Apache

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Apache.

This article refers to the 'Apache HTTP server'

The Apache HTTP server is the software that (along with the PHP scripting language) 'runs' Moodle. Note that there are alternatives (e.g. IIS on Windows) but the Apache HTTP Server is very popular on all platforms.

Installing Apache

Installers are available for most platforms from http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi. The official installation instructions are here: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/install.html. If you are running Linux then you are recommended to use the packaged version if you can. For example in Debian/Ubuntu it is simply:

sudo apt-get install apache2

See the documentation for your particular platform for the instructions. Apache is straightforward to build from source if you have to and the PHP documentation contains an article on building both Apache and PHP together - although you should rarely need to do that.

Performance

See Performance recommendations

Slasharguments

The function slash arguments is required for various features in Moodle to work correctly, as described in Using slash arguments.

To turn it on, add this line to your httpd.conf, or to a .htaccess file in your local directory:

AcceptPathInfo On

Note: When using ".htaccess" in your local Moodle install folder, you should include/enable "AllowOverride Directive" in "httpd.conf", first. Also! please note that using .htaccess file will cause performance hit on your server!

SSL

Moodle has an option to enable HTTPS for the whole site or for just the login pages; either option requires that your web server is configured for SSL.

  • Whole site HTTPS is enabled by changing http://<url> to https:// <url> in your config.php 'wwwroot' parameter.
  • Login only HTTPS is enabled by setting the 'loginhttps' parameter, where the wwwroot schema should remain as http://

Login only https is available in the admin interface via Administration>Security>HTTP Security and checking the button. (Note the warning and see ssl section below)

Prior to Moodle 2.3 It was not advised to run the whole site over HTTPS due to legacy restrictions with client-side caching. This is no longer the case assuming client browsers support the 'Cache-Control: public' method, which all supported browsers for this version of Moodle do.

To use HTTPS you will need to obtain an SSL certificate, you have two options:

  • Generate a self-signed certificate. This is fine on (say) an Intranet but unsuitable for the public internet, but users will we warned the certificated is untrusted when used publicly.
  • Purchase a certificate from a vendor. There is a surprising range of prices and value-added services available. Some hosting companies even provide free certificates.

Debian provides instructions for installing a self-signed certificate on their wiki and includes general information on configuring Apache for SSL. If you purchase a vendor certificate you will normally receive instructions for installing it.

A basic Apache SSL configuration can be summarised as:

Listen 443
NameVirtualHost *:443
<VirtualHost *:443>
    SSLEngine On
    SSLCertificateFile /path/to/your/certificate.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/your/certificate.key
    ...
</VirtualHost>

See also