Mini Plesk – VirtualHosts in Apache

There is Apache Documentation for setting up Virtual Hosts, good luck if you can implement something sensible direct from that, but otherwise read on.

After umming and ahhing I finally decided to get some proper virtual hosts set up on a webserver of mine. This was brought on by creating a virtual host for a separate domain that completely overtook the default domain even though I didn’t think it should.

I also noticed that there is a sites-available and a sites-enabled directory in the /etc/apache2 directory. So a quick Google search brought up Hosting multiple websites with Apache2.

I followed this guide except for:

  1. using an extra vhosts directoryi.e. /var/www/vhosts (to agree with plesk)
  2. calling the htdocs directory httpdocs e.g. /var/www/vhosts/mydomain.com/httpdocs (again to agree with plesk)
  3. logs directory should be put in /var/www/vhosts/mydomain.com/statistics/logs rather than /var/www/vhosts/mydomain.com/logs
  4. To fix a bug I hit (see Trouble Shooting below), I used *:80 in the VirtualHost tag

Here is my domain.com file:

#
# domain.com (/etc/apache2/sites-available/domain.com)
# @link http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/412
#
<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerAdmin webmaster@domain.com
  ServerName  domain.com

  # Indexes + Directory Root.
  DirectoryIndex index.php
  DocumentRoot /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/httpdocs/
  Options FollowSymLinks

  # CGI Directory
  ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/cgi-bin/
  <Location /cgi-bin>
    Options +ExecCGI
  </Location>


  # Logfiles
  ErrorLog  /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/statistics/logs/error_log
  CustomLog /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/statistics/logs/access_log combined
</VirtualHost>

Trouble shooting

I kept getting the following error after following the guide:

NameVirtualHost *:80 has no VirtualHosts

Took me a while to figure out the problem, but I eventually tracked it down to the fact that there is already a NameVirtualHost defined in /etc/apache2/ports.conf and I had disabled the default site which was the only virtual host defined on *:80. The article wants you to create another file with this directive for * and then only include * for all virtual host definitions.

The Apache documentation is quite scathing about using just *:

To receive requests on all interfaces, you can use an argument of *:80, or, if you are listening on multiple ports and really want the server to respond on all of them with a particular set of virtual hosts, *

So I then did the following:

  1. Commented out all code in the conf.d/vhosts.conf file as its not required
  2. Put *:80 (not *) in all the VirtualHost definitions for the sites in sites-available

SSL

The above article doesn’t explain about setting up SSL/HTTPS domains. I think from Plesk 10 onwards both http and https used the httpdocs directory by default, so we just need to copy the existing domain.com file and copy it to doman.com-ssl and then merge in some details from the default-ssl file.

I followed this How To Set Up An SSL Vhost Under Apache2 On Ubuntu article and I ended up with the following domain.com-ssl config file:

#
# https://domain.com (/etc/apache2/sites-available/domain.com-ssl)
# @link http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/412
#
<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
  ServerAdmin webmaster@domain.com
  ServerName  domain.com:443

  # Indexes + Directory Root.
  DirectoryIndex index.php
  DocumentRoot /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/httpdocs/
  Options FollowSymLinks

  # CGI Directory
  ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/cgi-bin/
  <Location /cgi-bin>
    Options +ExecCGI
  </Location>


  # Logfiles
  ErrorLog  /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/logs/ssl_error_log
  CustomLog /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/logs/ssl_access_log combined

  #   SSL Engine Switch:
  #   Enable/Disable SSL for this virtual host.
  SSLEngine on

  #   A self-signed (snakeoil) certificate can be created by installing
  #   the ssl-cert package. See
  #   /usr/share/doc/apache2.2-common/README.Debian.gz for more info.
  #   If both key and certificate are stored in the same file, only the
  #   SSLCertificateFile directive is needed.
  SSLCertificateFile    /etc/ssl/certs/domain.com.pem
  SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/domain.com.key

  #   Server Certificate Chain:
  #   Point SSLCertificateChainFile at a file containing the
  #   concatenation of PEM encoded CA certificates which form the
  #   certificate chain for the server certificate. Alternatively
  #   the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile
  #   when the CA certificates are directly appended to the server
  #   certificate for convinience.
  #SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/server-ca.crt

  #   Certificate Authority (CA):
  #   Set the CA certificate verification path where to find CA
  #   certificates for client authentication or alternatively one
  #   huge file containing all of them (file must be PEM encoded)
  #   Note: Inside SSLCACertificatePath you need hash symlinks
  #         to point to the certificate files. Use the provided
  #         Makefile to update the hash symlinks after changes.
  #SSLCACertificatePath /etc/ssl/certs/
  #SSLCACertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/ca-bundle.crt

