Getting Started with Apache 1.3

Copyright 2000 by Ken Coar. All rights reserved. Limited rights granted to Internet.Com.


While you're licking your chops and waiting for Apache 2.0 to be released, you're probably facing a very real situation of having to set up an Apache Web server today. In this overview, Apache pioneer Ken Coar goes through all the steps needed to install and configure an Apache 1.3 Web server.

Hopefully you know something about Web servers in general, and the Apache Web server in particular, or else you wouldn't be reading this page. This article isn't intended to give background on what Apache is nor why you should use it, but how to get going with it once the decision has been made. In other words, simply how to download it, and install it, and turn it on.

I should make it very clear right away that this article is about the latest released version of the server, Apache 1.3. It is not about the still-under-development 2.0 version. You'll have to wait for another article for that. :-)

The setting up of an Apache Web server falls naturally into a number of steps. Unfortunately, the steps differ slightly depending upon whether you're going to be using a binary distribution or if you're using Windows; the steps that may not apply are marked as 'optional' below.

  1. Download the software
  2. [optional] Build the software (unless you downloaded a binary distribution)
  3. Stop any currently-running Apache server
  4. [optional] De-install any existing Apache package (Windows only)
  5. Install the new Apache software
  6. Make sure the configuration is correct
  7. Start the Web server
  8. Customise your content

Assumptions and Conventions

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let's set up a little background. A lot of what follows is going to refer to files and directories and commands and locations and things like that, so let us be sure we both understand them to mean the same things.

An Apache server has at least two important directory trees, and possibly three. The first is where the server software lives (called the ServerRoot), the second is where the documents that get served to network visitors live (called the DocumentRoot), and the third is the home of the software sources (called the source tree). In many cases these all live in close proximity; if you install Apache from a package, the DocumentRoot might actually be a subdirectory under the ServerRoot, for instance.

For the sake of clarity, the rest of this article makes the following assaumptions about where things are on your system:

Directory tree Unix location Windows location
  1. Apache source tree
./apache-1.3/ C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache\src
  1. Apache ServerRoot
/usr/local/web/apache C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache
  1. Apache DocumentRoot
/usr/local/web/apache/htdocs C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache\htdocs

This article was originally published on Jun 1, 2000

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