Starting Apache - Apache HTTP Server Version 2.4

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Apache HTTP Server Version 2.4

Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.4Starting Apache

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    On Windows, Apache is normally run as a service.
    For details, see Running Apache as a Service.

    On Unix, the httpd program
    is run as a daemon that executes continuously in the
    background to handle requests.  This document describes how
    to invoke httpd.

 How Apache Starts
 Errors During Start-up
 Starting at Boot-Time
 Additional Information
See alsoStopping and RestartinghttpdapachectlComments

How Apache Starts

    If the Listen
    specified in the configuration file is default of 80 (or any other
    port below 1024), then it is necessary to have root privileges in
    order to start apache, so that it can bind to this privileged
    port. Once the server has started and performed a few preliminary
    activities such as opening its log files, it will launch several
    child processes which do the work of listening for and
    answering requests from clients. The main httpd
    process continues to run as the root user, but the child processes
    run as a less privileged user. This is controlled by the selected
    Multi-Processing Module.

    The recommended method of invoking the httpd
    executable is to use the apachectl control script. This
    script sets certain environment variables that are necessary for
    httpd to function correctly under some operating
    systems, and then invokes the httpd binary.
    apachectl will pass through any command line
    arguments, so any httpd options may also be used with
    apachectl.  You may also directly edit the
    apachectl script by changing the HTTPD
    variable near the top to specify the correct location of the
    httpd binary and any command-line arguments that you
    wish to be always present.

    The first thing that httpd does when it is
    invoked is to locate and read the configuration file
    httpd.conf. The location of this file is set at
    compile-time, but it is possible to specify its location at run
    time using the -f command-line option as in

/usr/local/apache2/bin/apachectl -f

    If all goes well during startup, the server will detach from
    the terminal and the command prompt will return almost
    immediately. This indicates that the server is up and running.
    You can then use your browser to connect to the server and view
    the test page in the DocumentRoot directory.

Errors During Start-up

    If Apache suffers a fatal problem during startup, it will
    write a message describing the problem either to the console or
    to the ErrorLog before
    exiting. One of the most common error messages is "Unable
    to bind to Port ...". This message is usually caused by

      Trying to start the server on a privileged port when not
      logged in as the root user; or

      Trying to start the server when there is another instance
      of Apache or some other web server already bound to the same

    For further trouble-shooting instructions, consult the
    Apache FAQ.

Starting at Boot-Time

    If you want your server to continue running after a system
    reboot, you should add a call to apachectl to your
    system startup files (typically rc.local or a file in
    an rc.N directory). This will start Apache as
    root. Before doing this ensure that your server is properly
    configured for security and access restrictions.

    The apachectl script is designed to act like a
    standard SysV init script; it can take the arguments
    start, restart, and stop
    and translate them into the appropriate signals to
    httpd.  So you can often simply link
    apachectl into the appropriate init directory. But be
    sure to check the exact requirements of your system.

Additional Information

    Additional information about the command-line options of httpd and apachectl as well as other support
    programs included with the server is available on the
    Server and Supporting Programs page.
    There is also documentation on all the modules included with the Apache distribution
    and the directives that they

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CommentsNotice:This is not a Q&A section. Comments placed here should be pointed towards suggestions on improving the documentation or server, and may be removed again by our moderators if they are either implemented or considered invalid/off-topic. Questions on how to manage the Apache HTTP Server should be directed at either our IRC channel, #httpd, on Freenode, or sent to our mailing lists.

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