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<title>Configuration Files - Apache HTTP Server</title>
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<p class="apache">Apache HTTP Server Version 2.5</p>
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<a href="">Apache</a> &gt; <a href="">HTTP Server</a> &gt; <a href="">Documentation</a> &gt; <a href="./">Version 2.5</a></div><div id="page-content"><div id="preamble"><h1>Configuration Files</h1>
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<p><span>Available Languages: </span><a href="./de/configuring.html" hreflang="de" rel="alternate" title="Deutsch">&nbsp;de&nbsp;</a> |
<a href="./en/configuring.html" title="English">&nbsp;en&nbsp;</a> |
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<p>This document describes the files used to configure Apache HTTP
<div id="quickview"><ul id="toc"><li><img alt="" src="./images/down.gif" /> <a href="#main">Main Configuration Files</a></li>
<li><img alt="" src="./images/down.gif" /> <a href="#syntax">Syntax of the Configuration Files</a></li>
<li><img alt="" src="./images/down.gif" /> <a href="#modules">Modules</a></li>
<li><img alt="" src="./images/down.gif" /> <a href="#scope">Scope of Directives</a></li>
<li><img alt="" src="./images/down.gif" /> <a href="#htaccess">.htaccess Files</a></li>
</ul><ul class="seealso"><li><a href="#comments_section">Comments</a></li></ul></div>
<div class="top"><a href="#page-header"><img alt="top" src="./images/up.gif" /></a></div>
<div class="section">
<h2><a name="main" id="main">Main Configuration Files</a></h2>
<table class="related"><tr><th>Related Modules</th><th>Related Directives</th></tr><tr><td><ul><li><code class="module"><a href="./mod/mod_mime.html">mod_mime</a></code></li></ul></td><td><ul><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#ifdefine">&lt;IfDefine&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#include">Include</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/mod_mime.html#typesconfig">TypesConfig</a></code></li></ul></td></tr></table>
<p>Apache HTTP Server is configured by placing <a href="mod/directives.html">directives</a> in plain text
configuration files. The main configuration file is usually called
<code>httpd.conf</code>. The location of this file is set at
compile-time, but may be overridden with the <code>-f</code>
command line flag. In addition, other configuration files may be
added using the <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#include">Include</a></code>
directive, and wildcards can be used to include many configuration
files. Any directive may be placed in any of these configuration
files. Changes to the main configuration files are only
recognized by httpd when it is started or restarted.</p>
<p>The server also reads a file containing mime document types;
the filename is set by the <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/mod_mime.html#typesconfig">TypesConfig</a></code> directive,
and is <code>mime.types</code> by default.</p>
</div><div class="top"><a href="#page-header"><img alt="top" src="./images/up.gif" /></a></div>
<div class="section">
<h2><a name="syntax" id="syntax">Syntax of the Configuration Files</a></h2>
<p>httpd configuration files contain one directive per line.
The backslash "\" may be used as the last character on a line
to indicate that the directive continues onto the next line.
There must be no other characters or white space between the
backslash and the end of the line.</p>
<p>Directives in the configuration files are case-insensitive,
but arguments to directives are often case sensitive. Lines
that begin with the hash character "#" are considered
comments, and are ignored. Comments may <strong>not</strong> be
included on a line after a configuration directive. Blank lines
and white space occurring before a directive are ignored, so
you may indent directives for clarity.</p>
<p>The values of variables defined with the <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#define">Define</a></code> of or shell environment variables can
be used in configuration file lines using the syntax <code>${VAR}</code>.
If "VAR" is the name of a valid variable, the value of that variable is
substituted into that spot in the configuration file line, and processing
continues as if that text were found directly in the configuration file.
Variables defined with <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#define">Define</a></code> take
precedence over shell environment variables.
If the "VAR" variable is not found, the characters <code>${VAR}</code>
are left unchanged, and a warning is logged.
Variable names may not contain colon ":" characters, to avoid clashes with
<code class="directive"><a href="./mod/mod_rewrite.html#rewritemap">RewriteMap</a></code>'s syntax.</p>
<p>Only shell environment variables defined before the server is started
can be used in expansions. Environment variables defined in the
configuration file itself, for example with <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/mod_env.html#setenv">SetEnv</a></code>, take effect too late to be used for
expansions in the configuration file.</p>
<p>The maximum length of a line in normal configuration files, after
variable substitution and joining any continued lines, is approximately
16 MiB. In <a href="configuring.xml#htaccess">.htaccess files</a>, the
maximum length is 8190 characters.</p>
<p>You can check your configuration files for syntax errors
without starting the server by using <code>apachectl
configtest</code> or the <code>-t</code> command line
<p>You can use <code class="module"><a href="./mod/mod_info.html">mod_info</a></code>'s <code>-DDUMP_CONFIG</code> to
dump the configuration with all included files and environment
variables resolved and all comments and non-matching
<code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#ifdefine">&lt;IfDefine&gt;</a></code> and
<code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#ifmodule">&lt;IfModule&gt;</a></code> sections
removed. However, the output does not reflect the merging or overriding
that may happen for repeated directives.</p>
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<div class="section">
<h2><a name="modules" id="modules">Modules</a></h2>
<table class="related"><tr><th>Related Modules</th><th>Related Directives</th></tr><tr><td><ul><li><code class="module"><a href="./mod/mod_so.html">mod_so</a></code></li></ul></td><td><ul><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#ifmodule">&lt;IfModule&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/mod_so.html#loadmodule">LoadModule</a></code></li></ul></td></tr></table>
<p>httpd is a modular server. This implies that only the most
basic functionality is included in the core server. Extended
features are available through <a href="mod/">modules</a> which can be loaded
into httpd. By default, a <a href="mod/module-dict.html#Status">base</a> set of modules is
included in the server at compile-time. If the server is
compiled to use <a href="dso.html">dynamically loaded</a>
modules, then modules can be compiled separately and added at
any time using the <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/mod_so.html#loadmodule">LoadModule</a></code>
Otherwise, httpd must be recompiled to add or remove modules.
