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DEPRECATED: Library cookbook with Apache httpd primitives
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HTTPD Cookbook

Build Status Cookbook Version

The HTTPD Cookbook is a Library Cookbook that provides resource primitives for use in recipes. It is designed to be an example to reference for creating highly re-usable cross platform cookbooks.


This cookbook has been deprecated in favor of the traditional apache2 cookbook


This cookbook is concerned with The Apache HTTP Server, particularly those shipped with F/OSS Unix and Linux distributions. It does not address other httpd server implementations like Lighttpd, Nginx, or IIS.


  • Chef 12.7 or higher
  • Network accessible package repositories

Platform Support

The following platforms have been tested with Test Kitchen:

|                | 2.2 | 2.4 |
| amazon linux   |     | X   |
| debian-8       |     | X   |
| debian-9       |     | X   |
| ubuntu-14.04   |     | X   |
| ubuntu-16.04   |     | X   |
| centos-6       | X   |     |
| centos-7       |     | X   |
| fedora         |     | X   |

Cookbook Dependencies

  • none


Place a dependency on the httpd cookbook in your cookbook's metadata.rb

depends 'httpd'

Then, in a recipe:

httpd_service 'default' do
  action [:create, :start]

httpd_config 'default' do
  source 'mysite.cnf.erb'
  notifies :restart, 'httpd_service[default]'
  action :create

Resources Overview


The httpd_service does minimal configuration to get the service up and running. Its parameters can select and tune the multi-processing module, along with a small selection of server-wide configuration options such as listen_ports and run_user.

The :create action handles package installation, support directories, socket files, and other operating system level concerns. The internal configuration file contains just enough to get the service up and running, then loads extra configuration from a conf.d directory. Further configurations are managed with the httpd_config resource.

The :start, :stop, :restart, and :reload actions use the appropriate provider for the platform to respectively start, stop, restart, and reload the service on the machine. You should omit the :start action in recipes designed to build containers.

httpd_service supports multiple Apache instances on a single machine, enabling advanced Apache configuration in scenarios where multiple servers need different loaded modules and global configurations.


httpd_service 'default' do
  action :create

httpd_service 'instance-1' do
  listen_ports ['81', '82']
  action :create

httpd_service 'an websites' do
  instance_name 'bob'
  servername ''
  version '2.4'
  mpm 'event'
  threadlimit '4096'
  listen_ports ['1234']
  action :create


Most of the parameters on the httpd_service resource map to their CamelCase equivalents found at

