Set Up Apache Virtual Hosts On Debian

Apache server uses virtual hosts to run multiple domains on a single IP address.

It is really useful if you are running VPS and you want a few sites on it.

You can set up unlimited virtual hosts on apache.

In this tutorial I will show you how to set up apache virtual hosts on Debian Linux but you can do that on every other operating system.


Requirements

Things you’ll need for this tutorial:

If you don’t have a domain name, you can set one for free at No-IP.

(see Make a subdomain with No-IP)


1. Creating directory for new website

We need to create directory for our new website.

Go to apache www directory:

cd /var/www

And make a new directory for your website:

sudo mkdir site.com

Note: Name of the directory is not important but it is easier to name it after domain name

2. Setting permissions

We need to change some permissions.

Set site.com directory permissions to your user:

sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /var/www/site.com

Note: This will give your user rights to make changes to site.com directory

3. Creating files in site directory

We will make an index.html file which is going to show if we successfully created virtual host.

Go to newly created directory:

cd site.com

And create index file which will be used for testing later

nano index.html

Insert following lines:

<html>
    <head>
        <title>site.com</title>
    </head>

    <body>

        <h2>site.com virtual host is created!</h2>
    </body>
</html>

Save and exit file.

4. Configuring Apache server

Next thing to do is to configure apache server.

We need to add our website to apache so it can be accessed over a domain name.

Go to:

cd /etc/apache2/sites-available

Make a copy of default apache configuration file

cp default site.com

Note: site.com is the name of our new website configuration file

Edit newly created configuration file:

sudo nano site.com

Make sure you have following lines under <VirtualHost *:80>

ServerAdmin admin@site.com
ServerName site.com
ServerAlias www.site.com

Next thing you need to edit is DocumentRoot line.

We need to change it to site.com directory, so you need to type:

DocumentRoot /var/www/site.com

Editing configuration files is now finished.

5. Finishing up

We need to tell apache that new site is now available and ready for use:

sudo a2ensite site.com

Our website is now added and next thing to do is to restart apache server to apply changes:

sudo service apache2 restart

You have now configured your apache virtual host for your new website.

Now open your Internet browser and type your domain name to access your newly created website on your server.

If everything went fine, you should see the following line in your browser:

site.com virtual host is created!

It is the line we created earlier in index.html file (Section 3.).

 

You can now add new virtual hosts repeating the process and make sure to enter appropriate Document Root.

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