Install and Configure Auth Shadow on Debian/Ubuntu

Auth Shadow or mod-auth-shadow is a module for apache (and apache2, sort of) that enables authentication against /etc/shadow. The benefits being that any system user with a password can be authenticated for web_dav, subversion or simply an https server. The only other way to do this is with PAM. That method is dangerous because the apache user (www-data in my case) must be able to read /etc/shadow. Obviously, not a good idea. Auth Shadow accomplishes this safely by using a intermediate program called validate. This works because validate can be owned by root but executable by everyone. In the event that your server is compromised through apache, your password file will not be readable. http://www.howtoforge.com/apache_mod_auth_shadow_debian_ubuntu