Installing etch's apache 2.2.3 package and getting the website running under it was no problem. Debian has vastly improved their apache2 setup from years past -- for instance, installing PHP also enables it now, so you don't need to track down all the places it needs to be turned on.
But when we upgraded to Lenny and its apache 2.2.9, things broke. Getting it working again was tricky because most of the documentation is standard Apache documentation, not based on Debian's more complex setup. Here are the solutions we found.
Enabling virtual hosts
As soon as the new apache 2.2.9 was running, we lost all our
websites, because the virtual hosts that had worked fine on
Etch broke under Lenny's 2.2.9. Plus, every restart complained
[warn] NameVirtualHost *:80 has no VirtualHosts.
All the web documentation said that we had to change the
<VirtualHost *> lines to
<VirtualHost *:80>. But that didn't help.
Most documentation also said we would also need the line:
Usually people seemed to find it worked best to put that in a newly
created file called conf.d/virtualhosts. Our Lenny upgrade had
already created that line and put it in ports.conf, but it
didn't work either there or in conf.d/virtualhosts.
It turned out the key was to remove the
line from ports.conf, and add it in sites-available/default.
Removing it from ports was the important step: if it was in ports.conf
at all, then it didn't matter if it was also in the default virtual host.
Enabling CGI scripts
Another problem to track down: CGI scripts had stopped working.
I knew about Options +ExecCGI, but adding it wasn't helping.
Turned out it also needed an
AddHandler, which I
don't remember having to add in recent versions on Ubuntu.
I added this in the relevant virtual host file in sites-available:
<Directory /> AddHandler cgi-script .cgi Options ExecCGI </Directory>
We have one enduring mystery: .htaccess files work without needing
a line like
AllowOverride FileInfo anywhere. I've
needed to add that directive in Ubuntu-based apache2 installations,
but Lenny seems to allow .htaccess without any override for it.
I'm still not sure why it works. It's not supposed to. But hey,
without a few mysteries, computers would be boring, right?
[ 20:46 Jul 05, 2010 More tech/web | permalink to this entry ]