Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently inherited an application which uses Apache on a Debian 5 installation. I am a begginer in Apache and would have a wory since I understand that the Debian setup of Apache is not quite the classical one.

I found this page which describes some differences but wondered if there are some other "gotcha"s that I should be aware of. Is that page exhaustive in explaining the differences or are there others?

Thank you!

share|improve this question

Since you asked about some other "gotchas" that you should be aware of, here goes:

  1. The "UseCanonicalName" directive is not set by default for Debian/Apache2
  2. No default "DirectoryIndex" directive either
  3. Missing MIME types as well, since "TypesConfig" isn't set
  4. No Default charset, because an "AddDefaultCharset" directive doesn't exist
  5. The "ServerSignature" directive in /etc/apache2/conf.d/security is set to "On" by default, which can leak a lot of information about your Apache setup. If the server has a public-facing IP I'd suggest setting it to Off.
  6. Again in /etc/apache2/conf.d/security, TraceEnable is set to "On" by default. Turn if "Off" if the server has a public-facing IP.

You normally wouldn't need to change this, but it's worth noting that the User/Group that Apache runs under in Debian is defined in the file /etc/apache2/envvars (This isn't mentioned in the article you linked to)

share|improve this answer

You could download and build apache from source on Debian- and hence get the "standard" installation. Apart from files/folders/modules being in slightly different places- everything else is the same.

share|improve this answer

The article you linked describes the basics you need. It works.

Debian's apache config only loads needed modules, which saves on the memory footprint of apache processes compared with something like Redhat's apache setup.

The only other thing I could add is that if you run php with apache, Debian uses the hardened php extension suhosin by default. grep the /var/log/messages file for "suhosin" periodically to see if your php applications exceed some of the default limits imposed by this extension. Other errors from suhosin you find are actual blocks it makes against hackers and script kiddies trying to break in (a Good Thing).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.