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Source Repository:Gentoo Portage Tree

Summary: The Apache Web Server


Apache is a powerful web server which serves html/css/cgi/pl out of the box, and can serve other languages/frameworks via extensions.

The Apache Homepage says this of Apache:

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


Configure USE Flags

If you want to enable any of the above use flags, create a file called /etc/portage/package.use/apache and add the options that you want to enable to it. For example:

www-servers/apache ssl threads


After you have configured the USE flags that you want to build Apache with, emerge it:

# emerge apache



Many packages have apache2 use flags. These use flags are often required for an application to be supported by Apache. Setting a system wide apache2 use flag is a good idea.

/etc/portage/make.conf: set system wide apache2 useflag


Apache's configuration files are broken up and located in several spots.

  • /etc/conf.d/apache2
  • /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
  • /etc/apache2/modules.d/*
  • /etc/apache2/vhosts.d/*

conf.d controls the init script, adding things to it such as -D SECURITY & -D PHP5 will enable web application fire-walling & the php scripting language.

httpd.conf controls how the server behaves, at the bottom of the file it has directives to include configuration files ending in .conf in /etc/apache2/modules.d and /etc/apache2/vhosts.d


To start apache immediately:

# rc-service apache2 start

To start apache upon boot:

# rc-update add apache2


What is mod_rewrite?

The Apache documentation describes mod_rewrite as:

The mod_rewrite module uses a rule-based rewriting engine, based on a PCRE regular-expression parser, to rewrite requested URLs on the fly. By default, mod_rewrite maps a URL to a filesystem path. However, it can also be used to redirect one URL to another URL, or to invoke an internal proxy fetch.

Setting it up

mod_rewrite has a reputation of being difficult to set up. mod_rewrite requires following symlinks & Order allow,deny (apache 2.2) or Require all granted (apache 2.4) is set. To test functionality of mod_rewrite we will need to make a few files.


If you want to test this for web applications such as mediawiki adjust the path to /var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki/.htaccess

/var/www/localhost/htdocs/.htaccess: enable the rewrite engine
RewriteEngine on 
RewriteRule ^test.html$ rewrite.html
/var/www/localhost/htdocs/test.html: set system wide apache2 useflag
rewrite is not working
/var/www/localhost/htdocs/rewrite.html: set system wide apache2 useflag
rewrite is working

Then point your browser to You should see that the text from rewrite.html has been loaded.