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From Craig Daters <>
Subject [users@httpd] Apache Virtual Host
Date Wed, 29 Oct 2003 15:09:21 GMT
I have scoured the web for information on setting up the virtual host part
of Apache, and I have found lots of info, but nothing that shows me a clear
cut example of what I am after. I am hoping that someone here may be able to
help me. I am also posting this question to the User Support and Discussion
list at We'll see what turns up.

I have a stock RH9 install setup for our web server, and have added PHP and
MySQL as well. DNS services are all properly set up as well. For the purpose
of keeping a similar setup to how we had our website setup where we were
hosting previously, I created a user called 'westpress' to use for our main
website as opposed to using the default 'apache' user with RedHat's default

User 'westpress' has it's own directory in the /home directory. (Incidently,
I will be setting up three other websites for employees and want them all to
be managed by the same Apache server.) So I will not be using the RH
configured DocRoot path of '/var/www/html'. Instead, I will be setting up
/home/*/public_html paths for everything

Initially on my RHL machine, Apache was configured to run as 'user apache'
and 'group apache'. I set up virtual host containers for 'westpress',
'jsdzyn' and 'teamtrailer'. I then restarted apache, and upon pointing my
browser to, or etc...get error messages.
Now I understand why this is happening--the whole user and group permissions
thing. The many examples I have consulted (mainly and my trusty
O'Reilly Apache book) that show how to use the virtual host containers all
seem to be using the same user/group declaration in the conf file. So there
is never an issue like the one I encounter. I even tried to insert
user/group directives into the virtual host containers when I tried this a
year ago but that did not work then, I haven't tried it now thinking that I
would get the same results.

I want all three of these accounts to remain separate from each other with
their own working web server. The conf file refers to running apache as
'root' and that it will switch to the appropriate user when the page is
called. So, I changed the user/group option to be root, and when I restarted
apache all kinds of red flags went up! So I settled for changing the
user/group option to 'westpress', put all of the '' settings
into the main server config area, and for now '' and
'' remains broken.

I recall trying to get this working almost a year ago or so, and seemed to
be getting somewhere, but had to abandon it due to the fact that I could not
get cgi scripts to work. Some kind of error that pointed to suexec or
something like that.

I guess I'm wondering how ISP's are able to provide these services. I'm sure
that they aren't running thousands of different webservers to accomplish
this. I just want to run a similar set up so that I can keep all three sites
running but separate.

When I tried this a year ago, I was running RH7.3 with their apache-1.3.27-2

Now, I am using RH9 with their httpd-2.0.40-21.5 rpm of apache installed.

And I know that the virtual host container configs work, because when I
changed the user/group option to that specific user, there site would come
up when called.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Craig D.


Craig Daters (
Systems Administrator
West Press Printing & Copying
1663 West Grant Road
Tucson, Arizona 85745-1433

Tel: 520-624-4939
Fax: 520-624-2715


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