Why create yet another Apache reference site? There are at least a dozen books in print describing Apache, all the documentation is online and you can down a local copy, the news group comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix is mainly about Apache, and here is someone else creating yet another Apache reference. Why? Is this web page really necessary? I think so and after reading Apache RTFM I hope you do as well.

Apache was the fifth web server that I have installed and configured. Sixth if you count the 45 minutes is spent with IIS 2.x.

  • CERN 3.0
  • NCSA 1.3x,
  • Netscape Enterprise 2.x,
  • Apache 1.2x,
  • O'Reilly 1.x
Everyone of this has different set of configuration options or user interface and a differing runtime profile. Back in 1994, when I started working on web development, if you wanted to run a web server you had two options.
  • CERN 3.0
  • NCSA 1.x
You downloaded the source code. Compile it yourself and when you start it up, there was only one process running, httpd
  nobody   613       0  Feb 23 ?       370:44 httpd
The first time I fired up apache on one of our corporate servers, I thought I had a rogue version running.

  nobody  4164  2511  0 08:24:30 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
    root  2511     1  0   Mar 23 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
  nobody  4110  2511  0   Mar 23 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
  nobody  4150  2511  0 18:10:28 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
  nobody  4186  2511  0 12:56:06 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
  nobody  4056  2511  0   Mar 31 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
  nobody  4066  2511  0   Mar 31 ?  0:00 ./httpd -d /var/apache
  Did I panic? You bet I did. Started killing off httpd demons as fast as I could and they keep coming back. Worse, there was an admin httpd running (this was a BSDI machine) and I hadn't a clue what was going on. Finally read a bit of the documentation, both BSDI and Apache, figured out what was going on and eventually learned to live with it.

The learning process taught me again to RTFM!, but I continue to see many people posting from people that either don't read the !"%^'ing manuals, don't have time to, or lack the curiosity I have to keep trying, until Apache is doing what you want it to, and you feel a little bit in control. This is why there is yet another reference on Apache, which I hope you will find useful.

Time marches on, as looking back at the RTFM, many things have changed since I published the original version. In a effort to bring it up to date I added these updates, with a different background colour so you can see what has changed.

I hope it helps.


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Apache RTFM last updated Saturday October 21 2006