Configuration directives may be included conditional on a
presence of a particular module by enclosing them in an <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#ifmodule">&lt;IfModule&gt;</a></code> block. However,
<code class="directive">&lt;IfModule&gt;</code> blocks are not
required, and in some cases may mask the fact that you're missing an
important module.</p>
<p>To see which modules are currently compiled into the server,
you can use the <code>-l</code> command line option. You can also
see what modules are loaded dynamically using the <code>-M</code>
command line option.</p>
</div><div class="top"><a href="#page-header"><img alt="top" src="./images/up.gif" /></a></div>
<div class="section">
<h2><a name="scope" id="scope">Scope of Directives</a></h2>
<table class="related"><tr><th>Related Modules</th><th>Related Directives</th></tr><tr><td /><td><ul><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#directory">&lt;Directory&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#directorymatch">&lt;DirectoryMatch&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#files">&lt;Files&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#filesmatch">&lt;FilesMatch&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#location">&lt;Location&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#locationmatch">&lt;LocationMatch&gt;</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#virtualhost">&lt;VirtualHost&gt;</a></code></li></ul></td></tr></table>
<p>Directives placed in the main configuration files apply to
the entire server. If you wish to change the configuration for
only a part of the server, you can scope your directives by
placing them in <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#directory">&lt;Directory&gt;</a></code>, <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#directorymatch">&lt;DirectoryMatch&gt;</a></code>, <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#files">&lt;Files&gt;</a></code>, <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#filesmatch">&lt;FilesMatch&gt;</a></code>, <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#location">&lt;Location&gt;</a></code>, and <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#locationmatch">&lt;LocationMatch&gt;</a></code>
sections. These sections limit the application of the
directives which they enclose to particular filesystem
locations or URLs. They can also be nested, allowing for very
fine grained configuration.</p>
<p>httpd has the capability to serve many different websites
simultaneously. This is called <a href="vhosts/">Virtual
Hosting</a>. Directives can also be scoped by placing them
inside <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#virtualhost">&lt;VirtualHost&gt;</a></code>
sections, so that they will only apply to requests for a
particular website.</p>
<p>Although most directives can be placed in any of these
sections, some directives do not make sense in some contexts.
For example, directives controlling process creation can only
be placed in the main server context. To find which directives
can be placed in which sections, check the <a href="mod/directive-dict.html#Context">Context</a> of the
directive. For further information, we provide details on <a href="sections.html">How Directory, Location and Files sections
</div><div class="top"><a href="#page-header"><img alt="top" src="./images/up.gif" /></a></div>
<div class="section">
<h2><a name="htaccess" id="htaccess">.htaccess Files</a></h2>
<table class="related"><tr><th>Related Modules</th><th>Related Directives</th></tr><tr><td /><td><ul><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#accessfilename">AccessFileName</a></code></li><li><code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#allowoverride">AllowOverride</a></code></li></ul></td></tr></table>
<p>httpd allows for decentralized management of configuration
via special files placed inside the web tree. The special files
are usually called <code>.htaccess</code>, but any name can be
specified in the <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#accessfilename">AccessFileName</a></code>
directive. Directives placed in <code>.htaccess</code> files
apply to the directory where you place the file, and all
sub-directories. The <code>.htaccess</code> files follow the
same syntax as the main configuration files. Since
<code>.htaccess</code> files are read on every request, changes
made in these files take immediate effect.</p>
<p>To find which directives can be placed in
<code>.htaccess</code> files, check the <a href="mod/directive-dict.html#Context">Context</a> of the
directive. The server administrator further controls what
directives may be placed in <code>.htaccess</code> files by
configuring the <code class="directive"><a href="./mod/core.html#allowoverride">AllowOverride</a></code>
directive in the main configuration files.</p>
<p>For more information on <code>.htaccess</code> files, see
the <a href="howto/htaccess.html">.htaccess tutorial</a>.</p>
<div class="bottomlang">
<p><span>Available Languages: </span><a href="./de/configuring.html" hreflang="de" rel="alternate" title="Deutsch">&nbsp;de&nbsp;</a> |
<a href="./en/configuring.html" title="English">&nbsp;en&nbsp;</a> |
<a href="./fr/configuring.html" hreflang="fr" rel="alternate" title="Français">&nbsp;fr&nbsp;</a> |
<a href="./ja/configuring.html" hreflang="ja" rel="alternate" title="Japanese">&nbsp;ja&nbsp;</a> |
<a href="./ko/configuring.html" hreflang="ko" rel="alternate" title="Korean">&nbsp;ko&nbsp;</a> |
<a href="./tr/configuring.html" hreflang="tr" rel="alternate" title="Türkçe">&nbsp;tr&nbsp;</a></p>
</div><div class="top"><a href="#page-header"><img src="./images/up.gif" alt="top" /></a></div><div class="section"><h2><a id="comments_section" name="comments_section">Comments</a></h2><div class="warning"><strong>Notice:</strong><br />This is not a Q&amp;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 <a href="">mailing lists</a>.</div>
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