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Unable to find the User entry – Fix Apache Web Agent Installation Error

by | Apr 11, 2021

We come across the error, Unable to find the User entry when we install the Apache Web agent.

The errors can be “Unable to find the “User” entry in the httpd.conf file, will try APACHE_RUN_USER environment variable” and/or “Unable to find the “Group” entry in the httpd.conf file, will try APACHE_RUN_GROUP environment variable”.

As part of our Server Management Services, we assist our customers with several Apache queries.

Today, we will see how to resolve the error.

 

Unable to find the User entry

While installing the Web agent, the following error will pop up.

OpenAM Web Agent for Apache Server installation.

Validating…
Error validating OpenAM – Agent configuration.
Installation failed.

In addition, the corresponding Install log shows the below errors:

2021-04-09 10:11:23 OpenAM Web Agent for Apache server silent installation 2021-04-09 10:11:23 license accepted with –acceptLicence option
2021-04-09 10:11:23 license was accepted earlier
2021-04-09 10:11:23 Unable to find the “User” entry in the httpd.conf file, will try APACHE_RUN_USER environment variable
2021-04-09 10:11:23 Unable to find the “Group” entry in the httpd.conf file, will try APACHE_RUN_GROUP environment variable
2021-04-09 10:11:23 am_agent_login(): closing connection after failure
2021-04-09 10:11:23 error validating OpenAM agent configuration
2021-04-09 10:11:23 installation error
2021-04-09 10:11:23 installation exit

Alternatively, we may not see an error when we install instead, we see the following error in the error_log when we start the server:

[unixd:alert] [pid 6616:tid 140758435143128] AH02155: getpwuid: couldn’t determine user name from uid 4294967295, you probably need to modify the User directive

This might happen when the user and group are not set in the Apache httpd.conf file or in the APACHE_RUN_USER and APACHE_RUN_GROUP environment variables.

The Apache worker process requires read/write access to the agent configuration and log files.

It is these entries that ensure Apache runs with the correct user context. In addition, they make sure the creation of Agent files in a way that is owned and accessible to them.

In order to solve this, we will look ahead.
  • Check whether the user and group are set.

To do this, we can use the httpd.conf file or an equivalent file.

For example:

a) To review the httpd.conf file and check whether the user and group Status

$ cat httpd.conf | grep ‘User\|Group’
…
User apache
Group apache
..

By default, it will be Apache.

If not, we do it, either to apache or nobody.

b) Review the envvars file to ensure the user and group are in the APACHE_RUN_USER and APACHE_RUN_GROUP environment variables.

For example:

$ cat envvars | grep ‘APACHE_RUN_USER\|APACHE_RUN_GROUP’
export APACHE_RUN_USER=apache
export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=apache

If not, we set them, either to apache or nobody.

  • Review the passwd and group files to check whether the user and group match what is in httpd.conf file or equivalent.

For example:

$ cat /etc/passwd | grep apache
apache:x:48:48:apache:/usr/share/httpd:/sbin/nologin
$ cat /etc/group | grep apache
apache:x:48:

If they don’t, we match them to what is in the httpd.conf file or equivalent.

The Agent installer can change the ownership to the same User and Group in the Apache configuration.

[How helpful was this guide to you? Let us know]

 

Conclusion

To conclude, if we fail to set the user and group in the Apache httpd.conf file, we come across this error. Here’s one method our Support Techs use to resolve this error

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