Opensuse and apache vhosts

OpenSUSE Logo from OpenSUSE.usThis happens often. I do something on my servers and six months later I try to rebuild from scratch what I did and wish I wrote it down. This is one of those blog posts.

I reviewed my Apache error logs and noticed that WordPress was tossing fatal PHP errors. I was pretty sure it was a particular plugin but I had made so many changes to Apache and PHP5 and I thought it would be easier to remove and re-install Apache and PHP5. So I switched my blog to my backup VPS, updated DNS and took apart my server.

That turned out to be a little painful and more work looking up how to set it up.

Removing the packages was simple. I just ran rpm -qa | egrep “php5|apache” to get the list of packages and created a small shell script to removed them. But I had forgotten how I had setup the virtual servers for more than one website. I wanted to avoid using the old config because I was sure I had made mistakes.

I had setup the main server dixie.dembowski.net and that worked. My MRTG and Cricket scripts were displaying correctly. Getting additional virtual hosts turned out to be easy.

In /etc/apache2/vhosts.d directory is a file called vhost.template. I copied that file and called it blog.dembowski.net.conf. I edited that copy and change all the dummy-host.example.com to the fully qualified name of my server. In vi thats just :0,%s/dummy-hosts.example.com/blog.dembowski.net/g and all the dummy names were changed.

I removed the cgi portion and added some additional Directory, AllowOverride, and Options statements. I set -Indexes and made other changes so that the rewrite rules for WordPress will work.

I saved that file in /etc/apache2/vhosts.d and that permited that my blog virtual server to work. But that caused my existing server dixie.dembowski.net to stop working. That was simple to fix. I created a file in /etc/apache2/vhosts.d called _dixie.dembowski.net.conf. The underscore character ensures that this file will be read first; the first virtual server becomes the default.

This file was very short and contained only these lines:

NameVirtualHost *:80
<virtualHost *:80>
ServerName dixie.dembowski.net
DocumentRoot /srv/www/htdocs
</virtualHost>

This let the web server at /srv/www/htdocs work as if had before I made the virtuals.

I restart Apache and all is well. I did the same thing for my one SSL host in Apache. Unlike clear text http, the SSL based https can’t do multiple SSL sites on one IP address/TCP port. I could run one on 443 and another on a different port, but I don’t bother as I only need one SSL based site.

As long as a DNS entry exists to point that name to your IP address, you can have multiple web sites served from one IP address.

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