A quick introduction to Apache for the noobs.

Introduction

I host this blog on a Debian VPS. So at some point I had to setup a web server, otherwise how could you be reading this blog right now ?

There are many web servers around, some of the most populars being Apache, Nginx or Lighttpd, to cite only a few. I never used Apache before, so I thought it was the opportunity to fill this gap.

Installation

Installing is nothing fancy:

apt-get install apache2

Right now Apache is configured and ready to serve. If you have a look at your server through your web browser, you should see the default Apache page for Debian.

Basic Configuration

Now, let’s create a new site. A basic site definition looks like that:

echo '
<VirtualHost *:80>
	DocumentRoot /srv/www/blog-test
</VirtualHost>
'>  /etc/apache2/sites-available/blog-test.conf

Notice that I like to put my websites in /srv/www. On Debian, the default Apache configuration only allows serving websites from /var/www. To allow /srv/www (or whatever suits you), edit the file /etc/apache2/apache2.conf. Look for /srv. The configuration is already there, you just have to uncomment it.

Then, we disable the default site served by Apache, and enable our site:

a2dissite 000-default
a2ensite blog-test
systemctl restart apache2

And that’s it ! Now Apache serves the data from /srv/www/blog-test. So you should copy your website in this location. Then, don’t forget to change the ownership for this directory. On Debian, Apache is configured to run as www-data.

cp -r path/of/your/website/* /srv/www/blog-test
chown -R www-data:www-data /srv/www/blog-test