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I need to understand how .htaccess works. Can you give me some pointer, tutorials about how .htaccess works?

Also, the scripting language from htaccess file is 'interesting'. What is it about?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

How .htaccess works is really quite simple. When you allow overrides to your configuration in the Apache config files, Apache will recursively look for .htaccess files in the document tree that leads to the requested file. If one is found, it's read and the Apache config statements in there will be treated as if they were located in the main config file. This allows users to add things like authentication and rewrite rules even if they are not allowed to modify Apache's config, and also without a restart. For more information, refer to the Apache doc, as Cian already suggested.

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Don't you have to AllowOverride in your (virtual)host's definition in config files to allow .htaccess files to take effect? –  Dan McClain Apr 22 '11 at 12:12
    
Yes, I even said so ('When you allow overrides'). –  SvW Apr 22 '11 at 13:03
    
Ah, sorry, I missed that. –  Dan McClain Apr 22 '11 at 13:17
    
Good answer, but one additional point. For the most part you can only use options that are valid in a <directory> context. You cannot change ports, setup ssl, or many other server-level things. –  Zoredache Apr 22 '11 at 17:50

It's not a scripting language. It's the config language for apache. The apache docs are probably also your best place to learn about this.

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