Note: Instead of doing everything below, you could just restore the backup of your httpd.conf that the Mavericks install created at /etc/apache2/httpd.conf~previous. Wish I knew that 8 hours ago.

Because I like shiny new things, I decided to upgrade to Mavericks (OS X 10.9) last night.  The upgrade finished around 1am, at which point I was tired, so I went to sleep.  I woke up this morning to start my day, only to realize that all of my Apache Virtual Hosts were throwing 403: Forbidden errors.  After a couple hours of chmod, chown, editing conf files and banging my head against the wall, I finally got it working.  So if this happened to you, hopefully the following steps will help.

1. Your permissions are probably ok.

I loosened up all kinds of permissions in my www directory, but it turns out that that wasn’t the cause (at least I don’t think it was).  Prior to the upgrade the apache service was running under _www:_www, and that hasn’t changed.

2. Edit the shit out of your httpd.conf.

I have my web root set to /var/www.  It seems like the upgrade clobbered my httpd.conf and overwrote it with an out-of-the-box, dummified configuration.  So my DocumentRoot was pointing to /Library/WebServer/Documents.  Also, this dummified configuration had PHP disabled and some other stupid choices.  Items in code blocks are meant to be typed directly.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. sudo vi /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
  3. /DocumentRoot : This will take you to the DocumentRoot section.  Modify the path to point to your www directory (in my case, /var/www).
  4. /This should be changed to whatever you set DocumentRoot to : This will take you to the <Directory> entry for your DocumentRoot.  Change the path here to match what you changed it to above.
  5. /php5_module : This will take you to the LoadModule line for PHP5.  It’s commented out.  <sarc>Thanks Apple!</sarc>  Uncomment it (remove the # from the beginning of the line): Hit Esc ^x.
  6. Immediately following the last LoadModule line, add the following block:
    <IfModule php5_module>
            AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
            <FilesMatch \.php$>
                    SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
            AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps
            <IfModule dir_module>
                    DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
  7. /httpd-vhosts : This will take you to the line referencing your vhosts file. If you’re like me and you had a bunch set up, they will no longer be working because Apple, in their infinite wisdom, decided to comment this line out as well. Hit Esc ^x in order to uncomment this line.
  8. Hit Esc :x to save and exit.
  9. sudo apachectl restart

With any luck, everything should be working fine now. Let me know in the comments if I missed something. I made a lot of changes, but I’m pretty sure what I’ve documented above was what actually worked.

Update: Looks like Mavericks also broke Ant. Luckily I already had homebrew installed (though for some reason Ant isn’t in the main repo), so to fix this just type the following (assuming you already have homebrew installed):

brew install