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How to install Apache server and configure it in Ubuntu

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How to install Apache server on Ubuntu.
Security configurations and basic Apache optimizations.
Basic security settings in Apache.
Basic Apache optimization.
Commands to restart, stop and start Apache.
Apache installation by default with the official Ubuntu repositories.
Custom Apache installation using unofficial repositories.
Other commands that can help us configure Apache are:

After reading several tutorials and guides on how to install the Apache server in Ubuntu , the vast majority can be summarized in two lines because they only show the installation process, skipping the configuration completely. In this tutorial, we will not only show how to install the Apache server, but we will also show how to configure it correctly so as not to compromise security, at the same time we will optimize resource consumption and explain several useful commands.

image

Installing Apache will be the first step to have a LAMP environment on our server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and this will be the second in a series of articles designed to configure our own server to host a WordPress blog.

Before going into the subject, I must clarify that all the steps described in this tutorial have been tested on a VPS server with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x64 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x64 .

How to install Apache server on Ubuntu.

Installing Apache on Ubuntu is a simple process that we can get using the apt package manager. We need to access our server through the console, in our case we will use PuTTY to access the terminal.

As we explained in a previous article, we must choose whether to do a default or custom installation of Apache. You can see the differences between one option and another in the article about installing LAMP stack or custom environment in Ubuntu .

Apache installation by default with the official Ubuntu repositories.

If we decide to do a default installation, we will execute the commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apache2

At the time of writing this article, with this option we will install version 2.4.18 of Apache. With this option we will not install the latest version available, but when using the official Ubuntu repositories we will have stability guarantees.

As I have been able to read, the Ubuntu package update policy only makes an update every six months unless it is a matter of serious security or functionality problems, since in that case it acts as soon as possible.

Custom Apache installation using unofficial repositories.

We can also choose to use a custom repository, I strongly recommend using the Ondřej Surý PPA repository , since this technician is in charge of software packaging tasks in the Debian distribution.

Using this custom repository we usually have the latest version of Apache available. At the time of writing this tutorial, version 2.4.20 is available, which is the most recent.

If we choose this option, the command to install Apache is:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/apache2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apache2

Once Apache is installed, we can verify that it has been installed correctly by accessing the address http://la_IP_del_servidor through the browser and something similar to the following image should be shown on the screen.

image

At this point we can already say that Apache has been installed correctly and now we proceed with the security configuration and basic optimization.

Security configurations and basic Apache optimizations.

By default, the mpm-event module will be installed and activated , but in later steps, when we install PHP, the multiprocessing module will automatically switch to the mpm-prefork module, which will be the one we will use throughout this tutorial.

At this point, I recommend that you carefully read the article where we explain the differences between Apache prefork, event and worker multiprocessing modules .

As we said, by default the mpm-event module will be installed and activated and although it will be automatically changed during the installation of PHP, we will learn to switch between mpm modules and thus leave the mpm-prefork module already activated. We execute the following commands:

  • We deactivate the mpm-event module: sudo a2dismod mpm_event
  • We activate the mpm-prefork module: sudo a2enmod mpm_prefork
  • Restart Apache: sudo service apache2 restart

If you look briefly, the a2dismod and a2enmod commands allow us to deactivate and activate modules in Apache.

To verify that the mpm module has been changed, we can execute the following command that shows us that mpm multiprocessing module is active in Apache: sudo a2query -M

You can examine all the available options of the a2query command a2query executing the command: sudo a2query -h

Other commands that can help us configure Apache are:

  • Show Apache active modules : sudo apache2ctl -M
  • Show Apache static modules : sudo apache2ctl -l

The apache2ctl command has more options, to consult all available options you must execute the command: sudo apache2ctl -h .

Basic security settings in Apache.

Next we will make several modifications to Apache's default settings, to make it a little more secure and not give useful information to potential malicious users.

The first will be to edit the configuration file for security settings, for this we execute the command:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/security.conf

Within the content we look for the ServerSignature and ServerTokens variables, so that their values "‹"‹are as shown below:
ServerTokens Prod
ServerSignature Off

With the ServerTokens Prod option we will only show in the headers of the HTTP requests that our server is Apache, without showing version or operating system.

With the ServerSignature Off option we avoid displaying a footer in the documents generated by the server. These footers include the version of the server and operating system, so it is advisable to keep this data hidden.

Basic Apache optimization.

Next we will make several modifications to the Apache general configuration file to try to achieve better performance.

We will execute the following command: sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

We will adjust the values "‹"‹of the following variables as indicated below:

Timeout 150
MaxKeepAliveRequests 150
KeepAliveTimeout 3

About the KeepAlive option I recommend that you read the article where we explained how to optimize KeepAlive on Apache servers .

We will make a last optimization by disabling a module that we will not use and thus avoid consuming resources, it is mod_status that only shows us statistics of how our server works . To deactivate mod_status we will execute the command:

a2dismod status

Commands to restart, stop and start Apache.

To restart / stop / start Apache we can use the commands:

service apache2 restart
service apache2 stop
service apache2 start

We can also use the following commands that are more informative:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop
/etc/init.d/apache2 start

If what we want is to restart only the Apache configuration, it is sufficient to execute one of the following commands:

service apache2 reload
/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

So far for the moment, in the following article we will explain how to install MySQL (MariaDB) on our server. There are some pending things in the Apache configuration, but we will see them calmly when the time comes to install WordPress.

Finally, I recommend always having Apache documentation at hand, since this is where we can find the most detailed and orderly information.


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