mod_auth_shadow is an Apache module which authenticates against the /etc/shadow file. You may use this module with a mode 400 root:root /etc/shadow file, while your web daemons are running under a non-privileged user.

Get mod-auth-shadow

A package for Debian linux is available here.

On Fedora Core 5 and up, just "yum install mod_auth_shadow" will install it.

Another implementation of this idea can be found within mod_auth_external.

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