Apache is an open source web server that’s available for Linux servers free of charge.
In this tutorial we’ll be going through the steps of setting up an Apache server.
What you’ll learn
- How to set up Apache
- Some basic Apache configuration
What you’ll need
- Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS
- Secure Shell (SSH) access to your server
- Basic Linux command line knowledge
Got everything ready? Let’s move on to the next step!
To install Apache, install the latest meta-package
apache2 by running:
sudo apt update sudo apt install apache2
After letting the command run, all required packages are installed and we can test it out by typing in our IP address for the web server.
If you see the page above, it means that Apache has been successfully installed on your server! Let’s move on.
Creating Your Own Website
By default, Apache comes with a basic site (the one that we saw in the previous step) enabled. We can modify its content in
/var/www/html or settings by editing its Virtual Host file found in
We can modify how Apache handles incoming requests and have multiple sites running on the same server by editing its Virtual Hosts file.
Today, we’re going to leave the default Apache virtual host configuration pointing to
www.example.com and set up our own at
So let’s start by creating a folder for our new website in
/var/www/ by running
sudo mkdir /var/www/gci/
We have it named
gci here but any name will work, as long as we point to it in the virtual hosts configuration file later.
Now that we have a directory created for our site, lets have an HTML file in it. Let’s go into our newly created directory and create one by typing:
cd /var/www/gci/ nano index.html
Paste the following code in the
<html> <head> <title> Ubuntu rocks! </title> </head> <body> <p> I'm running this website on an Ubuntu Server server! </body> </html>
Pretty cool, right?
Now let’s create a VirtualHost file so it’ll show up when we type in
Setting up the VirtualHost Configuration File
We start this step by going into the configuration files directory:
Since Apache came with a default VirtualHost file, let’s use that as a base. (
gci.conf is used here to match our subdomain name):
sudo cp 000-default.conf gci.conf
Now edit the configuration file:
sudo nano gci.conf
We should have our email in
ServerAdmin so users can reach you in case Apache experiences any error:
We also want the
DocumentRoot directive to point to the directory our site files are hosted on:
The default file doesn’t come with a
ServerName directive so we’ll have to add and define it by adding this line below the last directive:
This ensures people reach the right site instead of the default one when they type in
Now that we’re done configuring our site, let’s save and activate it in the next step!
Activating VirtualHost file
After setting up our website, we need to activate the virtual hosts configuration file to enable it. We do that by running the following command in the configuration file directory:
sudo a2ensite gci.conf
You should see the following output
Enabling site gci. To activate the new configuration, you need to run: service apache2 reload root@ubuntu-server:/etc/apache2/sites-available#
To load the new site, we restart Apache by typing:
service apache2 reload
Now is the moment of truth, let’s type our host name in a browser. Hooray!
ⓘ Further reading: