On Apache 2.4, reload succeeds but restart fails when using SSL. Or to say it another way, the SSL configuration directives appear to work perfectly when doing a service reload but not a service restart.
The following sequence of commands:
service apache2 start a2ensite secure.example.com service apache2 reload
Allows me to browse https://secure.example.com without any errors, but a subsequent
service apache2 restart with no interim changes to any configuration files causes apache2 to fail to start, with the message:
The apache2 instance did not start within 20 seconds. Please read the log files to discover problems
I can then use:
a2dissite secure.example.com service apache2 start a2ensite secure.example.com service apache2 reload
And again access https://secure.example.com. The situation seems to be related to the use of SSL, as I can comment out the SSL configuration bits from secure.example.com and do an Apache restart without any issues.
Ubuntu 13.10, Linux 3.0.20-xenU, Apache/2.4.6 (Ubuntu), OpenSSL/1.0.1e