul, i see these entries in the log of the Apache e.g. - - [24/Oct/2012:14:46:52 +0200] "GET /forums/9_166_0.html HTTP/1.1" 200 10847 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; YandexBot/3.0; ...)" "..."

So really delivered

But at the same time in the error log:

[Wed Oct 24 14:46:52 2012] [warn] [client] (13)Permission denied: Couldn't read /xyz/.htaccess, closing connection.

And these messages come only when Yandex visit my sites, but not always! And .../xyz/ is not my root on the server! My root is /xyz/www

Today from 00:00 - 12:00 Yandex crawl 161 sites with 21 this errors. Including 87 sites from my forums with 13 errors. 10 of these error messages came from a read-only forum ... But I think that has nothing to do with.

I'm still looking for a pattern so it this error, only by Yandex, there. But can see nothing. And as already mentioned, there is no other access these error messages! I'll just continue watching it, or shut out this bot.

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