Ok, I have set up an alias on my apache server to point to a directory on a second HD. The Directory is /media/MediaServer/Videos.

The point of all this, is to stream videos from that folder, to my TV using Roku, and Roksbox. Everything worked fine when I kept my video files in my www folder...but I was running low on HD space..

Took me a while to get the damn thing to even look in the right place. Now it looks to the right folder...but gives me the 403 Access Forbidden error.

I am a bit of a noob at this stuff...so forgive me for lack on info. If I do not include something you need to see in order to help me, just let me know.

First: after following countless tutorials on how to set up the Alias...the only one that worked...was this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIEr_jz1oYA

Finally, after following that, I have the following .conf file:

Alias /Videos/ /media/MediaServer/Videos Options +Indexes FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI AllowOverride AuthConfig FileInfo Order allow,deny Allow from all

Now, when I type in localhost/Videos in my browser, it actually looks at the Videos folder (at least it appears too, compared to before when the best I could do was get it to tell me that www/Videos did not exist...) But it tells me "You don't have permission to access /Videos/ on this server."

I have tried changing the permissions on the Videos directory to 777, 775, 750, etc...nothing seems to work. Even tried to change the permissions to the /media directory (found a few forum topics that suggested that the parent directories needed full permissions as well.)

Nothing seems to work. Help! Please!


I opened a terminal and logged in as www-data (which is what the apache server uses) and am able to access the Videos folder...so...unless I am completely off here...that means it's not a permissions issue...


Ok...not sure why this worked...but here's what I did that works..

I went back into the Alias Conf file...and instead of pointing to /media/MediaServer/Videos, I pointed to /media/MediaServer

Now, all of a sudden, when I try to access localhost/Videos (which is no longer what should work...) it works...perfectly...Not sure what is going on...ut it works...and that is all that matters.

2 Answers 2


Have you tried using a Symbolic Link instead of an Alias?

In the Terminal:

ln -s /media/MediaServer/Videos /var/www/Videos

Then in your Apache config file you need to add Options FollowSymLinks to the <Directory /> section, as seen here

This will create a symbolic link at /var/www/Videos that points to /media/MediaServer/Video. Basically the system will see the folder on 'MediaServer' as the contents of /var/www/Videos/.

More information about Symbolic Links can be found here and here. I use them with apache all the time, and never have any problems. Hope it helps.

  • Ok, first, thanks for suggestions. Luis Flores III: Tried Symbolic Links..and it does the same thing. No change. Jul 29, 2013 at 20:37

Have you tried to ensure that the user under Apache2 runs has permissions to access that directory?. Seems to me like a permission problem. Maybe is not 'media', not 'Videos' neither, and maybe the problem is in the middle. Let me explain better, with an example:

My test directory tree is /tmp/test/Videos/: /tmp => Permissions: 777 (plus sticky bit, as usual), test/ => Permissions: 700, Videos/ => Permissions: 755

Apache2 alias:

Alias /Videos/ "/tmp/test/Videos"
<Directory "/tmp/test/Videos">
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
Order allow,deny 
Allow from all

Try to access to


(note the last trailing slash), result: 403 forbidden

Change temp permissions to something that www-data (Apache2 user) can read (for example 755), result: 200 (success!)

I'll suggest you to checkout permissions carefully, and leave Apache2 with minimum directives (as in the previous example).

  • Ok, first, thanks for suggestions. User77532: Tried yours as well...and no dice...have every folder from /media all the way down to the last folder within that directory set as accessible by www-data. Still have the 403 error... Jul 29, 2013 at 20:36

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