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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] need help with ip addr not resolving to www name.
Date Thu, 23 Oct 2003 08:09:42 GMT
Plain text please...

I think you might be misunderstanding the function of the ServerName
directive. It is used by apache to match INCOMING requests to the
appropriate virtual host. It is not "returned" to the client...

Assuming http, a URL consists of two parts: 


- The "host" can be a fully-qualified domain name, like,
a machine name on the local network, or a bare IP address. It may or may
not include a port number - if it doesn't, port 80 is assumed. In any
case, it must resolve to an IP address.
- The "localinfo" is the path to the file you want from the DocumentRoot
of the VH defined by the "host".

If your link contains an IP address as the Host, then when the request
arrives at apache, it will have no "host" information. If you have
several name-based VHs, apache will not be able to match it to any
particular one and so will serve the first VH by default. If you have
only one VH, it will serve that one. Note that apache just serves files
- it doesn't tell the client anything about the VH configuration...

However, the way to get things to work the way you want is to set up
name-based virtual hosting with two VHs. One is your "real" VH with the
"real" ServerName and the other, which must come first, is a dummy VH
with a fake ServerName. The dummy VH then redirects all traffic to the
real VH. E.g.

NameVirtualHost *

# Fake VH to trap host-less requests
<VirtualHost *>
  ServerName dummy-fake
  Redirect /

# Real VH
<VirtualHost *>
  DocumentRoot /path/to/real/site

So what happens is:

- request comes in with no host header
- doesn't match VH1 (servername = dummy-fake)
- doesn't match VH2 (servername =
- so apache serves VH1 by default
- VH1 says, redirect to
- apache sends 301 Redirect to the browser
- browser receives the redirect and changes display to read
- new request comes in WITH host header =
- doesn't match VH1 (servername = dummy-fake)
- matches VH2 so browser gets that data.

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

-----Original Message-----
From: CJ []
Sent: Donnerstag, 23. Oktober 2003 02:21
Subject: [users@httpd] need help with ip addr not resolving to www name.

How can I get apache to not return the IP address of my server. 
I have links that go to an address of  but when you click on the link in the
browser address it shows the ip addr not the domain name. I have defined
the server in the httpd.conf file to be ServerName but
it still show the IP addr. Stopped and restarted the apache server etc. 
The environment is such that the initial page is hosted on a 3rd party
www server and it has links back to the real server. The links work fine
just the IP addr is the problem. 

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