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From Norman Fournier <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Errors in httpd.conf
Date Thu, 08 Sep 2011 19:42:40 GMT
On 2011-09-08, at 1:01 PM, Mark Montague wrote:

> Short form:  from a terminal window, try running "httpd -t" and see if it reports any
error in your configuration files.  Note that you might have multiple versions of httpd on
your system (see below) and try to invoke the same version via the command line that you're
trying to start via the Sharing preference pane.
> Here's the longer response:
> On September 8, 2011 12:49 , Norman Fournier <> wrote:
>> This is the conf file supplied with osx 10.5. The previous webserver was running
on osx 10.4. This version has changed the name of the "httpd" folder to "apache2". vhosts
conf files are located in a nested folder inside "apache2" called "extra".
> I found this article, which says that Mac OS 10.5 ships with both Apache HTTP Server
1.3 and 2.2:
> Which one are you trying to run?  It seems like in a clean installation, Server Admin
will default to 2.2, while if you upgraded the system from Mac OS 10.4, it will default to
> Note that there are different paths in each case -- including a different path to the
web server error log.  See the table in the above article.
> Also, the latest version of Mac OS X is 10.7.1.  You may want to try upgrading to something
newer than 10.5.  Here is an article for 10.6, which recommends the use of an Apple-provided
script, translateApache.rb, to convert from the old directory paths (10.4 and previous) to
the newer ones (10.5 and later):
> Also, to try and convince you that if you have an error in your httpd configuration files
that you should see that error in your error log, on a system freshly loaded with Mac OS 10.7.1,
I went to the Sharing pane in System Preferences and turned Web Sharing on.  I then opened and got an "It works!" page from the web server running on the local machine.
 So far, so good.
> I then ran "sudo vi /etc/apache2/httpd.conf" and added a line at the beginning of the
file: "This is an error".  I then turned off Web Sharing via System Preferences, and turned
it back on again.  When I did this, the status indicator went from grey "Web Sharing: Off"
to yelloe "Web Sharing starting..." and then quickly back to grey "Web Sharing: off".  It
did *not* turn to green "Web Sharing: started" as it did when I previously started it.
> I checked /var/log/apache2/error_log and was surprised to see that the web server did
not attempt to start.  I'm guessing that there is an Apple-specific startup script that attempts
to verify the web server configuration before trying to start the web server.
> I ran /Application/Utilities/ and found the following in the system log:
> 2011-09-08 2:56:35.512 PM org.apache.httpd: Syntax error on line 1 of /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf:
> 2011-09-08 2:56:35.512 PM org.apache.httpd: Invalid command 'This', perhaps misspelled
or defined by a module not included in the server configuration
> 2011-09-08 2:56:35.525 PM (org.apache.httpd[597]) Exited with code:
> 2011-09-08 2:56:35.764 PM (org.apache.httpd) Throttling respawn: Will
start in 10 seconds
> Hopefully this helps more than my previous responses.
> --
>  Mark Montague

Thank you Mark, your suggestions and comments were extremely helpful. I searched in the system
logs and found an error "no listening sockets available, shutting down." I googled and then
included Listen 80 in my httpd.conf file and now the server is running properly. I know this
seems like a simple thing in retrospect but in the heat of the moment it was not so obvious.

Once again I appreciate all the time you spent to compose your emails and the thought you
gave to your suggestions. You're a gentleman.


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