Apache

From MoodleDocs

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, Nginx on Linux, MacOS) 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 may need to include/enable "AllowOverride Directive" in "httpd.conf", first.

Note: Using .htaccess file will cause performance hit on your server!

If you are using Ionos (formerly 1&1) shared webhosting, the above does not work, there is a known bug when using PHP as CGI. The solution is to create a php.ini file in the moodle directory with this content:

cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0

Also Ionos requires that this php.ini be in every directory that a script executes. Use the procedure below to link a php.ini in every subdirectory back to your original php.ini file.

cd your_moodle_directory find -type d -exec ln -s $PWD/php.ini {}/php.ini \;

Source: [Ionos php.ini Help]

This may affect other shared hosting providers as well.

Handling 40x errors

This enables missing files to be themed by Moodle

ErrorDocument 404 /error/index.php
 
# This sends any 403 from apache through to the same page, but also
# overrides the http status with 404 instead for better security.
ErrorDocument 403 /error/index.php?code=404

Hiding internal paths

 
RewriteEngine On
 
# RewriteRule "(\/vendor\/)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/node_modules\/)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(^|/)\.(?!well-known\/)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(composer\.json)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\.lock)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/environment.xml)" - [F]
# Options -Indexes
# RewriteRule "(\/install.xml)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/README)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/readme)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/moodle_readme)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/upgrade\.txt)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(phpunit\.xml\.dist)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/tests\/behat\/)" - [F]
# RewriteRule "(\/fixtures\/)" - [F]

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://

NOTE: Login only https was deprecated and removed from Moodle 3.4: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-42834

Login only https is available in Moodle 3.3 and earlier 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