Apache2 doesn't start after change and restore PhpMyAdmin conf file

March 5, 2019 527 views
Apache Ubuntu 18.04

Hello. :)
After I've changed the .conf file of PhpMyAdmin to grant access to my API IP, I've get soon after some troubles to reboot or just start Apache2 . Then, I've back-up the original conf file to fix the problem, but Apache2 still doesn't want to start. Even after several reboots of my droplet.

Looks like there is a problem with {APACHE_RUN_DIR} config. I've searched for hours how to fix this. Many help topics says what is the problem, but aren't able to give a simple and concrete solution. They explain how the door lock is designed, but they dont' give the key to open it.

I'm not very friendly with advanced server config, so do you have a simple and accessible method to fix this ? is there other problems to take care about ?

Thanks. :)

Error logs :

service apache2 status and systemctl :

? apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; enabled; vendor preset:
  Drop-In: /lib/systemd/system/apache2.service.d
           +-apache2-systemd.conf
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2019-03-04 19:49:09 UTC; 19min a
  Process: 2613 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/apachectl start (code=exited, status=1/FAILU

Mar 04 19:49:08 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Starting The Apache HTTP Serve
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[2613]: apache2: Syntax error on
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[2613]: Action 'start' failed.
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[2613]: The Apache error log may
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Control proce
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Failed with r
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Failed to start The Apache HTT
lines 1-14/14 (END)
? apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
  Drop-In: /lib/systemd/system/apache2.service.d
           +-apache2-systemd.conf
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2019-03-04 19:49:09 UTC; 19min ago
  Process: 2613 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/apachectl start (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Mar 04 19:49:08 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Starting The Apache HTTP Server...
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[2613]: apache2: Syntax error on line 222 of /etc/a
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[2613]: Action 'start' failed.
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[2613]: The Apache error log may have more informat
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Control process exited, code=ex
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Mar 04 19:49:09 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Failed to start The Apache HTTP Server.

apache2 :

[Mon Mar 04 20:05:15.916756 2019] [core:warn] [pid 2996] AH00111: Config variable ${APACHE_RUN_DIR} is not defined
apache2: Syntax error on line 80 of /etc/apache2/apache2.conf: DefaultRuntimeDir must be a valid directory, absolute or relative to ServerRoot

journalctl -xe :

-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: http://www.ubuntu.com/support
--
-- Unit apache2.service has failed.
--
-- The result is RESULT.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session closed for user root
Mar 04 19:34:58 XXXXXXXXWordPress kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=0a:35:d8:29:24:67:ec:38:73:0c:18:30:08:00 SRC=193.106.31
Mar 04 19:35:17 XXXXXXXXWordPress kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=0a:35:d8:29:24:67:ec:38:73:0c:70:30:08:00 SRC=168.121.22
lines 2108-2130/2130 (END)
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]:     root : TTY=pts/1 ; PWD=/root ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/bin/systemctl restart apache2
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]:     root : TTY=pts/1 ; PWD=/root ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/bin/systemctl restart apache2
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXX sudo[1828]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session opened for user root by root(uid=0)
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXX systemd[1]: Starting The Apache HTTP Server...
-- Subject: Unit apache2.service has begun start-up
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: http://www.ubuntu.com/support
--
-- Unit apache2.service has begun starting up.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[1831]: apache2: Syntax error on line 222 of /etc/apache2/apache2.conf: Syntax error on line
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[1831]: Action 'start' failed.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[1831]: The Apache error log may have more information.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Control process exited, code=exited status=1
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Failed to start The Apache HTTP Server.
-- Subject: Unit apache2.service has failed
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: http://www.ubuntu.com/support
--
-- Unit apache2.service has failed.
--
-- The result is RESULT.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session closed for user root
Mar 04 19:34:58 XXXXXXXXWordPress kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=0a:35:d8:29:24:67:ec:38:73:0c:18:30:08:00 SRC=193.106.31.194 DST=
...skipping...
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]:     root : TTY=pts/1 ; PWD=/root ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/bin/systemctl restart apache2
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session opened for user root by root(uid=0)
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Starting The Apache HTTP Server...
-- Subject: Unit apache2.service has begun start-up
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: http://www.ubuntu.com/support
--
-- Unit apache2.service has begun starting up.
Mar 04 19:34:48 InfiniDreamsWordPress apachectl[1831]: apache2: Syntax error on line 222 of /etc/apache2/apache2.conf: Syntax error on line
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[1831]: Action 'start' failed.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress apachectl[1831]: The Apache error log may have more information.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Control process exited, code=exited status=1
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: apache2.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress systemd[1]: Failed to start The Apache HTTP Server.
-- Subject: Unit apache2.service has failed
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: http://www.ubuntu.com/support
--
-- Unit apache2.service has failed.
--
-- The result is RESULT.
Mar 04 19:34:48 XXXXXXXXWordPress sudo[1828]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session closed for user root
Mar 04 19:34:58 XXXXXXXXWordPress kernel: [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=0a:35:d8:29:24:67:ec:38:73:0c:18:30:08:00 SRC=193.106.31.194 DST=

