403 Forbidden on Ubuntu LAMP

403 forbidden errorOver the last few days some of you noticed a 403 forbidden error from time to time.  So I’d login, check the Apache error logs and see this entry “(13)Permission denied: /home/benjamin/.htaccess pcfg_openfile: unable to check htaccess file, ensure it is readable.”  Well the permissions were set, I had the executable +x bit for www-data set on all the parent folders.  I would login and restart apache2 or chmod 755 my /home/benjamin directory again and it seemed to work for awhile…

This morning I saw the 403 error again.  I log in, refresh the page and it works.  So it appears to be an intermittent issue… wait a minute!  It starts working when I login!  I logout, and the 403 error is back.  Login again, and it’s back to normal.  Turns out I enabled home directory encryption on my account!  I moved my wordpress folder to a location outside my home directory and now all should be good.