Apache - [notice] cannot use a full URL in a 401

[notice] cannot use a full URL in a 401 ErrorDocument directive --- ignoring!

I was skimming through my Apache Error Log today (as one does of a Saturday evening) and was finding a load of entries with.

[notice] cannot use a full URL in a 401 ErrorDocument directive --- ignoring

Naturally you want to fix anything in your error log so I went looking for a solution.

In my case it turns out what was happening was in one of my .htaccess files I was giving a complete URL as the path to error documents, the fix was to change it to a relative path.

Which basically means I had something like;

ErrorDocument 401 http://mysite.com/errorpage.html

And I had to change it to

ErrorDocument 401 /errorpage.html

Unfortunately it doesn't tell you much about the location of your .htaccess file and if you have several sites on a server hunting it down could be a bummer.  I would suggest using find and grep commands to help narrow down your list of possibilities. I did something like this;

find -name '.htaccess' -exec grep ErrorDocument {} \; -print

From inside the home directory and it returned all the .htaccess files with reference to ErrorDocument.

A very quick fix but one that will keep my Error Log all the cleaner!

Recent posts View all


Testing Routes with RSpec

Testing routes can give you more confidence and help drive application development; here is how to do it with RSpec


How to ignore Bullet in RSpec tests

Using Bullet during a test can pick up mistakes but also has false negatives; here is an easy way to ignore them