If you work on multiple Apache-based Web projects in parallel you probably know this problem: You have to set up a virtual host configuration for every single project on your development machine. It would be very nice to reduce the steps required for this to a minimum. My favorite solution:
Have a directory in your home directory containing symbolic links to your projects – where the names of the links are your local host names.
The following instructions assume you’re on Debian/Ubuntu – but “translating” them to other distros or even Windows shouldn’t be that hard.
Install Required Packages
You need to have the following packages installed:
libapache2-mod-fcgid: My preferred FastCGI module
apache2-suexec-custom: Let’s your FastCGI script run under a custom user account. No more “chmod 777” or “chown www-data…” in your home directory!
apache2-mpm-worker: The threaded MPM of apache – mod_suexec depends on it.
Install those packages on Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install apache2-mpm-worker apache2-suexec-custom apache2-mod-fcgid
And enable the required modules:
sudo a2enmod actions sudo a2enmod fcgid sudo a2enmod suexec sudo a2enmod vhost_alias
Create the Apache Config
Now create the file
/etc/apache2/sites-available/my-vhosts and replace “steffen” with your account name:
<VirtualHost *:80> LogFormat "%V %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %s %b" vcommon CustomLog /var/log/apache2/my-vhosts_access.log vcommon SuexecUserGroup steffen steffen VirtualDocumentRoot /home/steffen/vhosts/%0/ VirtualScriptAlias /home/steffen/vhosts/cgi-bin/ AddHandler php-fcgi .php Action php-fcgi /cgi-bin/php5.fcgi <Directory /home/steffen> Order Deny,Allow Allow from all Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks ExecCGI AllowOverride All </Directory> </VirtualHost>
As you can see this file refers to the directory
/home/steffen/vhosts – let’s create it …
mkdir -p ~/vhosts/cgi-bin
… and our PHP FastCGI-Wrapper
#!/bin/sh exec /usr/bin/php5-cgi
On Debain/Ubunut you also need to configure suexec-common. Put the following lines to the file
/home/steffen /var/www public_html/cgi-bin
Enable your site and restart Apache – you may have to disable the default vhost on Debian/Apache:
sudo a2ensite my-vhosts sudo a2dissite default sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
Add a Virtual Host
Let’s assume you have a PHP project, e.g. WordPress, Drupal, etc., in the directory
~/myprojects/php/my-wordpress-blog. All you have to do in order to give it a local virtual hosts is the following:
ln -s ~/myprojects/php/my-wordpress-blog ~/vhosts/blog.local sudo nano -w /etc/hosts
… and append the following line to
That’s it – you’re ready to navigate to http://blog.local with your favorite browser 🙂