I'm trying to learn how to configure an Apache HTTP server (with which I have no experience) someone else has setup in a VM running Ubuntu 8.04.

I know the server is running, since I get "<html><body><h1>It works!</h1></body></html>" when I go to (where is the VM's IP number).

I found apache2.conf and httpd.conf (among other files) in /etc/apache2/. httpd.conf is empty.

I tried adding DocumentRoot "/home/username/temp" into /etc/apache2/httpd.conf and put some simple HTML in /home/username/temp/index.html. But when I reload there's no change.

Do I need to restart httpd to get it to accept the change to DocumentRoot?

Update: I changed "DocumentRoot /var/www/" in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default to "DocumentRoot /home/username/temp", but the next HTML wasn't served until I ran sudo service apache2 restart. Can I tell Apache to reload the config (instead of restarting)?

Update #2: Got this from Karol Piczak's comment on his answer: sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

2 Answers 2


You should have a file: /etc/apache2/sites-available/default this is where you would modify the default website's document root.

You can also add more sites by putting config snippets in that folder and symlinking them to ../sites-enabled or using a2ensite to enable them.

  • 1
    after modify /etc/apache2/sites-available/default with Document root map to /home/davuz/Code/www. I miss this error :"Forbidden You don't have permission to access /index.php on this server." I have tried chmod 775 www or 777 but it still error 403.
    – Davuz
    Nov 22, 2012 at 11:08
  • The file is now called 000-default.conf
    – www139
    Jul 24, 2016 at 19:57

Do I need to restart httpd to get it to accept the change to DocumentRoot?

Yes, or more precisely said - at least reload the config.

And I see Zypher was first here while I was writing - you should see some individual config in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/

  • 1
    How do I reload the config? Apr 26, 2010 at 21:47
  • 1
    Try /etc/init.d/apache2 reload Apr 26, 2010 at 21:55

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