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How do I setup a domain to forward to another domain via DNS or apache?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The DNS does not know what a redirect is, all it knows is how to assign a domain to a given ip by either using a Canonical name or an IP.

So the first step is to create an A name for the domain you want to redirect in your DNS to the apache server IP:

Let's say your apache server ip is so in the DNS record of the domain you want to redirect you would need to have the follow entries:

domain.com.    IN    A
www            IN    CNAME    domain.com.

Restart/reload your dns server to make the changes apply.

If the domain you want to redirect is being hosted on the same server, it makes things a lot simple on the apache server, all you need to do is to add the domains on the ServerAlias example:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName mymaindomain.com
    ServerAlias myredirecteddomain.com myotherredirecteddomain.com
    DocumentRoot /www/domain/public_html 

If the destination domain is not being hosted on the same server then you can do the follow:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName myredirecteddomain.com
    ServerAlias www.myredirecteddomain.com myotherredirecteddomain.com www.myotherredirecteddomain.com
    Redirect permanent / http://www.redirecteverythinghere.com/

Another option is to use the .htaccess if that given domain is already being redirected to your main domain:

RewriteEngine on
rewritecond %{http_host} ^long-name.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.short-name.com/$1 [r=301,nc] 
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If the site will serve requests for the domain you want to forward, just create a DNS CNAME record from the forwarded domain to the target domain name.

If the site is a name based virtual host, you may need to also add the forwarded domain name to the VirtualHost section as a ServerAlias.

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How can I use a cname entry to forward the domain completely? I only want to forward short-domain.com to long-domain.com, ignoring any /index.html or anything past it. –  Webnet Aug 28 '10 at 2:40

If you want to forward the domain, set the DNS A record to forward to the server. You should have an MX record for the domain. It should point to a server which will handle your mail, especially for hostmaster@short-domain.com.

In apache follow the options Prix gave using short-domain, to do the redirect. The following rewrite ruleset will forward requests from short-domain to long-domain. long-domain.com does not need to be hosted on the same server as short-domain. Use the appropriate domains. If you omit the RewriteCond statement all matching requests will be redirected.

RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} short-domain.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*) http://long-domain.com$1 [L,R=301]

These rules would normally be placed in a VirtualHost definition.

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