In this guide we are going to install Apache, PHP and set up a virtual host in Centos 8 Linux.
The Apache HTTP Server(Apache), is one of the most popular free and open-source cross-platform web server software, released under the terms of Apache License 2.0. Apache is popular as part of the LAMP setup, being the A in the Acronym. The apache server functionality can be extended with the many available modules.
PHP is a general-purpose scripting language geared towards web development. It is one of the popular programming languages for the web. Popular tools such as WordPress are coded using php. Big companies like Facebook also uses php heavily.
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To follow along this guide, please ensure you have the following:
- An Updated Rocky Linux 8 server
- Root access or User with sudo access who can install packages and edit configurations
- Internet access
Table of Content
- Ensuring that the server is up to date
- Installing PHP on Rocky Linux 8
- Installing Apache on Rocky Linux 8
- Configuring virtual host
1. Ensuring that the server is up to date
Before proceeding, lets make sure that we have the latest packages in our system. Run the following command to update the system:
$ sudo dnf -y update Last metadata expiration check: 1:45:37 ago on Sun 29 Aug 2021 08:52:16 AM UTC. Dependencies resolved. Nothing to do. Complete!
2. Installing PHP in Rocky Linux 8
Now that Apache is set up, we will need to install PHP. For php files to be served, php needs to be set up in the system. In this guide we will install php 7.4.
PHP 7.4 is not yet available in the default repositories. The Remi Repository is the perfect repo to install php7.4. Remi repo is a free and stable YUM repository mainly for the PHP stack. It contains packages for the latest versions of PHP.
To enable Remi Repository in our Centos Server:
sudo dnf install dnf-utils http://rpms.remirepo.net/enterprise/remi-release-8.rpm
Confirm that the remi repository has been installed and enabled with this command:
$ sudo dnf repolist repo id repo name appstream CentOS Linux 8 - AppStream baseos CentOS Linux 8 - BaseOS epel Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 8 - x86_64 epel-modular Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux Modular 8 - x86_64 extras CentOS Linux 8 - Extras remi-modular Remi's Modular repository for Enterprise Linux 8 - x86_64 remi-safe Safe Remi's RPM repository for Enterprise Linux 8 - x86_64
You should see the remi repos as part of the elist.
Now that the repository has been installed, lets search for php. Use this command:
$ sudo dnf module list php Last metadata expiration check: 2:14:53 ago on Sun 29 Aug 2021 08:52:16 AM UTC. CentOS Linux 8 - AppStream Name Stream Profiles Summary php 7.2 [d] common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language php 7.3 common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language php 7.4 common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language Remi's Modular repository for Enterprise Linux 8 - x86_64 Name Stream Profiles Summary php remi-7.2 common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language php remi-7.3 common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language php remi-7.4 common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language php remi-8.0 common [d], devel, minimal PHP scripting language Hint: [d]efault, [e]nabled, [x]disabled, [i]nstalled
From the list. we can see that the default one is 7.2. Performing a
dnf install php will install the
7.2 which we do not want. Let’s enable the 7.4 using this command:
sudo dnf module enable php:remi-7.4
If for some reason its failing, you can reset the existing module with this command:
sudo dnf module reset php
Now that the repo has been enabled, lets install php with this command:
sudo dnf install -y php php-common php-cli
Once successful. confirm the version installed with this command:
$ php -v PHP 7.4.23 (cli) (built: Aug 24 2021 16:33:30) ( NTS ) Copyright (c) The PHP Group Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies with Zend OPcache v7.4.23, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies
Now that Apache and php have been installed successfully, lets set it up to serve some traffic
3. Installing Apache on Rocky Linux 8
Now that we have updated our packages, Lets install Apache. Apache is available in the default repositories as the package
httpd. You can check info about it using the following command:
$ sudo dnf info httpd Last metadata expiration check: 1:48:56 ago on Sun 29 Aug 2021 08:52:16 AM UTC. Installed Packages Name : httpd Version : 2.4.37 Release : 39.module_el8.4.0+778+c970deab Architecture : x86_64 Size : 4.3 M Source : httpd-2.4.37-39.module_el8.4.0+778+c970deab.src.rpm Repository : @System From repo : appstream Summary : Apache HTTP Server URL : https://httpd.apache.org/ License : ASL 2.0 Description : The Apache HTTP Server is a powerful, efficient, and extensible : web server.
