Install Apache2 web server on Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail”

apache-httpdApache web server is the most widely used web server application in the word, it shares 63% word web server market. It supports all major distribution such as windows, Linux , Solaris and Mac operating system, it considerably has large usage on Unix platform due to the package bundled with operating system disc and also this is the default web server application for Linux operating system. Linux itself more secure, with Apache server; it has dominated world wide market. Here is the small tutorial about installing Apache web server on Ubuntu 13.04.

Installation:

1. Installing web server:

Apache web server binary comes along with installation disc, package can be installed either by selecting web server package while performing the os installation or manually using the following command

sudo apt-get install apache2

Once Apache is installed, it must be configured to run.

2. Installation Overview:

Installation of Apache server creates multiple directories and files which are very much important, some important directories are listed below.

/etc/apache2Main Apache root configuration directory.
/etc/apache2/conf.dAdditional Apache configuration files provided by third party software.
/etc/apache2/apache2.confMain Configuration file.
/etc/apache2/mods-enabledConfiguration files for additional modules.
/etc/apache2/sites-enabledContains virtual hosts configurations.
/var/wwwMain web document root directory.

3.Testing:

Open up the web browser and navigate to 127.0.0.1 or http://localhost, it should show the following web page, it verifies that Apache server has been installed properly.

Ubuntu Apache Default Page

Configuration:

1. Virtual Host:

VirtualHost is a virtual container that handles web request from clients, web request can be either name based (Ex. www.example.com) or ip based (Ex. http://192.168.0.1). Name based virtual host can be found everywhere, almost all the web servers uses name based virtual host which is very common in current situation. More information on virtual host can be found here.

The following comprises the virtual host, virtual hosts must contain the following directives to get it work.

<VirtualHost *:80>This ensures the Virtual Host listening on the port 80, change this to listen on other port.
ServerAdmin  Mail Id of the Server administrator.
DocumentRootLocation of the web documents.
ServerNameDomain name of the Virtual Host (like www.example.com).
ErrorLogError Log location of  the particular virtual host.
CustomLog Log location of the particular virtual host.
</VirtualHost>End of virtual host container.

Virtual hosts can be created either on main configuration file (/etc/apache2/apache2.conf) or on additional configuration directory ( /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/***). Creating the virtual host under the additional configuration directory is the best option because it would be best practice to be out of main config file. Here we look into Name based Virtual Host, there are some assumption to be made before creating the virtual host.

Server Name www.example.com
Ip address192.168.0.1
DocumentRoot/var/www/example
Access Log /var/log/apache2/example.com.access.log
Error Log /var/log/apache2/example.com.error.log

Default virtual host file (/etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default) can be found under additional config directory, duplicate that file and use it for name based virtual host.

sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/001-example

Edit the Virtual Host file.

sudo gedit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/001-example

Add the following, remove the unwanted entries.

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
ServerName www.example.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/example
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/example.com.error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/example.com.access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

The above config file is shorter than the copied one, copied file includes directory browsing, SymLink support etc.. which are not necessary as for as beginners concerned.

2. Document upload:

Create “example” directory under “/var/www”.

sudo mkdir /var/www/example

Place index.html document under document root  mentioned above , in our case it is /var/www/example. Create index.html under document root.

sudo gedit /var/www/example/index.html

Place the following information to identify the virtual host.

This is WWW.Example.COM

Once you placed the above, save and close it.

3.Host Entry:

Name based virtual host uses domain name, it requires DNS server to resolve the name. Setting up DNS server is little bit complicated as it is out of our tutorial. Host entry can be used a instead of DNS, host entry does the same work that done by DNS; as it is limited to resolve name to ip address. Host can be done by editing hosts file under /etc directory.

sudo gedit /etc/hosts

Add the following entry.

192.168.0.1       www.example.com

Save and close it. Restart the web server to take effect on changes that we did.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

4.Testing:

Open up the browser and navigate to http://www.example.com, if your setting are proper; you should get the following page. The following image verifies that server works according to our settings.

Ubuntu Name Based VirtualHost

Conclusion:

The server successfully configured to serve the name based virtual host, it is very commonly used in web hosting servers. Apache web server supports plain HTML document as default document file, php support can be added by installing modules. You can also add support of secure layer (ssl) by installing ssl modules.

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