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From Lester Caine <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Why do I need /var/www as DocumentRoot & www-data as www owner?
Date Wed, 03 Sep 2008 05:14:45 GMT
Greg Platt - Platt Consultants wrote:
> I'm not arguing for or against what Debian did. One thing I can say is their
> approach provides an individual VirtualHost file for each domain. It thus
> tends to isolate any damage that might be done in editing httpd.conf to a
> single domain. It also makes it easy to disable one domain using their
> a2dissite utility without any risk of affecting other domains.
> Other than that, I honestly don't care. I was actually quite comfortable
> with the httpd.conf approach too. I wasted several hours when I first got
> involved with Debian trying to figure out exactly how their setup differed. 
> Indeed, it was just after I'd gone through the struggle of figuring all that
> out and had gotten my 3 test sites working under the Debian paradigm that
> another Debian user remarked about my "unusual" directory structure and
> expressed the opinion that the entire web structure "should be" owned by
> www-data and all sites should be under /var/www. It was at that point that I
> began to worry I had somehow misinterpreted Apache and Debian's intent here.
> That's what eventually lead to my first post here today.

I think that there is a little too much 'THIS is the right way!' on some of 
the DISTRIBUTIONS of Apache ( and PHP ), but now that I've got used to the 
/etc/apache2/ layout ( on SUSE in my case ) I do think it's easier than 
Mandrivas /etc/httpd/ . Having to bounce between Windows and Linux, trying to 
emulate some of the Linux ideas in Windows is fun, but worth the effort. 
Splitting the .conf up does make sense.

As for the LOCATION of the target files, I think this is more a case of how 
each distribution partitions the disk by default. Having /var on the 8Gb root 
partition means that logging and large sites very quickly fill up the 
partition, so one almost HAS to move to the 'other' partition which on 
Mandriva is /home ....
Alternatively I dropped a 500Gb disk into one of the servers and partitioned 
that as /var - I think that will take a time to fill ....
At the end of the day the 'target' users of a distribution determine it's 
preferred default and many of them are targeting 'desktop' over 'server' so 
NOT providing the most practical layouts for running Apache.

Lester Caine - G8HFL
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