March 17, 2018

Admin Digest: Setting Up Your Own Web Server - page 2

Why You Need Your Own Web Server

  • January 2, 2003
  • By Rob Reilly

Making basic documents available is fairly straightforward. First, install a Linux distribution containing Apache. You can check that the server is up by pointing your browser (Mozilla, Konqueror, etc. on the same machine as the server) at http://localhost/. You should also be able to access this remotely with the machine's name. For instance, if the machine's domain name is, then the URL should work. Next look at the server's configuration directory. On SuSE this is /usr/local/http/htdoc/. Look for the directive DocumentRoot in the http.conf or srm.conf files. This will show the server's main document directory. A file (in this case file.html) placed here will appear at the topmost level, such as, http://localhost/file.html

By default the server also looks in users' directories for public HTML directories and makes these available on the web server. For instance, if you have a login code john with a home directory /home/john. Place some files in /home/john/public_html and they will become available at http://localhost/~john/

Next, we will look at a popular method to produce dynamic content based on a web user's input to a form. Normally, web users looking at your site will only see static HTML pages. The web scripting language PHP allows web pages to be built "on-the-fly" according to user input. PHP is very powerful and as programming languages go, is pretty easy to learn.

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