Setting up Apache for a single site

Apache Web server should be pre-installed on your server. By default it will serve pages from /var/www. If you only have one web site to serve from your server then you can simply upload files into that directory. To do this we recommend that you use SCP (from Linux) or WinSCP from Windows.

In addition to this you will also need to create an A-record pointing a domain name (eg. www.yourdomain.com) at the IP address of your server.

Setting up Apache for multiple sites

Apache Web server has a built in facility to host multiple sites from one IP address. This is called virtual hosting. You will first need a location to put each of the separate web sites. If you are managing the all the sites then we suggest that you create a directory called "www" in /home, and put the web site directories in there:

/home/www/www.somedomain.com/
The next step is to add the virtual servers into Apache's configuration file. You can do this manually by editing httpd.conf directly, or via Webmin. In Webmin, go to the "Servers" tab and then to "Apache Web server". At the bottom of the page there is a form for creating new virtual servers. Normally, the server name and virtual host name would be the new domain name. The document root should be wherever you have chosen to put the files for the new domain, such as the example above.

Before the new domain will work you must also set an A-record for the domain to point to your web server, as when hosting a single site.

Setting up FTP access

First, if at all possible we would advise against using FTP since it is quite insecure, does not work "out-of-the-box" and cannot be used as root. Instead we would recommend that you use SCP, or WinSCP from Windows.
That aside, to enable FTP access to your server you need a FTP daemon; we suggest ProFTPd. You can install ProFTPd via apt-get:


apt-get install proftpd
By default ProFTPD will enable FTP access for all users (except root) to their home directories, and it should not normally require additional configuration.

If, for example, you wished to host someone's web site on your server and give them FTP access then you would first need to add that user. This can be done with the "adduser" command, or from Webmin. Rather than simply putting web files straight into their home directory we suggest that you creat a folder called "public_html" for them:


mkdir /home/<username>/public_html/
You can then either make an Apache virtual server for their web site that has that directory as its document root, or you could use the /home/www/www.domain.com/ location and sym-link it to their directory:


ln -s /home/<username>/public_html/ /home/www/www.domain.com/
If the user does not need shell access then you can simply make the above directory their home directory and dispense with the public_html format. To do this you should create the user like so:


adduser --disable-login -d /home/www/www.domain.com/

Turning on CGI

CGI will be enabled by default for the /cgi-bin/ directory, but often it is useful to have it enabled for the root html directory. To do this you need to edit httpd.conf. First, add "ExecCGI" to the list of "Options" for your base directory - for example:

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks ExecCGI

Next you need to uncomment the "
AddHandler cgi-script
.cgi
" line. Finally, restart Apache and CGIs should not work.
Note: Dont forget to set execute permissions on your CGI scripts.

Installing PHP

On many servers PHP will be pre-installed, but if not there are a couple of simple steps to get it working. First, to install php with mysql support (for example) you would do the following:

apt-get install php php-mysql
If you wish to use php with MySQL you may also need to make a small change to /etc/php.ini. You should make sure that the following line is in the file and uncommented:


extension mysql.so
Following any changes to /etc/php.ini you should restart Apache.

 

 

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