Easy methods to Host A number of Web sites With One Apache Server – CloudSavvy IT

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Apache Digital Hosts are a function which allow you to host a number of impartial web sites from one Apache set up. Every web site has its personal filesystem listing and area title. You possibly can serve completely different websites to completely different guests based mostly on the area they’re utilizing.

Digital Hosts are created utilizing the <VirtualHost> directive in Apache configuration recordsdata. They’re usually saved within the sites-available listing inside Apache’s set up location. On Debian programs, that is normally /and so on/apache2; different distributions might use /and so on/httpd.

We’ll assume you’ve already obtained Apache up-and-running. We’ll create two separate Digital Hosts, a.instance.com and b.instance.com. There’s no restrict to the variety of Digital Hosts you need to use – in case you want a dozen websites on one server, Apache will oblige.

Configuring the Websites

Every web site wants its personal filesystem listing. You’ll place the web site’s recordsdata, equivalent to HTML, CSS and JavaScript, inside this listing. It’s termed the DocumentRoot by Apache, because it’s the basis from which paperwork are served.

You possibly can find your websites anyplace in your system. You’ll typically see Digital Hosts saved inside /var/www, with every web site getting its personal folder:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/a.instance.com
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/b.instance.com

/var/www is generally owned by root, so we’re utilizing sudo to create the sub-directories. Subsequent, change the possession of the doc roots to your personal person and set applicable permissions. This can enable Apache to learn recordsdata whereas supplying you with write entry so you’ll be able to add your content material.

sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/a.instance.com
sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/b.instance.com
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www

Copy your web site recordsdata into the directories. We’ll use two easy index.html recordsdata:





Configuring Apache

Now you’re able to configure your Digital Hosts. Create a brand new Digital Host file for every of the websites. It doesn’t matter what you title the file; by conference, it normally matches your web site’s hostname.

At minimal, every Digital Host must declare two properties:

  • ServerName – The hostname (area) that the positioning goes to be served from.
  • DocumentRoot – The filesystem location to serve for this Digital Host.

Right here’s an instance configuration for our two websites:

/and so on/apache2/sites-available/a.instance.com.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName a.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/a.instance.com

/and so on/apache2/sites-available/b.instance.com.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName b.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/b.instance.com

This primary setup is sufficient to get the 2 websites stay! The *:80 means Apache will think about using this Digital Host for any request arriving on port 80. They’ll be disambiguated afterward by the ServerName declarations.

Enabling Digital Hosts

Including a Digital Host to sites-available makes it out there however not lively. You must manually allow every web site you wish to use. Digital Host configs to allow ought to be symlinked into /and so on/apache2/sites-enabled (or /and so on/httpd/sites-enabled).

On Debian programs, you need to use the a2ensite command to simplify this step:

a2ensite a.instance.com
a2ensite b.instance.com

On different distributions, use the ln command to create a symlink manually.

sudo ln -s /and so on/httpd/sites-available/a.instance.com.conf /and so on/httpd/sites-enabled/a.instance.com.conf
sudo ln -s /and so on/httpd/sites-available/a.instance.com.conf /and so on/httpd/sites-enabled/b.instance.com.conf

Lastly, restart Apache to use your new configuration. Digital Host modifications require a server restart after you’ve added them to sites-enabled.

sudo apache2ctl restart

It’s best to now be capable to see Apache serving your two completely different websites. For those who’ve not obtained DNS resolving to your server, you’ll be able to modify your system’s /and so on/hosts file to check your setup.

Add the next strains to /and so on/hosts: a.instance.com b.instance.com

This can drive each domains to resolve again to your personal system. You’ll now be capable to go to them in your browser to see the 2 completely different Digital Host pages.

Website Aliases

If you wish to serve the identical web site on a number of domains, use the ServerAlias directive in your Digital Host. Every alias will likely be thought of when Apache matches your Digital Host in opposition to incoming requests. The Digital Host will likely be used if the request’s Host header matches a ServerAlias or the ServerName.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName a.instance.com
    ServerAlias instance.com
    ServerAlias www.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/a.instance.com

This instance would serve the a web site on three domains, with out having to repeat any configuration particulars. You should use ServerAlias to outline a number of domains – repeating ServerName is feasible however it’s going to override the sooner makes use of.

Different Configuration Choices

Lots of Apache’s server configuration options can be utilized with Digital Hosts. They’ll override the worldwide server settings when Apache handles a request utilizing the Digital Host.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName a.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/a.instance.com
    DirectoryIndex my-index.html

    <Listing /var/www/a.instance.com>
        AllowOverride All
        Choices -Indexes
        Require all granted

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/entry.log mixed

This Digital Host applies many extra settings. my-index.html is served by default, as an alternative of index.html, and customized logging areas are used. As well as, additional settings are utilized to the doc root itself, utilizing the Listing block. .htaccess overrides are permitted (AllowOverride All) and Apache’s default listing itemizing pages are disabled (Choices -Indexes).

IP Deal with Hosts

Apache additionally helps IP-based hosts moreover the name-based hosts we’ve seen thus far. IP-based hosts are best when your server has a number of community interfaces, equivalent to an inside firm community and the general public web. You possibly can serve a distinct web site relying on the community interface used.

    ServerName a.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/a

    ServerName b.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/b

    ServerName a.instance.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/a2

On this instance, requests made to a.instance.com by way of the interface with IP would obtain completely different content material to these despatched by way of As well as, customers of the latter IP would be capable to entry b.instance.com. This web site isn’t uncovered to customers connecting by way of

This strategy helps you to use one server in your company intranet and public web site. Bind the interior websites to your server’s LAN IP; run the general public hosts in opposition to its WAN tackle.

Digital Host Matching

Apache’s Digital Host decision routine is well-documented and fairly simple.

Generally, Apache tries to match the Host request header in opposition to a ServerName or ServerAlias discipline in a Digital Host configuration. If there’s a number of matches, Apache will use the first matching Digital Host it discovered.

Digital Hosts are sorted so as of filename. For those who want a web site to match earlier than one other, rename its configuration file so it’ll kind earlier than the goal web site. You possibly can add a numerical prefix equivalent to 000-a.instance.com.conf. More often than not this will likely be pointless – if all of your websites have distinctive domains, you must by no means encounter a battle.


Apache Digital Hosts allow you to break down multi-site configuration into self-contained definition recordsdata. You possibly can independently allow and disable every web site by linking it into sites-enabled.

Many configuration options can be found for Digital Hosts. You possibly can override some Apache server settings on a per-host foundation, so you could have full management over every virtualised web site setup.

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