How To Setup Virtual Host Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Setup Virtual Host Apache on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up Virtual Host Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Web Server is an open-source Web server creation, deployment, and management software. Initially developed by a group of software programmers, it is now maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache is highly reliable, flexible, easy to install, and ships numerous features that make it popular amongst developers and Linux enthusiasts.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step of step set up virtual host Apache on a Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) server.

Prerequisites

  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo useror access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Setup Virtual Host Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt commands in the terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing Apache on Ubuntu 20.04.

Next in this step, we will install the Apache2 web server:

sudo apt install apache2

Once done installing Apache services on your system, start all required services:

systemctl enable apache2
systemctl start apache2
systemctl status apache2

Step 3. Configure Firewall.

Now we can add the firewall rules for Apache:

sudo ufw allow in "Apache Full"
sudo ufw enable

Now you need to test if Apache is properly installed and can serve web pages. Open a web browser and use the following URL to access the Apache Default Page:

http://Your_SERVER_IP_ADDRESS/
OR
http://localhost/

Step 4. Creating Directory Structure.

The document root is the directory in which the website files for a domain name are stored and served in response to requests. We will use the following directory structure:

/var/www/
├── your-domain-example1.com
│   └── public_html
├── your-domain-example2.com
│   └── public_html

Now create the root directory for the domain your-domain-example.com:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/your-domain-example.com/public_html

After that, set permission and ownership of the domain document root directory and all files within the directory to the apache user:

sudo chown -R www-data: /var/www/your-domain-example.com/public_html

Then, create an index.html file inside the domain’s document root directory:

sudo nano /var/www/your-domain-example.com/public_html/index.html
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" dir="ltr">
  <head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Welcome to your-domain-example.com</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h1>Success! your-domain-example.com home page!</h1>
  </body>
</html>

Step 4. Create Virtual Hosts.

On Ubuntu, Apache Virtual Hosts configuration files are located in /etc/apache2/sites-available directory and can be enabled by creating symbolic links to the /etc/apache2/sites-enabled directory, which is read by Apache during the startup:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/your-domain-example2.com.conf
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" dir="ltr">
  <head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Welcome to example.com</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h1>Success! example.com home page!</h1>
  </body>
</html>

To enable the new virtual host file, use the a2ensite helper script which creates a symbolic link from the virtual host file to the sites-enabled directory:

sudo a2ensite your-domain-example2.com

Test and restart Apache:

sudo apachectl configtest

If there are no errors, you will see the following output:

Syntax OK

To activate a newly created virtual host, restart the Apache service with:

sudo systemctl reload apache2

Now that you have your virtual hosts configured, you can test your setup easily by going to the domains that you configured in your web browser:

http://your-domain-example2.com

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Apache. Thanks for using this tutorial to set up virtual hosts Apache web server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Apache website.

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