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This file contains basic facts about Apache.


Important Directories


Please see this section of PythonScripts document:


Configuring .htaccess

Suppose you want to turn off directory browsing. You have two options:

To turn on .htaccess on your server, first open /etc/apache2/apache2.conf. Go this section:

    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None
    Require all granted

Change it to this, where AllOverride None becomes AllowOverride All:

    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride All    
    Require all granted

Now put .htaccess files in the directories where you don't want users to browse. They should contain the following line:

Options -Indexes

Another option is to remove Indexes from the apache2.conf code block quoted above. That will deny directory browsing in all locations on your site.

When working with WordPress, you may need to turn on a particular apache module. For instance, here is how to turn on the rewrite module, which is needed when working with some permalinks in WordPress. Specifically, in wp-admin go to Settings | Permalinks and set Common Settings to Post Name. That feature won't work unless .htaccess files are active, as described above. Make the AllowOverride All change above, and then do this:

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo service apache2 restart

You will probably want to create wordpress/.htaccess and let www-data own it.

Configuring Apache to Serve Files from a User Directory

It can be very useful to configure Apache to allow you to serve up pages out of your home directory. In particular, it means that you don't have to worry about whether or not you have the privileges necessary to complete most standard operations involved with maintaining a web site.

NOTE: These instructions assume that you are signed in to user account with minimum privileges. If you want to know how to create an account, see this Elvenware discussion of the topic:


Configuring Apache to serve up pages from your home directory is a two step process:

  1. Turn on an Apache feature called userdir. This will allow you to serve up pages out of a subdirectory of your home account calledpublic_html.
  2. Set up a cgi-bin directory in your new home folder. This will allow you to serve up Python scripts and other cgi content.

Once you have done these things you can use Filezilla to copy files over to a directory called public_html and then run them immdediately. You will also be able to give your Python files executable permission without leaving Filezilla. You will, of course, place your Python files in your cgi-bin directory.

You have a certain amount of freedom in the regard, of course, but I suggest you using the following directory structure since it mirrors my own. The code I give you is likely to be designed to run unchanged in this kind of directory tree:


 To give yourself permission to set up a public_html directory, you should become ubuntu, and then issue the following command:

sudo a2enmod userdir

To test your work, first restart apache

sudo service apache2 restart

If you haven't done so already, use Filezilla or your shell to create a folder called **public_html **in your new user's home directory:


Then copy your index.html into that directory. Now try to access the file over the web: 

Note the convention: write the IP of your machine, followed by a tilda, followed by your new user name.

The final step in this process is to give yourself permission to serve up cgi files from your Linux box. As the user ubuntu, edit the configuration for your available sites:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

Insert the following code:

 Options ExecCGI SetHandler cgi-script

Then restart the web server

sudo service apache2 restart

I know that editing a file like default can be intimidating. To help you out, I have placed a valid copy of default in the zip file that accompanies this assignment.

Moving Your Website

This stage is by far the easiest. If you have been doing all your work on your home machine, then you have a complete copy of your web site on your home machine. Simply set up Filezilla to allow you to copy files directly from your home machine to the public_html directory in your new home folder. Please note that your user name in the Filezilla site manager should no longer be set to ubuntu. Instead, it should be set or your new user name, ie jsmith.


Convert CRLF to LF (Windows to Unix)

There is a well known file called crlf.py that ships with most distributions of Python. You can use it to convert Windows CRLF line endings to Linux style line endings (LF) and vice versa. It looks something like this:

#! /usr/bin/env python
"Replace CRLF with LF in argument files.  Print names of changed files."

import sys, os

def main():
    for filename in sys.argv[1:]:
        if os.path.isdir(filename):
            print filename, "Directory!"
        data = open(filename, "rb").read()
        if '\0' in data:
            print filename, "Binary!"
        newdata = data.replace("\r\n", "\n")
        if newdata != data:
            print filename
            f = open(filename, "wb")

if __name__ == '__main__':

Copy file to an Apache Web Site

The following (unnecessarily complex and half completed) script is designed to help you copy files from your home directory to the /var/www and /usr/lib/cgi-bin directories. It could serve as a starting point for someone interested in this kind of thing.


# ---------------------------------------------------
# Copy files from a local directory to your web site.
# for instance this script can help you copy files:
#   * from /home/user/temp/site to these directories
#   *   /var/www/site
#   *   /usr/lib/cgi/bin
# You need to set the variables called DIRECTORY and DESTDIR
#   DIRECTORY: A directory relative to your current directory
#   DESTDIR: A directory relative to your /var/www and /usr/lib/cgi-bin
# The files in DIRECTORY should be placed in two subdirectories:
#   *  /html
#   *  /cgi-bin
# The first should contain all your HTML files
# The second should contain all your Python scripts
# This script will handle copying subdirectories of html and cgi-bin
# This script assumes the standard crlf.py script is on your path.
# ---------------------------------------------------

# DIRECTORY: Name of the folder that holds the site you want to deploy

# DESTDIR: The folder where you want to place files relative to
#    * /var/www
#    * /usr/lib/cgi-bin


echo "HTML Destination = " $HTMLDEST
echo "CGI Destination = " $CGIDEST
# echo "Zip files = " $1

    echo "DirStuff Called"
    if [ -d $2 ]; then
        echo "Copying files to: " $2
        sudo cp -R $1/. $2/.
        echo "No " $2

    if [ -d $1 ]; then
        echo $1 "exists. We will remove it"
        sudo rm -R $1

    echo "Creating " $1
    sudo mkdir $1   

    echo "Directory = " $1

    if [ -d $1 ]; then
        echo "removing existing directory: " $1
        rm -R $DIRECTORY

    unzip $2

# Unzip our zip file
# unzipFiles $DIRECTORY $1

# Now we need to set up our destination directories
dirMake $CGIDEST

# Now we copy files to our destination directories
# And set up the permissions
find /usr/lib/cgi-bin/chords/ -type f -name *.py | xargs sudo chmod +x
find /usr/lib/cgi-bin/chords/ -type f | xargs sudo ~/bin/crlf.py
find /usr/lib/cgi-bin/chords/ -type f -name *.csv | xargs sudo chmod 666
find /usr/lib/cgi-bin/chords/ -type f -name *.txt | xargs sudo chmod 666