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APACHE IS BOTH powerful and highly configurable. As such, the range of configuration possibilities available can be daunting, and much of this book is dedicated to exploring them. Fortunately, installing, configuring, and testing a simple Apache setup is relatively straightforward.

In this chapter, Iíll outline the basic steps necessary to download, install, and configure a basic Apache server. Depending on your requirements, you may choose to install a precompiled Apache distribution, download the source code and build it yourself, or opt for a prebuilt package that both installs and sets up the initial configuration for you. Binary distributions are available for many platforms and are all installed in essentially the same way. Prebuilt packages vary from platform to platform, so youíll look at the two most common choicesóLinux RPM packages and Windows Installer files. Youíll also learn about upgrading the server and setting up Apache to run automatically, if it doesnít already, on both Windows and Unix.

After installing the server, youíll see the most essential of Apacheís configuration directives, the ones that Apache absolutely needs to set to start. Once this is done, you should have a running server. It might not do much at this point, but itís enough to prove that the installation worked and that Apache is ready for the next stage of configuration. After setting up the basic configuration, youíll examine the various ways in which Apache may be started, stopped, restarted, tested, and queried. Youíll then look at testing the server both with a browser and using the telnet command to see what the server is actually doing with the requests sent to it.

The chapter concludes with a quick overview of some of the most popular graphical configuration tools available for Apache. Perhaps surprisingly, Apache has no standard configuration tool, but you can choose from several independent GUIs.

NOTE This chapter contains a lot of information for the administrator who wants to learn the details of Apache installation, but for the most part, itís not necessary to get down to this level. In the simplest and most common case, a basic Apache installation can take a matter of seconds. 

This chapter is from Pro Apache by Peter Wainwright. (Apress, 2004, ISBN: 1590593006). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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