Lets install it using dnf:
sudo dnf install -y httpd
Starting and enabling the service
By default the service is not started. Lets start it with this command:
sudo systemctl start httpd
To confiirm that its working as expected, use the status command and ensure that it indicates as
active like shown below:
$ sudo systemctl start httpd $ sudo systemctl status httpd ● httpd.service - The Apache HTTP Server Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled) Drop-In: /usr/lib/systemd/system/httpd.service.d └─php-fpm.conf Active: active (running) since Sun 2021-08-29 10:43:52 UTC; 17s ago Docs: man:httpd.service(8) Main PID: 84446 (httpd) Status: "Running, listening on: port 80" Tasks: 213 (limit: 23800) Memory: 31.0M CGroup: /system.slice/httpd.service ├─84446 /usr/sbin/httpd -DFOREGROUND ├─84447 /usr/sbin/httpd -DFOREGROUND ├─84448 /usr/sbin/httpd -DFOREGROUND ├─84449 /usr/sbin/httpd -DFOREGROUND └─84450 /usr/sbin/httpd -DFOREGROUND Aug 29 10:43:52 test-app-server systemd: Starting The Apache HTTP Server... Aug 29 10:43:52 test-app-server httpd: AH00558: httpd: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified doma> Aug 29 10:43:52 test-app-server systemd: Started The Apache HTTP Server. Aug 29 10:43:52 test-app-server httpd: Server configured, listening on: port 80
If you have any firewall enabled, please ensure you enable
https traffic to allow access to apache.
To confirm that php is installed and working fine, please visit the server’s IP address in the browser (http://server_ip). If you don’t know the server IP, get it using this command in your terminal:
curl -4 icanhazip.com
If all is well, you should see Apache page like shown below:
4. Configuring virtual hosts
With Apache, it is possible to host multiple sites on the same server where the Apache is running. This can always be achieved using multiple domains each representing a site that the server is hosting.
Apache virtual hosts are similar to Nginx server blocks . Each virtual host will have configuration details for a single host. You can have as many virtual hosts as you want.
In this example, we will use the domain site1.citizix.com for the virtual host but be free to use the domain of your choice. Please note that the DNS for the domain to be used should already be configured to point to the IP address of the server.
Confirm that with:
dig -t A site1.citizix.com
Creating directory and sample content
The default page of apache is configured as a default virtual host serving content from
/var/www/html. It’s a best practice to create the directory of your site in the
/var/www directory since its a best practice to serve from there.
Lets create a directory for our site with the following command:
sudo mkdir /var/www/site1.citizix.com
Lets create a simple
index.php page to serve from our site. You will require vim installed for this to work, if not use this command:
sudo dnf install -y vim
Edit the file:
sudo vim /var/www/site1.citizix.com/index.php
Add content to the file:
<?php phpinfo(); ?>
Finally, lets make sure that the
apache user owns the site directory:
sudo chown -R apache.apache /var/www/site1.citizix.com
Creating virtual host
Apache Virtual host files specifies the configuration of each sites and tell the Apache web server how to respond to various domain requests.
The Apache configurations will be stored in the directory
/etc/httpd/conf.d/. Lets create a config for our site:
sudo vim /etc/httpd/conf.d/site1.citizix.com.conf
Add the following content:
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerName site1.citizix.com ServerAlias site1.citizix.com DocumentRoot /var/www/site1.citizix.com DirectoryIndex index.php ErrorLog /var/log/httpd/site1.citizix.com.error.log CustomLog /var/log/httpd/site1.citizix.com.requests.log combined </VirtualHost>
This will tell Apache the following:
ServerAlias– name of the host to serve
DocumentRoot– where to find the root directly that holds the publicly accessible web documents
DirectoryIndex– The file that apache will serve when the site is accessed
ErrorLog– where to store error logs for this site
CustomLog– where to store request logs for this particular site
Save and close the file when you are finished
Testing the Virtual Host
Now that the configuration is in place, we need to test that everything is working as expected. Since we created the
index.php file above, lets access it by going to
http://server_url/. In my case this is
http://site1.citizix.com/. You should see a page like shown below:
In this guide, we managed to set up Apache to serve traffic on a Rocky Linux 8 server.