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403 Forbidden - You don't have permission to access / on this server. 23 December 1999
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This article shows you how to fix the above error.
The Error
If you browse to a site and get the following error:
Forbidden

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

Apache/1.3.9 Server at freebsddiary.unixathome.org Port 80

This error indicates that a default document could not be found at the specified URL and that directory listings are not permitted.

The solution
The solution is quite simple.  Edit /usr/local/etc/apache/httpd.conf and look for the following line:
DirectoryIndex index.html  

This line indicates that if a URL does not contain an explicit filename, then the files specified on this line will be used by default.  So if you are using index.htm, or default.htm as your default page, add them to this line.  For example:

DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm default.htm

Then you should restart apache:

/usr/local/sbin/apachectl restart

And you should also check the logs for any errors:

# tail /var/log/httpd-error.log
[Thu Dec 23 21:56:12 1999] [notice] SIGHUP received.  Attempting to 
                                                              restart
[Thu Dec 23 21:56:16 1999] [notice] Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) 
         FrontPage/4.0.4.3 
         mod_ssl/2.4.8 OpenSSL/0.9.4 configured -- resuming normal 
                                                     operations
Another situation 3 May 2002

I found another situation which can cause this problem. I had a virtual host (yes, on a Solaris box) which contained this:

<VirtualHost 10.0.1.249>
        DocumentRoot    /opt/mystuff/webui
        ErrorLog        /var/adm/webui-error.log
        CustomLog       /var/adm/webui-access.log common
        <Location />
                Options ExecCGI
                AllowOverride None
                DirectoryIndex login.cgi
        </Location>
</VirtualHost>
I also had http://10.0.1.249/~dlangille/ as my website. But index.html would not load. I'd get the Forbidden message indicated above. But I could browse to http://10.0.1.249/~dlangille/index.html and the file would load. By changing the Location directive as shown below, my index.html would display.
        <Directory /opt/mystuff/webui>
                Options ExecCGI
                AllowOverride None
                DirectoryIndex login.cgi
        </Directory>
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