8 Simple Steps to Setup a Web Server with Apache Virtual Hosts & MySQL in Centos

This tutorial will be guiding you in setting up a web server with pre-installed Centos. In summary, you will be installing Apache and MySQL, and learning how to configure virtual hosts in Apache.

Note: before proceeding with this tutorial. Make sure you figure out how to SSH into your server first.

Step 1: Update Centos

Step 2: Install development tools on Centos

Step 3: Install some useful tools

mlocate – This is used to assist you in looking for files in Centos. You will see it in action later.

nano – This a text editor in Centos that is much easier to use than vi or vim.

Step 4: Install Apache

Step 4.1: Install Apache

Step 4.2: Start Apache service

Step 4.3: Set Apache to run on server boot/restart

Step 5: Install MySQL

We are going to install MySQL 5.5 here.

Step 5.1: Add repos and install MySQL 5.5

Step 5.2: Start MySQL service

Step 5.3: Configure MySQL

After running the above command, you will get a bunch of prompts.

  1. Simply hit enter on initial root password prompt as we don’t have any yet from a fresh installation.
  2. Enter your new password for root user.
  3. Simply enter “y” = yes for the remaining options.

Step 6: Set Timezone for server

In the above command, I have set the timezone to Singapore, simply because I’m from Singapore. Feel free to change it to your own timezone.

Step 7: Install SSL support

This will enable SSL support on your web server if you wish to add your own SSL certificate here in future.

Step 8: Setup Virtual Host on Apache

Before proceeding, now we can use mlocate which we have installed previously.

Running the above command sort of index the files in your server for mlocate to work.

Use mlocate to look for Apache’s configuration file.

You should be getting something like this, “/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf”.

So now we can make use of nano that we have installed previously.

The above will allow start editing of Apache configuration file.

Step 8.1: Editing Apache Configuration

  1. Hit ctrl+w and type “/var/www” and enter
  2. Change DocumentRoot “/var/www/html” to DocumentRoot “/var/www”
  3. Hit ctrl+w again
  4. Change <Directory “/var/www/html”> to <Directory “/var/www”>
  5. Hit ctrl+w again and type “AllowOverride None” and enter
  6. Change AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All
  7. Hit ctrl+w again and type “NameVirtualHost *:80” and enter
  8. Change #NameVirtualHost *:80 to NameVirtualHost *:80
  9. Add one more line below it, NameVirtualHost *:443
  10. Then hit ctrl+v multiple times till you reach the end of the document

Do not close the file yet.

So what you have done above is doing some basic configuration to Apache for virtual host to work.

Now we need to setup virtual host in Apache configuration.

Below is a sample virtual host configuration.

Notice that “tutorial.mervintan.com” is the subdomain/domain you are trying to configure. So simple just change all occurrence of that to your own subdomain/domain.

To proceed, paste that at the end of Apache configuration file.

To finish editing Apache configuration file.

Hit ctrl+x and enter.

Last step, restart Apache.

Step 8.2: Setup directories and files for a Virtual Host

Remember that we set our Apache document root to “/var/www” above.

Navigate to that directory now.

Create virtual host directory for your subdomain/domain.

Get into the folder.

Create error and requests log files.

Create folder to host files for this virtual host.

Inside public_html folder, this is where you should place all your .html, .js and .css files for hosting.

Step 8.3: Setting permission for hosting directory

This will set Apache to be owner of those folders you have just created.

Step 8.4: Flush iptables

Flushing iptables will remove all firewall records on your server. Then you will be able to access your site.

Finishing Up

If you remember we setup the virtual host for “tutorial.mervintan.com”. Do remember to setup your DNS record that points “tutorial.mervintan.com” to your server ip address.

That’s it you are done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two × five =