  #   Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL):
  #   Set the CA revocation path where to find CA CRLs for client
  #   authentication or alternatively one huge file containing all
  #   of them (file must be PEM encoded)
  #   Note: Inside SSLCARevocationPath you need hash symlinks
  #         to point to the certificate files. Use the provided
  #         Makefile to update the hash symlinks after changes.
  #SSLCARevocationPath /etc/apache2/ssl.crl/
  #SSLCARevocationFile /etc/apache2/ssl.crl/ca-bundle.crl

  #   Client Authentication (Type):
  #   Client certificate verification type and depth.  Types are
  #   none, optional, require and optional_no_ca.  Depth is a
  #   number which specifies how deeply to verify the certificate
  #   issuer chain before deciding the certificate is not valid.
  #SSLVerifyClient require
  #SSLVerifyDepth  10

  #   Access Control:
  #   With SSLRequire you can do per-directory access control based
  #   on arbitrary complex boolean expressions containing server
  #   variable checks and other lookup directives.  The syntax is a
  #   mixture between C and Perl.  See the mod_ssl documentation
  #   for more details.
  #<Location />
  #SSLRequire (    %{SSL_CIPHER} !~ m/^(EXP|NULL)/ \
  #            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Snake Oil, Ltd." \
  #            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU} in {"Staff", "CA", "Dev"} \
  #            and %{TIME_WDAY} >= 1 and %{TIME_WDAY} <= 5 \
  #            and %{TIME_HOUR} >= 8 and %{TIME_HOUR} <= 20       ) \
  #           or %{REMOTE_ADDR} =~ m/^192\.76\.162\.[0-9]+$/
  #</Location>

  #   SSL Engine Options:
  #   Set various options for the SSL engine.
  #   o FakeBasicAuth:
  #     Translate the client X.509 into a Basic Authorisation.  This means that
  #     the standard Auth/DBMAuth methods can be used for access control.  The
  #     user name is the `one line' version of the client's X.509 certificate.
  #     Note that no password is obtained from the user. Every entry in the user
  #     file needs this password: `xxj31ZMTZzkVA'.
  #   o ExportCertData:
  #     This exports two additional environment variables: SSL_CLIENT_CERT and
  #     SSL_SERVER_CERT. These contain the PEM-encoded certificates of the
  #     server (always existing) and the client (only existing when client
  #     authentication is used). This can be used to import the certificates
  #     into CGI scripts.
  #   o StdEnvVars:
  #     This exports the standard SSL/TLS related `SSL_*' environment variables.
  #     Per default this exportation is switched off for performance reasons,
  #     because the extraction step is an expensive operation and is usually
  #     useless for serving static content. So one usually enables the
  #     exportation for CGI and SSI requests only.
  #   o StrictRequire:
  #     This denies access when "SSLRequireSSL" or "SSLRequire" applied even
  #     under a "Satisfy any" situation, i.e. when it applies access is denied
  #     and no other module can change it.
  #   o OptRenegotiate:
  #     This enables optimized SSL connection renegotiation handling when SSL
  #     directives are used in per-directory context.
  #SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +StrictRequire
  <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
  </FilesMatch>
  <Directory /cgi-bin>
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
  </Directory>

  #   SSL Protocol Adjustments:
  #   The safe and default but still SSL/TLS standard compliant shutdown
  #   approach is that mod_ssl sends the close notify alert but doesn't wait for
  #   the close notify alert from client. When you need a different shutdown
  #   approach you can use one of the following variables:
  #   o ssl-unclean-shutdown:
  #     This forces an unclean shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. no
  #     SSL close notify alert is send or allowed to received.  This violates
  #     the SSL/TLS standard but is needed for some brain-dead browsers. Use
  #     this when you receive I/O errors because of the standard approach where
  #     mod_ssl sends the close notify alert.
  #   o ssl-accurate-shutdown:
  #     This forces an accurate shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. a
  #     SSL close notify alert is send and mod_ssl waits for the close notify
  #     alert of the client. This is 100% SSL/TLS standard compliant, but in
  #     practice often causes hanging connections with brain-dead browsers. Use
  #     this only for browsers where you know that their SSL implementation
  #     works correctly.
  #   Notice: Most problems of broken clients are also related to the HTTP
  #   keep-alive facility, so you usually additionally want to disable
  #   keep-alive for those clients, too. Use variable "nokeepalive" for this.
  #   Similarly, one has to force some clients to use HTTP/1.0 to workaround
  #   their broken HTTP/1.1 implementation. Use variables "downgrade-1.0" and
  #   "force-response-1.0" for this.
  BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
        nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
        downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
  # MSIE 7 and newer should be able to use keepalive
  BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown
</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

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