How to Install Apache on CentOS 8

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Apache HTTP server is the most widely used web server in the world. It is a free, open-source, and cross-platform HTTP server, including powerful features, and can be extended by a wide variety of modules.

In this article, we’ll explain how to install and manage the Apache webserver on CentOS 8.

Installing Apache

Apache is available in the default CentOS repositories, and the installation is pretty straight forward.

On RHEL based distributions, the Apache package and service are called httpd. To install the Apache run the following command as root or user with sudo privileges:

sudo yum install httpd

Once the installation is complete, enable and start the Apache service:

sudo systemctl enable httpd
sudo systemctl start httpd

To verify that the service is running, check its status:

sudo systemctl status httpd

The output should look something like this:

● httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Sat 2019-10-12 15:54:58 UTC; 6s ago
  ...

Adjusting the Firewall

FirewallD is the default firewall solution on Centos 8.

During the installation, Apache creates firewalld service files with predefined rules for allowing access to HTTP (80) and HTTPS (443) ports.

The following commands will permanently open the necessary ports:

sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http
sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=https
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

Managing Apache

This section explains how the Apache configuration files are structured and the best practices for managing the Apache webserver.

  • All Apache configuration files are located in the /etc/httpd directory.
  • The main Apache configuration file is /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf.
  • Configuration files ending with .conf located in the /etc/httpd/conf.d directory are included in main Apache configuration file.
  • Configuration files that are responsible for loading various Apache modules are located in the /etc/httpd/conf.modules.d directory.
  • Apache vhost files must end with .conf and be stored in /etc/httpd/conf.d directory. You can have as many vhosts as you need. Creating a separate configuration file (vhost) for each domain makes the server easier to maintain.
  • - It is a good practice to follow a standard naming convention. For example, if the domain name is mydomain.com then the configuration file should be named mydomain.com.conf
  • Apache log files (access_log and error_log) are located in the /var/log/httpd/ directory. It is recommended to have a different access and error log files for each vhost.
  • You can set your domain document root directory to any location you want. The most common locations for webroot include:
    • /home/<user_name>/<site_name>
    • /var/www/<site_name>
    • /var/www/html/<site_name>
    • /opt/<site_name>

Conclusion

Congratulations, you have successfully installed Apache on your CentOS 8 server. You’re now ready to start deploying your applications and use Apache as a web or proxy server.

You can manage the Apache service in the same way as any other systemd unit.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.