I am trying to figure out what determines the "default" website on a webserver.

I am running a Ubuntu 10.04 webserver that hosts 5 different websites.

In my apache2/sites-available folder there is an entry like this for each of the 5 sites:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName mysite.ca
ServerAlias www.mysite.ca
ServerAdmin daniel@mysite.ca
DocumentRoot /home/sites/Dropbox/mysite.ca/
  <Directory /home/sites/Dropbox/mysite.ca/>
        Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    AllowOverride All
    Order allow,deny
    allow from all

When I try to access this webserver via IP address from a computer that is behind the firewall and within Active Directory, the webpage for one of the sites loads, but I would prefer to load a different site. How can I control which site loads by default on my webserver?


It loads the first available VirtualHost which is simple the order they are placed in your configuration file. You can check the order by typing apache2ctl -S on the commandline of your server.

To change this, you can re-order the VirtualHost container, or simply create some sort of "default".


Usually on my installs I add a file named 00_Default_Site on the /etc/apache2/sites-available/ and add the Default Vhost config on it.

As soon as you don't add any other config file that could have precedence on a name sorting, it will always be the first config file to be included, and because that, the first to load and the one that will behave as default.

  • Thanks @Leon. I want to try your suggestion, but I'm still a little unclear where to begin. Could you help explain a bit more? I made the entry that you suggested, but it is not working. Do I need to restart anything after making the entry? – DanielAttard Jan 31 '12 at 16:31
  • ok, I just did $ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart to restart the server and now it is partially working. Now I am getting the right site to load, but it is not loading the CSS. Weird. – DanielAttard Jan 31 '12 at 16:34
  • Did you remembered to activate the site? Try a "sudo a2nsite 00_Default_Site" and it should be enabled. – Leon Waldman Feb 1 '12 at 8:34
  • Thanks again @Leon. I think there was a typo in your code. It should be a2ensite, you were missing the 'e'. That being said, when I ran the code it told me that the site is already enabled. The site loads for me, but doesn't load any CSS or JS. Wish I knew why. – DanielAttard Feb 1 '12 at 15:02

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