My apache2.conf and my envvars, to check potential directory errors :

apache2.conf :

# This is the main Apache server configuration file.  It contains the
# configuration directives that give the server its instructions.
# See http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/ for detailed information about
# the directives and /usr/share/doc/apache2/README.Debian about Debian specific
# hints.
#
#
# Summary of how the Apache 2 configuration works in Debian:
# The Apache 2 web server configuration in Debian is quite different to
# upstream's suggested way to configure the web server. This is because Debian's
# default Apache2 installation attempts to make adding and removing modules,
# virtual hosts, and extra configuration directives as flexible as possible, in
# order to make automating the changes and administering the server as easy as
# possible.

# It is split into several files forming the configuration hierarchy outlined
# below, all located in the /etc/apache2/ directory:
#
#   /etc/apache2/
#   |-- apache2.conf
#   |   `--  ports.conf
#   |-- mods-enabled
#   |   |-- *.load
#   |   `-- *.conf
#   |-- conf-enabled
#   |   `-- *.conf
#   `-- sites-enabled
#       `-- *.conf
#
#
# * apache2.conf is the main configuration file (this file). It puts the pieces
#   together by including all remaining configuration files when starting up the
#   web server.
#
# * ports.conf is always included from the main configuration file. It is
#   supposed to determine listening ports for incoming connections which can be
#   customized anytime.
#
# * Configuration files in the mods-enabled/, conf-enabled/ and sites-enabled/
#   directories contain particular configuration snippets which manage modules,
#   global configuration fragments, or virtual host configurations,
#   respectively.
#
#   They are activated by symlinking available configuration files from their
#   respective *-available/ counterparts. These should be managed by using our
#   helpers a2enmod/a2dismod, a2ensite/a2dissite and a2enconf/a2disconf. See
#   their respective man pages for detailed information.
#
# * The binary is called apache2. Due to the use of environment variables, in
#   the default configuration, apache2 needs to be started/stopped with
#   /etc/init.d/apache2 or apache2ctl. Calling /usr/bin/apache2 directly will not
#   work with the default configuration.


# Global configuration
#

#
# ServerRoot: The top of the directory tree under which the server's
# configuration, error, and log files are kept.
#
# NOTE!  If you intend to place this on an NFS (or otherwise network)
# mounted filesystem then please read the Mutex documentation (available
# at <URL:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/core.html#mutex>);
# you will save yourself a lot of trouble.
#
# Do NOT add a slash at the end of the directory path.
#
#ServerRoot "/etc/apache2"

#
# The accept serialization lock file MUST BE STORED ON A LOCAL DISK.
#
#Mutex file:${APACHE_LOCK_DIR} default

#
# The directory where shm and other runtime files will be stored.
#

DefaultRuntimeDir ${APACHE_RUN_DIR}

#
# PidFile: The file in which the server should record its process
# identification number when it starts.
# This needs to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars
#
PidFile ${APACHE_PID_FILE}

#
# Timeout: The number of seconds before receives and sends time out.
#
Timeout 300

#
# KeepAlive: Whether or not to allow persistent connections (more than
# one request per connection). Set to "Off" to deactivate.
#
KeepAlive On

#
# MaxKeepAliveRequests: The maximum number of requests to allow
# during a persistent connection. Set to 0 to allow an unlimited amount.
# We recommend you leave this number high, for maximum performance.
#
MaxKeepAliveRequests 100

#
# KeepAliveTimeout: Number of seconds to wait for the next request from the
# same client on the same connection.
#
KeepAliveTimeout 5


# These need to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars
User ${APACHE_RUN_USER}
Group ${APACHE_RUN_GROUP}

#
# HostnameLookups: Log the names of clients or just their IP addresses
# e.g., www.apache.org (on) or 204.62.129.132 (off).
# The default is off because it'd be overall better for the net if people
# had to knowingly turn this feature on, since enabling it means that
# each client request will result in AT LEAST one lookup request to the
# nameserver.
#
HostnameLookups Off

# ErrorLog: The location of the error log file.
# If you do not specify an ErrorLog directive within a <VirtualHost>
# container, error messages relating to that virtual host will be
# logged here.  If you *do* define an error logfile for a <VirtualHost>
# container, that host's errors will be logged there and not here.
#
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

#
# LogLevel: Control the severity of messages logged to the error_log.
# Available values: trace8, ..., trace1, debug, info, notice, warn,
# error, crit, alert, emerg.
# It is also possible to configure the log level for particular modules, e.g.
# "LogLevel info ssl:warn"
#
LogLevel warn

