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Apache 2.0 Basics

Installing Apache 2.0


Editor's note: Ryan Bloom has been one of the core developers of Apache 2.0. We spotted him at the Covalent booth during Linux World in New York last January and asked him to write a series of columns explaining the new version of Apache to O'Reilly Network readers. Here's his first column, covering what's new in Apache 2.0 and how to install it.

The Apache developers have been working on Apache 2.0 for the last two years, and on April 4, the first public beta of Apache 2.0 was released. This is the first in a series of six monthly columns in which we'll explain how Apache 2.0 differs from Apache 1.3, and why Apache users should care.

Why upgrade?

One of the most important changes is the added multi-threading support to Apache 2.0. Version 1.3 relied on processes to serve requests, and that was a performance hit on many operating systems. Threads combined with processes make Apache 2.0 more scalable.

The second advantage over Apache 1.3 is filtered input/output (I/O), which allows one module to modify the output of another module. An often-requested feature of Apache 1.3 was for CGI scripts to output SSI tags. This wasn't possible in version 1.3, however filtered I/O allows this to work in Apache 2.0.

Apache 2.0 will also provide support for SSL without any modifications to the core. There is already a mod_tls, which although minimal currently, will be extended in time to provide full SSL support.

The first hurdle to using Apache 2.0 is configuration and installation of Apache. There are two forms of configuration -- compile-time and run-time. This article will focus on getting a tarball, compiling it, and then installing it.

Installing and configuring Apache 2.0

Before we can begin, download the latest version of Apache 2.0. The best place to get a stable copy of Apache, is from the Apache web server home page.

If you are a developer who wants to download the latest development version, you should go to the Apache developers page, and read through the relevant links about getting code from CVS.

This article will assume that you are using the Apache 2.0.15 tarball, although future versions of Apache should be very similar. Once you have the tarball, unzip and untar it with the command

tar -xvzf httpd-2*.tar.gz .

Now we can get to work configuring Apache itself. In previous versions of Apache, there were two different models for configuring Apache, each of which had been rolled by the Apache Group itself. The first method was to use a text file that controlled which components were built. The second was an "autoconf-like" system, which in reality just modified the text file for you.

With Apache 2.0, the Apache developers decided they were more interested in writing a web server than maintaining a configuration system. So, Apache 2.0 uses autoconf and libtool to determine which components of Apache are built. Tarballs downloaded from the Apache site already have the configure script created, but for those who have downloaded a development version to generate the configure script, run the command ./buildconf. This will traverse all of the required directories to ensure that you have all of the software components required by Apache.

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