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Apache httpd - serving web documents from different directories

If you're running a web server, first simple logic says that you should keep all of your web pages in a single directory tree that's got the same directory structure as your web site. And you can do this and have it work well in a simple case.

But what if you want to do a major upgrade from time to time, but leave your icons and help pages untouched? What if you want to make the standard pages supplied with Apache available but from a different part of the disc? What if you want to provide users each with their own area as part of the tree? What if you want to have a separate area for executable programs so they don't get mixed in with the documents?

You can achieve all of these features via Apache's alias and scriptalias commands, and set up the permissions on different areas using directory instructions. You must do that latter in parallel to safeguard your security.

Alias /icons/ "/usr/share/httpd/icons/"
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ "/Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables/"

Note the trailing slashes (important) and the difference between the alias and scriptalias commands - an alias is used for diverting directories of documents and a scriptalias for directories of programs; with a scriptalias, AS WELL AS diverting the URL, the web server will send out the results of RUNNING the file it points at rather than the CONTENTS of the file.

If you want to have one web page accessible under several names - for example is you're running a script to feed everything in a directory from a database - then have a look at mod_rewrite rather than aliases. A subject for another day.


(written 2005-12-12, updated 2006-06-05)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
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  [2096] Where is my new Apache httpd installed - (2009-03-22)
  [2080] Using ApacheBench and jconsole to test and monitor Tomcat - (2009-03-14)
  [1945] Summary - Apache httpd build on Linux - (2008-12-14)
  [1768] What is built in to this httpd and PHP? - (2008-08-23)
  [1731] Apache httpd, MySQL, PHP - installation procedure - (2008-08-01)
  [1707] Configuring Apache httpd - (2008-07-12)
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  [1449] Upgrade Mac OSX to Leopard, Web Server Apache httpd config lost - (2007-11-29)
  [1292] DHCP automatic IP address v Static IP - (2007-08-06)
  [1095] Apache httpd , browser, MySQL and MySQL client downloads - (2007-02-28)
  [982] Notes from the white board - (2006-12-14)
  [907] Browser -> httpd -> Tomcat -> MySQL. Restarting. - (2006-10-28)
  [660] Stopping and restarting Apache httpd cleanly - (2006-03-29)
  [550] 2006 - Making business a pleasure - (2006-01-01)
  [523] Apache httpd release 2.2 - (2005-12-10)

A603 - Web Application Deployment - Further httpd Configuration
  [4001] Helping search engines with appropriate 400 error codes - (2013-02-11)
  [3955] Building up from a small PHP setup to an enterprise one - (2012-12-16)
  [3862] Forwarding a whole domain, except for a few directories - Apache http server - (2012-09-17)
  [3635] Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_STRING on brand new web site - why? - (2012-03-03)
  [3449] Apache Internal Dummy Connection - what is it and what should I do with it? - (2011-09-19)
  [3133] An image from a website that occasionally comes out as hyroglyphics - (2011-01-14)
  [2900] Redirecting a page - silent, temporary or permanent? - (2010-08-03)
  [2478] How did I do THAT? - (2009-10-26)
  [2272] Monitoring and loading tools for testing Apache Tomcat - (2009-07-07)
  [2060] Database connection Pooling, SSL, and command line deployment - httpd and Tomcat - (2009-03-01)
  [1974] Moving a directory on your web site - (2009-01-03)
  [1955] How to avoid duplicating web page maintainance - (2008-12-20)
  [1954] mod_rewrite for newcomers - (2008-12-20)
  [1939] mod_proxy_ajp and mod_proxy_balancer examples - (2008-12-13)
  [1778] Pointing all the web pages in a directory at a database - (2008-08-30)
  [1767] mod_proxy and mod_proxy_ajp - httpd - (2008-08-22)
  [1762] WEB-INF (Tomcat) and .htaccess (httpd) - (2008-08-20)
  [1636] What to do if the Home Page is missing - (2008-05-08)
  [1619] User and Group settings for Apache httpd web server - (2008-04-22)
  [1566] Strange behaviour of web directory requests without a trailing slash - (2008-03-06)
  [1564] Default file (MiMe types) for Apache httpd and Apache Tomcat - (2008-03-04)
  [1554] Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath) - (2008-02-24)
  [1551] Which modules are loaded in my Apache httpd - (2008-02-23)
  [1381] Using a MySQL database to control mod_rewrite via PHP - (2007-10-06)
  [1377] Load Balancing with Apache mod_jk (httpd/Tomcat) - (2007-10-02)
  [1355] .php or .html extension? Morally Static Pages - (2007-09-17)
  [1351] Compressing web pages sent out from server. Is it worth it? - (2007-09-14)
  [1207] Simple but effective use of mod_rewrite (Apache httpd) - (2007-05-27)
  [1121] Sharing the load with Apache httpd and perhaps Tomcat - (2007-03-29)
  [1080] httpd.conf or .htaccess? - (2007-02-14)
  [1009] Passing GET parameters through Apache mod_rewrite - (2006-12-27)
  [934] Clustering, load balancing, mod_rewrite and mod_proxy - (2006-11-21)
  [853] To list a directory under httpd on a web server, or not? - (2006-09-02)
  [755] Using different URLs to navigate around a single script - (2006-06-11)
  [662] An unhelpful error message from Apache httpd - (2006-03-30)
  [649] Denial of Service ''attack'' - (2006-03-17)
  [631] Apache httpd to Tomcat - jk v proxy - (2006-03-03)
  [466] Separating 'per instance' data from binaries and web sites - (2005-10-16)
  [345] Spotting a denial of service attack - (2005-06-12)


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