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Reply to topic   Topic: Apache2 not serving images from network drive

Joined: 30 Jun 2021
Posts: 3
Location: UK, Ipswich

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun '21 13:07    Post subject: Apache2 not serving images from network drive Reply with quote

So I have a Raspberry Pi (RPI) 3b+ with Debian Buster freshly installed using the Raspberry Pi imager then updated and Apache2 version 2.4.38 installed (along with PHP and MySQL). All the latest stable versions (well, whatever the apt install gives me at the time).

This is a rebuild of a machine that was working fine but crashed without a backup when I was performing an update but was such a simple configuration it was no heartache to do - I thought...

I keep all my website software on a network share of a Windows machine which I have configured to mount automatically at boot of the RPI and it mounts to /mnt/websites

In my /var/www/html folder I have created (using the "sudo ln -s /mnt/websites/{subsite} {subsite}" command) soft links to the sub folders that I want Apache to host.

This worked fine before my crash serving everything as it should.

It works now for HTML (raw or PHP-generated), CSS, JavaScript and other text files, *HOWEVER* image files (GIFs, PNGs, JPGs) that the HTML refers to are delivered to the browser but appear corrupt either in themselves or in the header information sent to the browser (I am not wizz enough to determine the actual reason browsers will not show them).

To demonstrate this I have set up a test.html file on my server which references 4 images, 2 GIFs and 2 PNGs, one each of which is local (with the test.html in the /var/www/html/ folder) and the others are from a linked network folder.

Someone suggested setting "EnableSendFile On" in the <Directory /var/www/> section of apache2.conf - amazingly that seemed to work for some images and not others (and I cannot work out the difference between them).

I have checked the permissions on all the files (none of which have changed since I built this new setup) and all files & folders involved have read access for everyone - but if this were a permissions issue I would expect a 403 error for the images rather than this strange corrupt delivery.

See for yourself
So here is a link to my test.html, it has 4 images with only the local ones working at the moment:

{{URL removed as solution found}}

Suggestions please!



Last edited by FixItDik on Wed 30 Jun '21 15:03; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 30 Jun 2021
Posts: 3
Location: UK, Ipswich

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun '21 13:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that the browser is timing out waiting for the image file from Apache after 5 seconds (I am looking at dev tools in Chrome to see this happen on the network tab)

Also, if you right-click on the broken image and select 'open in new tab' you actually get a file downloaded with the right name but is clearly not a gif image, so what is Apache sending to the browser to save in the file? I opened the file in a binary editor and found this:

pache/2.4.38 (Raspbian)
Last-Modified: Wed, 20 Jan 2021 11:27:33 GMT
ETag: "7d-5b9533dc657b7"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 125
Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: image/gif

{followed by binary}

It's like the header information is being sent as the file content? As this is the same behaviour on all browsers I have tried (FF did not save the downloaded image but complained it "contains errors" and IE tried to display the file to me as text, pretty much as you see above) I think this is Apache not the browsers?
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Joined: 30 Jun 2021
Posts: 3
Location: UK, Ipswich

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun '21 15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry - found my own solution, although I have to say I am not impressed by the outcome of not doing this: Setting "EnableMMap Off" in the <Directory /var/www/> section of apache2.conf and then restarting Apache means it is now working. If anyone can explain the behaviour I was seeing without this setting I would be grateful to know.
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James Blond

Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 7138
Location: Germany, Next to Hamburg

PostPosted: Thu 01 Jul '21 9:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the docs[1]

This directive controls whether the HTTPd may use memory-mapping if it needs to read the contents of a file during delivery. By default, when the handling of a request requires access to the data within a file -- for example when delivering a server-parsed file using mod_include -- Apache HTTPd memory-maps the file if the OS supports it.

In other words, apache "stores" the file content within the memory and does not read it from the file system. From network shares that is never a good option. The docs recommend turning it off for that.

if you still have a question please ask again.

[1] https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/en/mod/core.html#enablemmap
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