Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
My collected thoughts flamed by hubris
Home PageSend Comment

Apache on Mac OS X

The following is a couple of notes about using the standard Apache distribution on Mac OS X (as of version 10.5.6).

Useful Links

  • Document Root: /Library/WebServer/Documents
  • CGI Scripts: /Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables
  • User Documents: ~/Sites
  • Configuration File: /private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf
  • Service Control: /usr/sbin/apachectl
  • Binary: /usr/sbin/httpd
  • Error Log: /private/var/log/apache2/error_log
  • Access Log: /private/var/log/apache2/access_log


If you make changes to the configuration file (noted above), you will need to restart your web server. While you could turn off "Web Sharing" in your System Preferences, a better option is to restart the web server by typing the following command in the Terminal application:

sudo apachectl restart

Typical Changes

Most things like server-side includes and CGI scripts are turned on, but I often like to know details about my server, so I often shove the following in the configuration file:

# ExtendedStatus controls whether Apache will generate "full" status
# information (ExtendedStatus On) or just basic information (ExtendedStatus
# Off) when the "server-status" handler is called. The default is Off.
ExtendedStatus On

# Allow server status reports, with the URL of http://servername/server-status
# Change the "" to match your domain to enable.
<Location /server-status>
    SetHandler server-status
    Order deny,allow
    Deny from all
    Allow from .local, localhost,

# Allow remote server configuration reports, with the URL of
# http://servername/server-info (requires that mod_info.c be loaded).
# Change the "" to match your domain to enable.
<Location /server-info>
    SetHandler server-info
    Order deny,allow
    Deny from all
    Allow from .local
    Allow from localhost
    Allow from

If you attempt to go to your personal directory, e.g. http://localhost/~myname and it returns with a permission denied error, you can fix this by adding the following entries to your configuration file:

# UserDir: The name of the directory which is appended onto a user's home
# directory if a ~user request is received.
<IfModule mod_userdir.c>
    UserDir Sites

# Control access to UserDir directories.  The following is an example
# for a site where these directories are restricted to read-only.
<Directory /Users/*/Sites>
    AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
    Options MultiViews Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch IncludesNoExec
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
        Order deny,allow
        Deny from all

Getting Version Information

sudo apachectl -V

Will give you all sort of goodies for seeing what options and default values were specified when Apache was compiled.

Connecting Apache to Tomcat

If you install an app server like Tomcat, Jetty or jBoss, you may want to have Apache be the front-man for it. The simplest way is to use the built-in mod_proxy. For each "web application" you want to expose, add the following lines to the Apache configuration file:

ProxyPass /myapp http://localhost:8080/myapp
ProxyPassReverse /myapp http://localhost:8080/myapp
<Location /myapp>
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from all
Tell others about this article:
Click here to submit this page to Stumble It