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Apache

Contents

1. Introduction

2. Useful resources

3. Getting the package

4. Configuration

5. Frontpage Extensions

6. Tuning the performance of Apache





1. Introduction

Apache is a highly secure, easy configurable webserver that runs on UNIX and Windows NT.

First of all, what is Apache? I quote http://httpd.apache.org
Apache has been the most popular web server on the Internet since April of 1996. The January 2002 Netcraft Web Server Survey found that 56% of the web sites on the Internet are using Apache, thus making it more widely used than all other web servers combined.

The Apache HTTP Server Project is an effort to develop and maintain an open-source HTTP server for various modern desktop and server operating systems, such as UNIX and Windows NT. The goal of this project is to provide a secure, efficient and extensible server which provides HTTP services in sync with the current HTTP standards.

The Apache HTTP Server Project is a project of the Apache Software Foundation.

2. Useful resources

The homepage of Apache http://www.apache.org

3. Getting the package

Apache is available through several ftp-mirrors.

4. Configuration

ServerTokens directive
Syntax: ServerTokens Minimal|ProductOnly|OS|Full
Default: ServerTokens Full
Context: server config
Status: core
Compatibility: ServerTokens is only available in Apache 1.3 and later; the ProductOnly keyword is only available in versions later than 1.3.12 This directive controls whether Server response header field which is sent back to clients includes a description of the generic OS-type of the server as well as information about compiled-in modules.

ServerTokens Prod[uctOnly]
Server sends (e.g.): Server: Apache
ServerTokens Min[imal]
Server sends (e.g.): Server: Apache/1.3.0
ServerTokens OS
Server sends (e.g.): Server: Apache/1.3.0 (Unix)
ServerTokens Full (or not specified)
Server sends (e.g.): Server: Apache/1.3.0 (Unix) PHP/3.0 MyMod/1.2
This setting applies to the entire server, and cannot be enabled or disabled on a virtualhost-by-virtualhost basis.

5. Frontpage Extensions

One of the nicer things you can do with Apache regarding the development of a website is install the Frontpage Extensions. With this, you can develop your pages with Frontpage, Visual Interdev or any other tool that depends on the Frontpage Extensions. Allthough this is nice for the development, it would be best not to install these extensions on a production server for security reasons.

You can download the Frontpage Extensions easily from : http://www.rtr.com/fpsupport/

Copy the tarball to /usr/local/ and untar it.
tar zxvf frontpage-xxx.tar.gz
This will install a /usr/local/frontpage/version-x/ directory. Navigate to this directory and start the install script
fp_install.sh
The installation-procedure is interactive and will ask you for some information. When all is installed you will find some extra directories under <DocumentRoot>.

I had the experience that with an out-of-the-box installation of RedHat 7.1 with Apache, the Frontpage Extensios wouldn't start immediately. There was something wrong with the setup of the VirtualHosts. Therefore, I've installed the Virtual Host myself. You can add this to your httpd.conf file.
<VirtualHost fill_in_ip_of_frontpage_server>
ScriptAlias /_vti_bin/_vti_adm/ /var/www/html/_vti_bin/_vti_adm/
ScriptAlias /_vti_bin/_vti_aut/ /var/www/html/_vti_bin/_vti_aut/
ScriptAlias /_vti_bin/ /var/www/html/_vti_bin/
</VirtualHost>
Now just stop and restart your httpd-daemon and try it out.

6. Tuning the performance of Apache

  • In httpd.conf, set "HostNameLookups off" which avoids doing a reverse DNS lookup on every visitor who hits your web site.
  • Run Apache Benchmark program (called "ab"). The ab program will simulate heavy traffic by running multiple simultaneous requests on any web page you want for as long as you want then measures the load and response times.
  • chattr +A filename    This prevents GNU/Linux from changing the last-access-date and saves a few CPU-cycles for every file.
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