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I'm using the configuration below to use vhost_alias_module to more easily manage my hosted setup. I want sites to be structured like the following /sites/ which with the configuration below works fine. However, if I attempt to access instead of this falls apart. How do I fix this?

Update: I want request for to automatically be directed to It would be fine if this required a 403 redirect (I think that would be preferred from a SEO perspective) .

LoadModule vhost_alias_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/
<VirtualHost *:80>

        DocumentRoot /sites/
        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride None
        <Directory /sites/>;
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews ExecCGI
                AllowOverride All
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all
    UseCanonicalName Off
    VirtualDocumentRoot /sites/%2+/%1.1/%1.2/%1.3+

share|improve this question
How do you want it to behave? /sites/ /sites/ Or requests without a subdomain imply www? – Shane Madden Dec 15 '11 at 20:08
@ShaneMadden good point I did forget to write that. :-) Imply www if it's missing. – Scott Keck-Warren Dec 15 '11 at 20:15
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well, the requirement to imply www comes close to pushing you out of being able to use mod_vhost_alias, and into mod_rewrite territory.. but there's a couple options that I can think of:

  1. Just redirect to www.

    RewriteEngine on
    # Match anything with a two-part name
    # (will not work for 3-part base domains that would need to redirect to www, be careful)
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^([^\.]+\.[^\.]+)$
    # Redirect
    RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301]
  2. Let those requests work without a redirect, and use symlink trickery to stick them to the www location.

    With your VirtualDocumentRoot, requests to go to /sites/com/d/o/m - let's change that:

    VirtualDocumentRoot /sites/%-2+/%-3.1/%-3.2/%-3.3+

    This will make a request for go to /sites/ - make this location a symlink to /sites/

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer, 2 seems like a lot of work if I have more than a few domains but would be a quick fix. Where would I put the mod_rewrite section in #1? Would that go just before my VirtualDocumentRoot directive? – Scott Keck-Warren Dec 16 '11 at 19:12
@ScottWarren Anywhere in that <VirtualHost> block. And keep in mind that it's pretty rudimentary, it's just looking for two-part names and tacking a www on the front; if you have that needs to direct to, it won't work. – Shane Madden Dec 16 '11 at 19:19
That will work just fine for what I'm planning. – Scott Keck-Warren Dec 16 '11 at 20:55

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