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I understand a bit about digest authentication from here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digest_access_authentication, but I am pretty unclear on where, when or how it is used. I can't find anything on that side of it.

Where, when and why would a webmaster use it? Does it require any extra code on a site if the server has it implemented?

As you can see, I pretty much in the dark about how it is used, so any info would be helpful.

Maybe this could become a FAQ

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closed as not a real question by John Conde May 19 '13 at 12:14

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

John Conde closes question - people learn just that little bit less... – Steve May 19 '13 at 21:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Apache server has mod_auth-digest that implements it. It is more secure than basic authentication and can be used in place of it.

From the documentation:

Using MD5 Digest authentication is very simple. Simply set up authentication normally, using AuthType Digest and AuthDigestProvider instead of the normal AuthType Basic and AuthBasicProvider. Then add a AuthDigestDomain directive containing at least the root URI(s) for this protection space.

Appropriate user (text) files can be created using the htdigest tool.


<Location /private/>
    AuthType Digest
    AuthName "private area"
    AuthDigestDomain /private/ http://mirror.my.dom/private2/

    AuthDigestProvider file
    AuthUserFile /web/auth/.digest_pw
    Require valid-user
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