Tag Archives: Apache

“The connection was refused”Error Message When Using Leopard’s Web Sharing

I came across this problem when trying to enable Web Sharing on my Macbook:

Connection Refused Error

Connection Refused Error

Seems that even if the Sharing Preferences Pane shows that Apache is running, it’s not. A simple Terminal command will show you:

$ ps aux | grep httpd
pmac 1796 0.0 0.0 599820 464 s001 R+ 12:52pm 0:00.00 grep httpd

After a lot of searching, I found the solution. There’s an issue with the Leopard Apache upgrade that somehow forgets to create the log files that Apache needs to start. To fix the problem, type the following commands into Terminal:

sudo touch /var/log/apache2/access_log
sudo touch /var/log/apache2/error_log
sudo chmod 600 /var/log/apache2/access_log
sudo chmod 600 /var/log/apache2/error_log

Restart the Web Sharing Service by unticking and ticking the box is System Preferences or by running the following command in Terminal:

sudo apachectl restart

Apache should be up and running and you can test this by clicking this link: http://localhost. If everything goes to plan you should see the following page:

Apache Start Page

Apache Start Page

More .htaccess Magic

Whilst researching ways to block trackback spam, I had a look at using .htaccess to deny access to the trackback URL for each post. Just in case you’re interested, here’s how it’s done. Add the following lines to the top of the .htaccess file in your blog directory.


SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI "./trackback/" not_allowed


<Limit GET POST>Deny from env=not_allowed<Limit>

Using .htaccess to Block Spam Bots

Following on from my attempts to block trackback spam, here’s another way to block those pesky spam bots. This only works if your server uses Apache.

Because this only works on Apache, you may have already guessed that it uses the .htaccess file to prevent the spam bot from reaching your page. In order to block a spam bot, you’ll need to know the User Agent for the bot. The User Agent can be found from your web stats package. If you’re using WordPress, then you can use any of the available stats packages to find the user agents hitting your site. (I use FireStats and StatPress.)

Before you edit your .htaccess a word of warning:


Be very sure of what you’re doing.


Because .htaccess controls access to your website, you could find yourself locked out of your own website. If that happens, you’ll need to contact your hosting provider and ask them to make the changes for you.

Once you’re ready to edit your .htaccess file, open your preferred text editor and save a blank file as htaccess. Notice that there is no dot in front of the name. The reason for this is that most modern OSes will hide any file with a filename starting with a dot, and you’ll need to be able to find the file later on.

At the top of your new htaccess file type the following:

SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent "^User Agent To Be Blocked" bad_bot

If you want to block more than one User Agent, then add the above line for each spam bot to be blocked.

Under this, you’ll need to add the following lines:

<Limit GET POST>Order Allow,DenyAllow from allDeny from env=bad_bot</Limit>

Save the changes you’ve just made, and fire up your preferred FTP program. Upload the file to the root directory of your website or blog using the ASCII file type. Once the file has been upload, use your FTP program to rename the file to .htaccess.

Check your website to ensure that you can access it, and you’re good to go!