I have a folder in my home folder, /home/user/mywebsite. My home folder was encrypted when I installed Ubuntu. I have a symlink in /var/www/fleet -> /home/user/mywebsite.

My configuration file:

<Directory /var/www/fleet>
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                AllowOverride All
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all

When I try to access, I get 403 forbidden.

apache error.log [Fri Dec 01 16:08:28.100927 2017] [core:error] [pid 23024] [client] AH00037: Symbolic link not allowed or link target not accessible: /var/www/fleet

I know it's a permissions issue since I can run this command:

sudo -u www-data ls /var/www/fleet
ls: cannot access /var/www/fleet: Permission denied

what is the correct way to allow serving encrypted folder? Do I add www-data user to my user group?

  • 1
    This answer to a similar question on Stack Overflow appears to address your exact problem.
    – DocRoot
    Dec 2, 2017 at 12:21
  • This answer seems to be a workaround by rsyncing the files into an unencrypted folder. I want the files to still be encrypted, and i want the symlink to point to my encrypted home folder.
    – tritium_3
    Dec 3, 2017 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


this question was somewhat posted without a correct understanding of home folder encryption in general.

to be short, there is no possible way to serve from an encrypted folder while the home folder is still encrypted.

so in this case, if the computer was restarted, and apache loads on startup and is trying to read files from an encrytped homefolder, that has yet to be decrypted, it will fail.

the only way is to decrypt the files stored in the home first before trying to access the content.

decryption can be done in a variety of ways. but in short, my question has been answered. closing.

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