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From (George Walsh)
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Apache2 security, performance, flexibility tuning.
Date Sun, 31 Aug 2003 02:30:26 GMT
As one who has learned the hard way how best to set up Apache over the past 5 years, I'd offer
the following observations as a generalized starting point:

Apache is too big a subject to grasp piece meal. The learning curve is so much easier if you
get a real book and notate it as you go along. You learn from the logical way in which matters
are discussed. $40/50 well spent in time saving alone. I won't even comment on frustration
levels. Because I am fundamentally a creative applications guy, I came to swear on Peter Wainwright's
"Professional Apache"  (WROX) which is written with programmers/analysts as the target audience.

I'd think by now most of the major Linux distros would have made pretty good compromises in
terms of security, erring to the side of caution for the most part. In my own case, which
is Mandrake 9.1, I have the added advantage of the ADVX Server which is really a gently modified
but much more inclusive version of Apache2 and there is obvious attention given to keeping
the rpm packages right up to date. It was designed from the begiining with a view to continual
development of commercial applications. The configuration files are logically broken down
so they may be much more effectively managed.

Finally, I am in the process of establishing 4 separate sites through IP based virtual hosting.
I've even done some quick comparisons in serving efficiency between using 2 instances of Apache
to arbitrarily divide the traffic flow, and letting one instance handle everything. Nothing
came to our attention that might be called significant which was a real surprise. Then again
I am not serving millions of pages per day either.

That's not much in the way of specific help, but maybe some sirection in cutting through the
confusion that necessarily seems to surround such a major componenet of a hosting system.

The best of luck with, and satisfaction from, your installation, Leif.


George Walsh,
Managing Director,
CruiseRoutes Division,
DSC Directional Services Corp
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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