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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

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The directives that trigger the restart failure are SSLCertificateChainFile , SSLCertificateFile, SSLCertificateKeyFile, SSLEngine. –  Daniel Kauffman Nov 17 '13 at 7:31
Is that the only SSL listener? Are there any errors in the Apache error log on the failed startups? –  Shane Madden Nov 17 '13 at 8:59
Results are identical whether testing with one or several SSL listeners. –  Daniel Kauffman Nov 17 '13 at 9:58
I am seeing log messages from Apache, but as best I can tell there are no helpful errors or warnings in /var/log/syslog, /var/log/apache2/errors.log, or /var/log/apache2/secure.example.com/errors.log. –  Daniel Kauffman Nov 17 '13 at 9:58

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