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From "Anthony Browne" <>
Subject [users@httpd] Apache proxying
Date Fri, 08 Jul 2005 12:41:08 GMT

Briefly, the questions I need quick answers to are: 

Can Apache  be configured to directly proxy a request for content on a remote server to the
machine routing requests to the Internet (the ‘connection’ to the Internet) after looking
for, and not finding, static content on the hard drive?. 
Another question would be can another Apache instance on another port be chained with the
original server to proxy the requests to the routing machine (if so, how). 

First some background, see below for my detailed questions. ------> 

     Our project has setup a small server that uses Apache to serve web sites we collect (with
permission)in schools without Internet access. The server sits on their network and serves
up the content over their LAN. In some situations, we would like to have the server behave
more like a proxy server for schools that have limited Internet access. If the content is
not found in the collection of web sites, then they would be passed on to their schools internet
connection and if their school uses a proxy on their network with caching, then that would
be hit first and then the connection out. 
     Currently, using the rewrite module, Apache tries to fulfill the request from the directories
on the appliance’s hard drive. If the content is not there (if the request is for content
on a remote host), Apache responds with a custom error page. This essentially satisfies our
goal of having the appliance act as a ‘stand-alone’ server in situations where the organization
implementing the eAppliance does not have a ‘connection’ to the Internet. 
     Widernet needs the eAppliance to be flexible and to be able to work in an organization
that has a ‘connection’ to the Internet. The appliance has to either configure itself and/or
have a one time configuration done by programmers at the eGranary base (University of Iowa).

     One solution is that Apache can be configured to directly proxy the request for content
on a remote server to the machine routing requests to the Internet (the ‘connection’ to
the Internet). Another solution would be to have another Apache server on another port proxy
the requests to the routing machine. So, the answers we need to know quickly are 
whether Apache can be configured this way (if so, how) or if two or more Apache instances
can be chained to perform the same functionality. 

Widernet programmers, University of Iowa 

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