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From Francis Daly <>
Subject Re: ServerAlias *
Date Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:43:46 GMT
On Fri, Jul 12, 2002 at 09:04:01AM -0400, Rich Bowen wrote:

Somewhat hijacking the thread, because this is more to do with the
second point raised that the first...

> At the moment, I'm having a discussion on IRC with someone who seems to
> think that creating the * ServerAlias line should have
> automagically made DNS start resolving to their server. It might be
> useful to debunk this misconception a few more places in the docs, as a
> lot of people seem to think this.

There is a Note: to that effect fairly prominently on

but there isn't the same on

Possibly just adding the note to the 1.3 docs will be enough to convince
some people of the truth of what it says?  Unlikely, though.

"ServerAlias" in the core directives links directly to, which has the
examples.html page as the first "See also" link, so hopefully someone
will work their way through TFM to get there.

Perhaps a separate section along the lines of what is below, linked from
wherever "virtual hosts" or similar phrases are mentioned?

If this is considered too long for a note, then removing the
paragraphs, starting from the end, should still leave it sensible.  For
the really brief version, the first two paragraphs should be
sufficient.  If someone still doesn't want to believe it, there's
probably not much more that can be done about it.

Sorry this isn't in the form of a patch, but I'm not at all sure where
it should go.  Perhaps around the third paragraph on or ?


All of this virtual-hosting configuration is a way of telling your
apache which content to serve to a client, after it has connected to
your server and asked for some particular web site.

How to persuade the client to connect to your server in the first place
is not apache's job, and no part of the apache configuration can arrange

For something accessible from the public internet, that means you
have to get public dns configured correctly.  Without that, your
client has no way of finding out that my server believes its name is

For a private network, other common "resolver" possibilities are hosts
files, wins, and private dns.  Find the one that your network is using,
and get that configured correctly.

For local testing on one or a small number of machines, it is not
uncommon for hosts files to be usable.  On unixy systems, that
means "/etc/hosts".  On windowsy systems, that means something like
"c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts".  If you want your client to find
the web server "" on the same machine, an entry like
"" in the hosts file may work.  For anything
more complicated, such as the client on one machine and the server on
another, or a proxy server somewhere, you'll really have to check your
local resolver documentation.

Of course, you'll have to have configured your apache with a virtual
host with the name "", or the client will just get the
default content.


Francis Daly

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