  • contact - The email address rendered into the main configuration file as the ServerAdmin directive.
  • hostname_lookups - Enables DNS lookups on client IP addresses. Can be 'on' 'off' or 'double'. Defaults to 'off'.
  • instance - A string name to identify the httpd_service instance. By convention, this will result in configuration, log, and support directories being created and used in the form '/etc/instance-name', '/var/log/instance-name', etc. If set to 'default', the platform native defaults are used.
  • keepalive - Enables HTTP persistent connections. Values can be true or false.
  • keepalivetimeout - Amount of time the server will wait for subsequent requests on a persistent connection.
  • listen_addresses - IP addresses that the server listens to. Defaults to [''].
  • listen_ports - Ports that the server listens to. Defaults to ['80'].
  • log_level - Controls the verbosity of the ErrorLog. Defaults to 'warn'.
  • maxclients - Maximum number of connections that will be processed simultaneously. Valid only with prefork and worker MPMs.
  • maxconnectionsperchild - Limit on the number of connections that an individual child server will handle during its life. Valid with Apache 2.4 prefork, worker and event MPMs.
  • maxkeepaliverequests - Number of requests allowed on a persistent connection. Defaults to 100.
  • maxrequestsperchild - The Apache 2.2 version of maxconnectionsperchild. Still supported as of 2.4
  • maxrequestworkers - Maximum number of connections that will be processed simultaneously. Valid on prefork, worker, and event MPMs.
  • maxspareservers - Maximum number of idle child server processes. Valid only for prefork MPM.
  • maxsparethreads - Maximum number of idle threads. Valid only for worker and event MPMs.
  • minspareservers - Minimum number of idle child server processes. Valid only for preform MPM.
  • minsparethreads - Minimum number of idle threads available to handle request spikes. Valid only for worker and event MPMs.
  • modules - A list of initial Apache modules to be loaded inside the httpd_service instance. Defaults to Debian standard on 2.2 and 2.4.
  • mpm - The Multi-Processing Module to use for the httpd_service instance. Values can be 'prefork', 'worker', and 'event'. Defaults to 'worker' for Apache 2.2 and 'event' for Apache 2.4.
  • package_name - Name of the server package to install on the machine using the system package manager. Defaults to 'apache2' on Debian and 'httpd' on RHEL.
  • run_group - System group to start the httpd_service as. Defaults to 'www-data' on Debian and 'apache' on RHEL.
  • run_user - System user to start the httpd_service as. Defaults to 'www-data' on Debian and 'apache' on RHEL.
  • servername - Hostname and port that the server uses to identify itself. Syntax: [scheme://]fully-qualified-domain-name[:port]. Defaults to node['hostname'].
  • startservers - Number of child server processes created at startup. Valid for prefork, worker, and event MPMs. Default value differs from MPM to MPM.
  • threadlimit - Sets the upper limit on the configurable number of threads per child process. Valid on worker and event MPMs.
  • threadsperchild - Number of threads created by each child process. Valid on worker and event MPMs.
  • timeout - Amount of time the server will wait for certain events before failing a request. Defaults to '400'
  • version - Apache software version to use. Available options are '2.2', and '2.4', depending on platform. Defaults to latest available.


The httpd_module resource is responsible ensuring that an Apache module is installed on the system, as well as ensuring a load configuration snippet is dropped off at the appropriate location.


httpd_module 'ssl' do
  action :create

httpd_module 'el dap' do
  module_name 'ldap'
  action :create

httpd_module 'auth_pgsql' do
  instance 'instance-2'
  action :create


  • filename - The filename of the shared object to be rendered into the load config snippet. This can usually be omitted, and defaults to a generated value looked up in an internal map.
  • httpd_version - The version of the httpd_service this module is meant to be installed for. Useful on platforms that support multiple Apache versions. Defaults to the platform default.
  • instance - The httpd_service name to drop the load snippet off for. Defaults to 'default'.
  • module_name - The module name to install. Defaults to the httpd_module name.
  • package_name - The package name the module is found in. By default, this is looked up in an internal map.


The httpd_config resource is responsible for creating and deleting site specific configuration files on the system. There are slight differences in the resource implementation on platforms. The httpd_config resource is a thin wrapper around the core Chef template resource. Instead of a path parameter, httpd_config uses the instance parameter to calculate where the config is dropped off.

Check the Apache HTTP Server Project documentation for configuration specifics based on Apache version.


httpd_config 'mysite' do
  source 'mysite.erb'
  action :create

httpd_config 'computers dot biz ssl_config' do
  config_name 'ssl-config'
  instance 'computers_dot_biz'
  source 'ssl_config.erb'
  action :create


  • config_name - The name of the config on disk
  • cookbook - The cookbook that the source template is found in. Defaults to the current cookbook.
  • httpd_version - Used to calculate the configuration's disk path. Defaults to the platform's native Apache version.
  • instance - The httpd_service instance the config is meant for. Defaults to 'default'
  • source - The ERB format template source used to render the file.
  • variables - A hash of variables passed to the underlying template resource


This cookbook is maintained by Chef's Community Cookbook Engineering team. Our goal is to improve cookbook quality and to aid the community in contributing to cookbooks. To learn more about our team, process, and design goals see our team documentation. To learn more about contributing to cookbooks like this see our contributing documentation, or if you have general questions about this cookbook come chat with us in #cookbok-engineering on the Chef Community Slack


Copyright: 2008-2017, Chef Software, Inc.

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