box.net and WebDAV
August 8, 2008 ·
I've been using the free "basic" account on box.net for about two years. They've never really officially supported WebDAV but it worked and I used it to publish calendars for myself and my wife so we could easily subscribe to each other's calendars and keep in sync (we have crazy busy lives!).
Over the last two years, they've changed the URL patterns and had numerous bouts of downtime on WebDAV. It was free, it was unsupported, it was only marginally annoying.As I've gotten my life more organized lately with EverNote
, my tolerance for things that don't work has decreased. For something reason box.net's WebDAV shut down yesterday and I can no longer find any mention of it on their site to troubleshoot it. They also don't seem to offer the free account now - I was one of the early adopters - but it was always a bit annoying to have to login every month or so to keep my account active even tho' I was continually uploading / downloading files from it.
I searched around for free WebDAV-enabled storage and couldn't find any (I could find plenty
of free online storage but only the "pro" editions seemed to support WebDAV). Frustrated, I wracked my brain trying to think how to easily share calendars with my wife... What about MobileMe? It's $100 a year!! Jeez, that's expensive for sharing less than 1Gb of data. I searched some more. Nope.
Finally it dawned on me... I have a VPS running corfield.org and it has Apache and so it has... WebDAV! Yes, if you have an Apache-powered server, you have a WebDAV-enabled shared storage server. Great, so all I needed to do was slap a few directives in Apache and I was off to the races...
Well, I have a love/hate relationship with Apache. Mostly I love it, but when something doesn't quite go right, it can be the most frustrating piece of software in the world. I spent about two whole hours
messing with httpd.conf
and reading page after page of Google results before I finally (and I hate to admit it - inexplicably) got WebDAV to work on my VPS so that I could change both my wife's iCal and my iCal settings to publish / subscribe to files on corfield.org.
Lessons learned: WebDAV is extremely fussy about permissions; Apache directives are extremely fussy about settings and whether you have a / or not on your paths. No single tutorial page on Google gave me everything I needed so I still don't know quite how many of the conniptions I went thru are actually necessary (which I hate!).
In the end, my httpd.conf
file ended up with:
<LimitExcept GET HEAD OPTIONS POST>
Require user secureuser
and everything to do with this setup is locked down to just the apache user account.
If anyone has hints and tips to share on configuring WebDAV, I'd love to here them!