# Include module configuration:
IncludeOptional mods-enabled/*.load
IncludeOptional mods-enabled/*.conf

# Include list of ports to listen on
Include ports.conf


# Sets the default security model of the Apache2 HTTPD server. It does
# not allow access to the root filesystem outside of /usr/share and /var/www.
# The former is used by web applications packaged in Debian,
# the latter may be used for local directories served by the web server. If
# your system is serving content from a sub-directory in /srv you must allow
# access here, or in any related virtual host.
<Directory />
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None
    Require all denied
</Directory>

<Directory /usr/share>
    AllowOverride None
    Require all granted
</Directory>

<Directory /var/www/>
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None
    Require all granted
</Directory>

#<Directory /srv/>
#   Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
#   AllowOverride None
#   Require all granted
#</Directory>




# AccessFileName: The name of the file to look for in each directory
# for additional configuration directives.  See also the AllowOverride
# directive.
#
AccessFileName .htaccess

#
# The following lines prevent .htaccess and .htpasswd files from being
# viewed by Web clients.
#
<FilesMatch "^\.ht">
    Require all denied
</FilesMatch>


#
# The following directives define some format nicknames for use with
# a CustomLog directive.
#
# These deviate from the Common Log Format definitions in that they use %O
# (the actual bytes sent including headers) instead of %b (the size of the
# requested file), because the latter makes it impossible to detect partial
# requests.
#
# Note that the use of %{X-Forwarded-For}i instead of %h is not recommended.
# Use mod_remoteip instead.
#
LogFormat "%v:%p %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" vhost_combined
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %O" common
LogFormat "%{Referer}i -> %U" referer
LogFormat "%{User-agent}i" agent

# Include of directories ignores editors' and dpkg's backup files,
# see README.Debian for details.

# Include generic snippets of statements
IncludeOptional conf-enabled/*.conf

# Include the virtual host configurations:
IncludeOptional sites-enabled/*.conf

# vim: syntax=apache ts=4 sw=4 sts=4 sr noet

envaars :

# envvars - default environment variables for apache2ctl

# this won't be correct after changing uid
unset HOME

# for supporting multiple apache2 instances
if [ "${APACHE_CONFDIR##/etc/apache2-}" != "${APACHE_CONFDIR}" ] ; then
    SUFFIX="-${APACHE_CONFDIR##/etc/apache2-}"
else
    SUFFIX=
fi

# Since there is no sane way to get the parsed apache2 config in scripts, some
# settings are defined via environment variables and then used in apache2ctl,
# /etc/init.d/apache2, /etc/logrotate.d/apache2, etc.
export APACHE_RUN_USER=www-data
export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=www-data
# temporary state file location. This might be changed to /run in Wheezy+1
export APACHE_PID_FILE=/var/run/apache2$SUFFIX/apache2.pid
export APACHE_RUN_DIR=/var/run/apache2$SUFFIX
export APACHE_LOCK_DIR=/var/lock/apache2$SUFFIX
# Only /var/log/apache2 is handled by /etc/logrotate.d/apache2.
export APACHE_LOG_DIR=/var/log/apache2$SUFFIX

## The locale used by some modules like mod_dav
export LANG=C
## Uncomment the following line to use the system default locale instead:
#. /etc/default/locale

export LANG

## The command to get the status for 'apache2ctl status'.
## Some packages providing 'www-browser' need '--dump' instead of '-dump'.
#export APACHE_LYNX='www-browser -dump'

## If you need a higher file descriptor limit, uncomment and adjust the
## following line (default is 8192):
#APACHE_ULIMIT_MAX_FILES='ulimit -n 65536'

## If you would like to pass arguments to the web server, add them below
## to the APACHE_ARGUMENTS environment.
#export APACHE_ARGUMENTS=''

## Enable the debug mode for maintainer scripts.
## This will produce a verbose output on package installations of web server modules and web application
## installations which interact with Apache
#export APACHE2_MAINTSCRIPT_DEBUG=1

These config files looks well configured, but Apache doesn't seem to be agree with me, as there is a directory error with {APACHE_RUN_DIR}. And I really don't understand why.

Thanks ! :)

1 Answer

Hey friend,

It's weird that the phpmyadmin config would impact this, but I think we should set that aside first and just go after the error. The error indicates that a variable isn't set, and the variable is set here:

/etc/apache2/envvars

Here's an example of how that variable looks from my server:

export APACHE_RUN_DIR=/var/run/apache2$SUFFIX

Perhaps something in your phpmyadmin config file is being taken as trying to redefine that. You can test your Apache config syntax with this command:

apache2ctl configtest

Jarland

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