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The latest version of apache is 2.2.6 so just substitute the version number for 2.2.4 in these instructions.

Downloading and unpacking

Download Apache2 from httpd.apache.org/download.cgi and if you want to install PHP at the same time (advisable), then download PHP from www.php.net/downloads.php

Unpack the Apache source code via the following commands:-

gunzip httpd-2.2.4.tar.gz
tar -xvf httpd-2.2.4.tar

cd into the httpd-2.2.4 directory and start the compilation process:-

Quick install

To compile apache, type the following:-

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apache2 \
--enable-rewrite=shared \

Note that you can continue parameters onto several lines by ending a line with z and then pressing return and entering the next parameter. Alternatively, you can type the whole lot on a single line, just separating each parameter with a space.

Then continue:-

make install
With APR
Compiling apr-httpd
cd srclib/apr
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apr-httpd/
make install
cd ../apr-util
Compiling apr-util-httpd
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apr-util-httpd/ --with-apr=/usr/local/apr-httpd/
make install
cd ../../
Compiling Apache itself

First we want to run configure with all the parameters we require. The ./configure command is entered all on one line.

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apache2 --with-apr=/usr/local/apr-httpd/
--with-apr-util=/usr/local/apr-util-httpd/ --enable-rewrite=shared
--enable-speling=shared --enable-so
make install
cd ..
Installing PHP

These notes refer to PHP 4 so you may want to consult my separate php notes for info on PHP 5.

If required, you now want to install PHP via the following commands:-

gunzip php-4.4.7.tar.gz
tar -xvf php-4.4.7.tar
cd php-4.4.7
./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --with-config-file-path=/etc/php.ini
make install

Finally copy the default PHP configuration file to the relevant location, given in the previous ./configure command. Type cp php.ini-dist /etc/php.ini

Configuring Apache

With a default installation, the Apache configuration files should be inside /usr/local/apache2/conf/

The main configuration file is called httpd.conf and this will need setting up before you can run apache properly.

There are several formats that the main configuration file can be in. Newer versions of Apache have split the main configuration into several files, instead of putting everything into a single, long file. These are known as library files and are generally stored in the extras directory within the main Apache configuration directory.

The easiest method is by way of example. Here's one I did earlier. I've highlighted any changes you may need to do to your version in red. This first example uses the standard method of linking additional configuration files via the library command.

Once you've setup the main configuration file and uncommented the Include conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf line, you should now configure the virtualhosts for any domains you wish to host on your server. The virtualhosts configuration is stored within /usr/local/apache2/conf/extras/httpd-vhosts.conf file. Again, here's one I did earlier.

N.B. If an attempt is made to view a domain who's A records point to your server but you've not configured a virtualhost to serve it, Apache will automatically serve the default virtualhost which is the first virtualhost defined in the httpd-vhosts.conf file. For this reason you may want to use the first entry as a dummy 'holding page' website. I tend to use the original Apache htdocs directory for this, which is why this is configured in my example httpd-vhosts.conf file.

Testing and Running Apache

Once you've configured the httpd.conf and httpd-vhosts.conf files, you should test your Apache configuration to ensure that no errors exist in your configuration files. To do this you need to run the Apache binary apachectl which is stored inside /usr/local/apache2/bin/

This can be run from anywhere on the machine, referencing it either by absolute or relative path name. To test the configuration you require a single parameter, configtest, after the command. eg.

As an absolute file reference:-

/usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl configtest

or a relative file reference from the config directory:-

../bin/apachectl configtest

If all is well you should get an OK message such as the following:-

[root@vhost1 conf]# ../bin/apachectl configtest
Syntax OK
[root@vhost1 conf]#

You can now start Apache by using the start parameter, eg.

../bin/apachectl start

If all is well, Apache should now start running and you should be able to visit your server from a web browser. To perform a quick initial test, enter the IP address of your server in the URL bar of your web browser, eg. (or whatever the IP address of the machine running apache is).

Click here for an example of what you should see.

To stop apache, simply use the stop parameter. eg.

../bin/apachectl stop

If you want to stop apache and then automatically restart it, the command is restart

../bin/apachectl restart

The restart command is probably the best one to use because it will automatically stop it if it's already running then then restart it automatically.

To see if Apache is running ok on your server, you can enter the following ps command:-

ps aux | grep httpd

which will list all the httpd (Apache) processes currently running.

Errors and Problems

If you don't see quite what you expect to see when browsing to your website, the first place you want to look for errors is in the various Apache log files. These are stored in /usr/local/apache2/logs/

There will probably be several log files, two for each virtualhost domain you've configured (see the httpd-vhosts.conf file for the filenames). The two log files stored for each domain are an error file, usually called domainname-error_log and an access log, called domainname-access_log

Understandibly, the error log should contain any errors generated by the domain and the access log will contain a listing of all the visitor accesses to your domain. The error log is the one we're interested in.

If you wish to examine it interactively, which is sometimes easier when you're actually trying to view the page in question from a web browser, then enter the following command from a shell prompt.

tail -f /usr/local/apache2/logs/domain-error_log

Press return a few times in order to get a few blank lines which will make spotting error reports easier. Now attempt to view your web page in a browser window. You should see any errors interactively scroll up the 'tail' listing. Press CTRL-C to exit out when you've seen enough.

If you suspect a problem with your virtualhosts, you may want to try tailing the 'generic' log file too, just in case anything is appearing in that (see my configuration N.B. above).

Apache 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Having installed Apache 2, I get the error
[Tue Aug 29 13:19:24 2006] [warn] (92)Protocol not available: Failed

2. I get an error about permissions when trying to start Apache

3. I get loads of entries such as "mod_include: Options +Includes (or IncludesNoExec) wasn't set, INCLUDES filter removed" in my error logs.

4. I get loads of entries such as "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 1179 "-" "Apache/2.2.3 (Unix) (internal dummy connection)" in my access logs.

1. Having installed Apache 2, I get the error
[Tue Aug 29 13:19:24 2006] [warn] (92)Protocol not available: Failed

This generally means that your Linux kernel does not support a particular protocol that Apache is trying to enable. This is just a warning message and Apache will fall back to another protocol, so it won't prevent Apache from running.

However, you can remove this error by adding the line
AcceptFilter http none
into the httpd.conf configuration file. See httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/core.html for more information.

2. I get an error about permissions when trying to start Apache

If you're running Fedora Core it could be that SELinux is enabled, which is preventing access to shared libraries. You need to disable SELinux by entering the following command:-


Alternatively, issue the command

setenforce 0

3. I get loads of entries such as "mod_include: Options +Includes (or IncludesNoExec) wasn't set, INCLUDES filter removed" in my error logs.

You should check your httpd.conf configuration file to ensure that each <Directory> directive has +Includes or +IncludesNoExec in its options. If you're unsure, set it to +IncludesNoExec. (see example httpd.conf file, my changes highlighted in red).

4. I get loads of entries such as "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 1179 "-" "Apache/2.2.3 (Unix) (internal dummy connection)" in my access logs.

This is a way for Apache to signal its children that it's time to die. You probably want to check the MinSpareServers, MaxSpareServers and MacRequestsPerChild settings in the httpd.conf file. The following settings are recommended for a reasonably busy server on the internet.

StartServers    16
MinSpareServers   8
MaxSpareServers   64
MaxClients        256
MaxRequestsPerChild  4000

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