Mostly Harmless

Mostly about my amusement

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 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 I edited that copy and change all the to the fully qualified name of my server. In vi thats just :0,%s/ 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 to stop working. That was simple to fix. I created a file in /etc/apache2/vhosts.d called 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>
DocumentRoot /srv/www/htdocs

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.


  1. would it be easier to just put all your vhosts in one file?

  2. You could do that, I just find it easier to have separate files for each virtual host.

    I do the same thing for my Ubuntu servers in the sites-available directory.

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