/etc/cron.d/awstats: wrong user for cron job

Bug #1252467 reported by Thomas Dreibholz
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
awstats (Debian)
awstats (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

/etc/cron.d/awstats runs the statistics generation cron job with user "www-data". The cron job needs to access /var/log/apache2/access.log.

$ ls -al /var/log/apache2/access.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm 342337 Nov 18 21:36 /var/log/apache2/access.log

$ sudo -u www-data cat /var/log/apache2/access.log
cat: /var/log/apache2/access.log: Permission denied

That is, www-data does not have the permission to access the log file. Therefore, the user in /etc/cron.d/awstats needs to be "root" or -- probably better -- the log files of apache have to be written with permission to be read by www-data. The current default configuration -- also tested with the development version of Ubuntu 14.04 -- does not work.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.10
Package: awstats (not installed)
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.11.0-13.20-generic 3.11.6
Uname: Linux 3.11.0-13-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.12.5-0ubuntu2.1
Architecture: amd64
Date: Mon Nov 18 21:35:19 2013
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-10-18 (31 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu-Server 13.10 "Saucy Salamander" - Release amd64 (20131016)
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: awstats
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Thomas Dreibholz (dreibh) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Matthijs van Wageningen (matthys70) wrote :

I can confirm this problem and wonder if there is any 'real' solution ?

After upgrading to 13.10 there was no problem, until log rotate.
Previous files had 644 for root:adm, now 640 for root:adm
The cron-job for awstats runs as www-data as mention above.

This cause error message when job runs:
Error while processing /etc/awstats/awstats.conf
Create/Update database for config "/etc/awstats/awstats.conf" by AWStats version 7.1.1 (build 1.989)
From data in log file "/var/log/apache2/access.log"...
Error: Couldn't open server log file "/var/log/apache2/access.log" : Permission denied
Setup ('/etc/awstats/awstats.conf' file, web server or permissions) may be wrong.
Check config file, permissions and AWStats documentation (in 'docs' directory).

$ cat /etc/cron.d/awstats

*/10 * * * * www-data [ -x /usr/share/awstats/tools/update.sh ] && /usr/share/awstats/tools/update.sh

# Generate static reports:
10 03 * * * www-data [ -x /usr/share/awstats/tools/buildstatic.sh ] && /usr/share/awstats/tools/buildstatic.sh

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in awstats (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Matthijs van Wageningen (matthys70) wrote :

Problem seems a change in new dist logrotate for Apache2 (/etc/logrotate.d/apache2):

I change this line:
create 640 root adm
create 644 root adm

As this was the default in my previous version of /etc/logrotate.d/apache2

Revision history for this message
Eero (eero+launchpad) wrote :

Still an issue in 14.04.

Revision history for this message
Mike Robinson (launchpad-multiwebinc) wrote :

Either running the cron job as root or allowing www-data to read the apache log files are bad ideas. Instead you want to create a new user and add it to the www-data and adm groups and make the cron job execute as that user. I called mine "awstats":

useradd awstats && usermod -a -G www-data awstats && usermod -a -G adm awstats

Seems to work like a charm.

Revision history for this message
Marius Gedminas (mgedmin) wrote :
Changed in awstats (Debian):
status: Unknown → New
Revision history for this message
canaaerus (post6665) wrote :

I encountered this bug when updating from 14.04 to 16.04.
I started with Mike’s work-around, but had to change it a bit.

First of all the awstats user is created with a new dedicated group awstats, which I did not want. So I used:

useradd -g www-data -G adm awstats

I also had to allow awstats to create new files:

chown -R awstats:www-data /var/lib/awstats

Nish Aravamudan (nacc)
Changed in awstats (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
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