I just installed ubuntu desktop (because I figured server will be too much for me, and apparently I was right) and I'm trying to configure my apache web server but unfortunately it has nothing to do with the way I'm used to configuring it on windows.

I installed the package lamp-server^ which supposedly packs php and mysql as well but I haven't even got to those yet.

After I installed the package and went to http://localhost I saw the default welcoming page, so far so good. However I want to move the root folder from /var/www/html to /home/user/www/html since I didn't really know how much space to give these partitions and I gave home significantly more space. To do this I would have to edit httpd.conf but there is no such file on the system. After a brief research I found that I have to edit /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf which is a virtual server, I guess. So I edited it like so

ServerName localhost
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
DocumentRoot /home/user/www/html

Not only am I continuing to get this annoying message

AH00558: apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using Set the 'ServerName' directive globally to suppress this message

Additionally I'm getting 403 access denied when I try to access http://localhost

I have been looking for solutions on the web as well as on the lamp page but I just can't seem to get things right, it's very exhausting..


1 Answer 1


As the error message says, try setting ServerName localhost in the main server context, that is, outside of a VirtualHost container. To do that, put the directive in a file e.g. /etc/apache2/conf-available/servername.conf, then run a2enconf servername to enable it, and restart apache with service apache2 restart.

As for the 403 error, /home/user/www/html probably isn't readable by the www-data user. To test that, try setting chmod a+rx /home /home/user /home/user/www /home/user/www/html, and see if the 403 goes away. But note that these are broader permissions than you normally want to set. For a more permanent set of permissions for apache, see What permissions should my website files/folders have on a Linux webserver?

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