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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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Web Server


Updated 131215

Installing a web server under Debian and Ubuntu is as simple as installing apache2:

$ wajig install apache2

It is also installed as part of the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) suite:

$ wajig install lamp-server^

You will now have a default web page at http://localhost/. The actual page being displayed there comes from /var/www/index.html. You can begin creating your own web site from there.

For a secure web server, using SSL to encrypt all communications from a browser to the server (recognised with the https: prefix) you will need to enable the ssl module in apache2 and configure it:

$ wajig install apache2 openssl
$ sudo mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl
$ sudo make-ssl-cert /usr/share/ssl-cert/ssleay.cnf \
                     /etc/apache2/ssl/certificat.pem
$ sudo mv /etc/apache2/ssl/certificat.pem \
                     /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem
$ sudo a2enmod ssl
$ cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
$ sudo cp default ssl

Edit the new ssl:

NameVirtualHost *:443
<VirtualHost *:443>
	SSLEngine On
	SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem
	ServerName host.name.specified.in.certificate.creation

Edit default to add *:80.

a2ensite ssl

Make sure /etc/apache2/ports.conf contains:

Listen 443
Listen 80

Then

wajig restart apache2

For apache1 there were two approaches available: One is to use apache with the libapache-mod-ssl module and the other is to install the apache-ssl which installs a separate apache server to listen to port 443 (instead of 80). There are advantages either way but using apache-ssl is straightforward and cleanly keeps the two servers separate (configuration files are in /etc/apache and /etc/apache-ssl and log files in /var/log/apache and /var/log/apache-ssl respectively).


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