Creating an Apache Site with Public and Secure Access

Monday, 3 March 2003, 12:18 PM EST

If you want Apache to do anything useful, you have to write a config file. And, although we all know very well just how to do it in our heads, 99 times out of 100, we start out with an existing file and modify it.

I thought it might be interesting to run through such a file, to look at how it works and see where the subtle jokes are.

This particular web site is a demonstration from the new edition of Apache: The Definitive Guide; the page references are to this book. Like most web sites I'm asked to create, this one, which offers a notional postcard business to the world, has a public face and a private face. Like a big store, in fact, it has a public entrance, which anyone can enter or exit from, and a private entrance, which can only be passed through with a key. Round the back we can maintain the site, check up on the visitors, exchange links with other sites, and do all that sort of stuff. It is typical of many small, useful web sites, and might even be useful to you. It also uses Apache v2, which is slightly different from v1.3.

I've assumed that you can fake up a couple of URLs: for the public site, and for the private one. You can, of course, change these to whatever suits you.

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