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Ansible Role: Apache 2.x


An Ansible Role that installs Apache 2.x on RHEL/CentOS, Debian/Ubuntu, SLES and Solaris.


If you are using SSL/TLS, you will need to provide your own certificate and key files. You can generate a self-signed certificate with a command like openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout example.key -out example.crt.

If you are using Apache with PHP, I recommend using the geerlingguy.php role to install PHP, and you can either use mod_php (by adding the proper package, e.g. libapache2-mod-php5 for Ubuntu, to php_packages), or by also using geerlingguy.apache-php-fpm to connect Apache to PHP via FPM. See that role's README for more info.

Role Variables

Available variables are listed below, along with default values (see defaults/main.yml):

apache_enablerepo: ""

The repository to use when installing Apache (only used on RHEL/CentOS systems). If you'd like later versions of Apache than are available in the OS's core repositories, use a repository like EPEL (which can be installed with the geerlingguy.repo-epel role).

apache_listen_ip: "*"
apache_listen_port: 80
apache_listen_port_ssl: 443

The IP address and ports on which apache should be listening. Useful if you have another service (like a reverse proxy) listening on port 80 or 443 and need to change the defaults.

apache_create_vhosts: true
apache_vhosts_filename: "vhosts.conf"
apache_vhosts_template: "vhosts.conf.j2"

If set to true, a vhosts file, managed by this role's variables (see below), will be created and placed in the Apache configuration folder. If set to false, you can place your own vhosts file into Apache's configuration folder and skip the convenient (but more basic) one added by this role. You can also override the template used and set a path to your own template, if you need to further customize the layout of your VirtualHosts.

apache_remove_default_vhost: false

On Debian/Ubuntu, a default virtualhost is included in Apache's configuration. Set this to true to remove that default virtualhost configuration file.

apache_global_vhost_settings: |
  DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
  # Add other global settings on subsequent lines.

You can add or override global Apache configuration settings in the role-provided vhosts file (assuming apache_create_vhosts is true) using this variable. By default it only sets the DirectoryIndex configuration.

  # Additional optional properties: 'serveradmin, serveralias, extra_parameters'.
  - servername: ""
    documentroot: "/var/www/html"

Add a set of properties per virtualhost, including servername (required), documentroot (required), allow_override (optional: defaults to the value of apache_allow_override), options (optional: defaults to the value of apache_options), serveradmin (optional), serveralias (optional) and extra_parameters (optional: you can add whatever additional configuration lines you'd like in here).

Here's an example using extra_parameters to add a RewriteRule to redirect all requests to the www. site:

  - servername: ""
    serveralias: ""
    documentroot: "/var/www/html"
    extra_parameters: |
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
      RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

The | denotes a multiline scalar block in YAML, so newlines are preserved in the resulting configuration file output.

apache_vhosts_ssl: []

No SSL vhosts are configured by default, but you can add them using the same pattern as apache_vhosts, with a few additional directives, like the following example:

  - servername: ""
    documentroot: "/var/www/html"
    certificate_file: "/home/vagrant/example.crt"
    certificate_key_file: "/home/vagrant/example.key"
    certificate_chain_file: "/path/to/certificate_chain.crt"
    extra_parameters: |
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
      RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Other SSL directives can be managed with other SSL-related role variables.

apache_ssl_protocol: "All -SSLv2 -SSLv3"
apache_ssl_cipher_suite: "AES256+EECDH:AES256+EDH"

The SSL protocols and cipher suites that are used/allowed when clients make secure connections to your server. These are secure/sane defaults, but for maximum security, performand, and/or compatibility, you may need to adjust these settings.

apache_allow_override: "All"
apache_options: "-Indexes +FollowSymLinks"

The default values for the AllowOverride and Options directives for the documentroot directory of each vhost. A vhost can overwrite these values by specifying allow_override or options.

  - rewrite
  - ssl
apache_mods_disabled: []

Which Apache mods to enable or disable (these will be symlinked into the appropriate location). See the mods-available directory inside the apache configuration directory (/etc/apache2/mods-available on Debian/Ubuntu) for all the available mods.

  - [platform-specific]

The list of packages to be installed. This defaults to a set of platform-specific packages for RedHat or Debian-based systems (see vars/RedHat.yml and vars/Debian.yml for the default values).

apache_state: started

Set initial Apache daemon state to be enforced when this role is run. This should generally remain started, but you can set it to stopped if you need to fix the Apache config during a playbook run or otherwise would not like Apache started at the time this role is run.

apache_enabled: yes

Set the Apache service boot time status. This should generally remain yes, but you can set it to no if you need to run Ansible while leaving the service disabled.

apache_packages_state: present

If you have enabled any additional repositories such as ondrej/apache2, geerlingguy.repo-epel, or geerlingguy.repo-remi, you may want an easy way to upgrade versions. You can set this to latest (combined with apache_enablerepo on RHEL) and can directly upgrade to a different Apache version from a different repo (instead of uninstalling and reinstalling Apache).

apache_ignore_missing_ssl_certificate: true

If you would like to only create SSL vhosts when the vhost certificate is present (e.g. when using Let’s Encrypt), set apache_ignore_missing_ssl_certificate to false. When doing this, you might need to run your playbook more than once so all the vhosts are configured (if another part of the playbook generates the SSL certificates).

.htaccess-based Basic Authorization

If you require Basic Auth support, you can add it either through a custom template, or by adding extra_parameters to a VirtualHost configuration, like so:

extra_parameters: |
  <Directory "/var/www/password-protected-directory">
    Require valid-user
    AuthType Basic
    AuthName "Please authenticate"
    AuthUserFile /var/www/password-protected-directory/.htpasswd

To password protect everything within a VirtualHost directive, use the Location block instead of Directory:

<Location "/">
  Require valid-user

You would need to generate/upload your own .htpasswd file in your own playbook. There may be other roles that support this functionality in a more integrated way.



Example Playbook

- hosts: webservers
    - vars/main.yml
    - { role: geerlingguy.apache }

Inside vars/main.yml:

apache_listen_port: 8080
  - {servername: "", documentroot: "/var/www/vhosts/example_com"}



Author Information

This role was created in 2014 by Jeff Geerling, author of Ansible for DevOps.