Install Apache2 web server

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30 Jul 2020: Updated to use Python3.

6 Jan 2020: Updated.

8 May 2019: More explanation on default configuration given. "gksudo gedit" changed to "sudo gedit" as Ubuntu 18.04 dropped "gksudo".

11 Apr 2018:  "apache2" changed to "apache2.service" when used in conjunction with systemctl.

25 Dec 2014: First created.


Apache2 web server provides web page services.


Define hosts:

$ sudo gedit /etc/hosts

Specify: <computer name> localhost <computer name>

Define hostname:

$ sudo gedit /etc/hostname

Specify a line to contain:

<computer name>



$ sudo apt install apache2

or before Ubuntu 16.04:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2

Start service:

$ sudo systemctl start apache2.service


$ sudo service apache2 start

Set the internet router to re-direct http connections to server port 80.

(The following added on 8 May 2019)

Edit the enabled configuration file:

$ sudo gedit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf

("ls -ls" changed to "gedit", 6 Jan 2020)

The file is symbolic linked to the actual location at /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf.

The file includes the following:

ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
DocumentRoot /var/www/html

Leave the ServerName to the HTTPS setting below.

Change the ServerAdmin email address to the correct address, or add that address when setting up the email server.

The DocumentRoot tells that the website directories and files will be stored under /var/www/html.

Note that previously the DocumentRoot was at /var/www. The change from /var/www/html would affect the installation of Drupal as explaned on that web page.

Serf to or on web browser, the following page (var/www/html/index.html) will be displayed to indicate successful installation:

(end of add)

Configure to use HTTPS

This is optional. Starting to use on 6 April 2018.

When the Apache2 server is configured to use HTTPS, and when "https://" is used as the prefix to the website address URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in the web browser navigation bar, encrypted communications will be used with the Apache2 server. This will enhance security.

To do this, enable the mod_ssl module:

$ sudo a2enmod ssl

In order for Apache2 to use HTTPS service, a certificate and a key file are needed. Use EFF's Certbot to automatically deploy Let's Encrypt certificates and enable HTTPS.

Certbot is downloadable at:

No need to download from there.

(revised 8 May 2019)

Install certbot and configure Apache2:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install software-properties-common
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install python3-certbot-apache
$ sudo certbot --apache
$ sudo certbot renew

(python changed to python3, 30 Jul 2020)

When answering questions

  • enter "" for name to activate HTTPS
  • decide whether to re-install certificate or renew and replace
  • select to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

(added on 8 May 2019).

The following will happen:

  • /etc/letsencrypt directory created to contain certificate obtained from Let's Encrypt.
  • A file /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default-le-ssl.conf added and enabled.

(revised 8 May 2019)

  • The following lines inserted in /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf to enforce the use of "https://":
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]
  • A cron job created to renew the certificate which lasts for 90 days before expiry.

Enable new module and disable default module if not already automatically done:

$ sudo a2ensite 000-default-le-ssl
$ sudo a2dissite default-ssl
$ sudo systemctl restart apache2.service


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