Servers Apache under Windows Page 8

Apache under Windows Page 8




An NT service, as the name suggests, runs on NT. Win95 and Win98 don’t have
this sort of thing. Thus, Apache has to run as a console application on
Win9x. That means that you open a DOS window and invoke the Apache
executable from the command line, and it runs in that console window, which
must be left open for the duration of the Apache process. This also means
that you must be logged onto the machine in order for Apache to be running —
it does not start automatically on a reboot, even if you have it in your
”Startup” folder, unless you first log on.

To stop or restart the Apache process, you need to open up another DOS
window, and type

        apache -k shutdown

or

        apache -k restart

Simply closing the window in which Apache is running will cause Apache to
exit immediately, without cleaning up after itself. If you do that, the next
time you start Apache, it will complain about the pid file not being cleaned
up:

        [Tue Jan 04 21:15:32 2000] [warn] pid file c:/httpd/logs/httpd.pid
        overwritten -- Unclean shutdown of previous Apache run?

This is probably not a big deal, since you're unlikely to be running
production services on a Win9x machine anyway.

But there's no GUI!

One of the common complaints about Apache, and about Unix in general, is
that the configuration is just too darned difficult. What this usually means is
one of two things. Either it is referring to the fact that every stinkin'
application has a different configuration file format, or the fact that most
of them don't have a nice GUI for configuration. Or both.

Now, while many of us are die-hard Unix bigots, and are quite content with
the notion that if software was hard to write, it should be hard to use,
these are no longer acceptable notions, particularly in the NT world, where
people are quite content to use an inferior product, if it is easier to use.
One does not have to look any farther than NT itself for evidence of this.

Fortunately, there is Comanche. Comanche is a GUI for
configuring Apache. But not only Apache -- any application that has a text
configuration file. There are currently Comanche plug-ins that let you
configure Comanche and Samba, and it is fairly simple to write extensions
for it to configure anything else.

You can get Comanche at http://comanche.com.dtu.dk/

Using modules on NT Apache

Apache modules on NT are implemented as DLL files, so you can just load the
ones that you want, and leave out the ones that you don't, and you don't
have to recompile Apache to do this. That's nice. You can load a module with
the LoadModule directive.

        LoadModule speling_module modules/ApacheModuleSpeling.dll

The difficulty with modules on Windows is that Windows systems, as a rule,
don't come equipped with a compiler. So adding non-standard modules
is rather more difficult on Windows systems. For most users, the
modules that come with the product are the ones that you're
stuck with.

mod_perl

mod_perl, in case you're not familiar with it, is a module that loads the
Perl interpreter into memory at server startup, so that Perl CGI programs
don't have to pay that startup cost every time they are run. Additionally,
mod_perl lets you write Apache modules in Perl.

For more information on mod_perl, see http://perl.apache.org/

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