// Tutorial //

How To Set Up Apache Virtual Hosts on CentOS 6

Published on June 3, 2012
Default avatar
By Etel Sverdlov
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
How To Set Up Apache Virtual Hosts on CentOS 6
Not using CentOS 6?Choose a different version or distribution.
CentOS 6

Status: Deprecated

This article covers a version of CentOS that is no longer supported. If you are currently operating a server running CentOS 6, we highly recommend upgrading or migrating to a supported version of CentOS.

Reason: CentOS 6 reached end of life (EOL) on November 30th, 2020 and no longer receives security patches or updates. For this reason, this guide is no longer maintained.

See Instead:
This guide might still be useful as a reference, but may not work on other CentOS releases. If available, we strongly recommend using a guide written for the version of CentOS you are using.

The following DigitalOcean tutorial outlines installing the Apache web server on a CentOS 7 server, and also outlines how to set up a virtual host file:

About Virtual Hosts

Virtual Hosts are used to run more than one domain off of a single IP address. This is especially useful to people who need to run several sites off of one virtual private server. The sites display different information to the visitors, depending on with which the users accessed the site.There is no limit to the number of virtual hosts that can be added to a VPS.

Set Up

The steps in this tutorial require the user to have root privileges. You can see how to set that up in the Initial Server Setup in steps 3 and 4. Furthermore, if I reference the user in a step, I’ll use the name www. You can implement whatever username suits you.

Additionally, you need to have apache already installed and running on your virtual server If this is not the case, you can download it with this command:

sudo yum install httpd

Step One— Create a New Directory

The first step in creating a virtual host is to a create a directory where we will keep the new website’s information.

This location will be your Document Root in the Apache virtual configuration file later on. By adding a -p to the line of code, the command automatically generates all the parents for the new directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/example.com/public_html

You will need to designate an actual DNS approved domain, or an IP address, to test that a virtual host is working. In this tutorial we will use example.com as a placeholder for a correct domain name.

However, should you want to use an unapproved domain name to test the process you will find information on how to make it work on your local computer in Step Six.

Step Two—Grant Permissions

We need to grant ownership of the directory to the user, instead of just keeping it on the root system.

 sudo chown -R apache:apache /var/www/example.com/public_html 

Additionally, it is important to make sure that everyone will be able to read our new files.

 sudo chmod 755 /var/www

Now you are all done with permissions.

Step Three— Create the Page

We need to create a new file called index.html within our configurations directory.

sudo vi /var/www/example.com/public_html/index.html

We can add some text to the file so we will have something to look at when the IP redirects to the virtual host.

    <h1>Success: You Have Set Up a Virtual Host</h1>

Save and Exit

Step Four—Turn on Virtual Hosts

The next step is to enter into the apache configuration file itself.

sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

There are a few lines to look for.

Make sure that your text matches what you see below.

Listen 80

Scroll down to the very bottom of the document to the section called Virtual Hosts.

NameVirtualHost *:80
# NOTE: NameVirtualHost cannot be used without a port specifier
# (e.g. :80) if mod_ssl is being used, due to the nature of the
# SSL protocol.

# VirtualHost example:
# Almost any Apache directive may go into a VirtualHost container.
# The first VirtualHost section is used for requests without a known
# server name.
<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/example.com/public_html
     ServerName www.example.com
     ServerAlias example.com
     ErrorLog /var/www/example.com/error.log
     CustomLog /var/www/example.com/requests.log

The most important lines to focus on are the lines that say NameVirtualHost, Virtual Host, Document Root, and Server Name. Let’s take these one at a time.

  • Uncomment (remove the number sign) NameVirtualHost without making any changes. The star means that any IP address going through port 80 will be a virtual host. As your system probably only has one IP address this is not an issue—however, if you prefer, you can replace the star with your IP address.
  • You can leave the rest of the number marks in place until you reach the line <VirtualHost *:80> . Uncomment everything from there through <VirtualHost>.
  • Leave <VirtualHost *:80> as is—its details must match with those in the NameVirtual Host section. If you replaced the star with your IP address in that section, be sure to do the same here.
  • Document Root is key! For this section, write in the extension of the new directory created in Step One. If the document root is incorrect or absent you will not be able to set up the virtual host.
  • Server Name is another important piece of information, containing the virtual host’s domain name (eg. www.example.com). Make sure that you spell the domain out in full; we will put in any alternate possibilities in the next line.
  • ServerAlias is a new line in the config file that is not there by default. Adding it will allow you to list a few variants of the domain name, for example without the www in the front.

The rest of the lines in this section are not required to set up a virtual host. However, it is still helpful to know what they do.

  • Server admin asks for the webmaster’s email.
  • The Error Logs and Custom Logs keep track of any issues with the server. The error log covers issues that arise while maintaining the server, and the custom log tracks server requests. You can set up a custom location for these processes.
  • Make sure that <VirtualHost> is uncommented; then save and exit.

Step Five—Restart Apache

We’ve made a lot of the changes to the configuration. However, they will not take effect until Apache is restarted.

First stop all apache processes:

sudo apachectl -k stop

Then start up apache once again.

sudo /etc/init.d/httpd start

You may see the following error:

Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

The message is just a warning, and you will be able to access your virtual host without any further issues.

Optional Step Six—Setting Up the Local Hosts

If you have pointed your domain name to your virtual private server’s IP address you can skip this step—you do not need to set up local hosts. Your virtual hosts should work. However, if want to try out your new virtual hosts without having to connect to an actual domain name, you can set up local hosts on your computer alone. For this step, make sure you are on the computer itself, not your droplet.

To proceed with this step you need to know your computer’s administrative password, otherwise you will be required to use an actual domain name to test the virtual hosts.

If you are on a Mac or Linux, access the root user (su) on the computer and open up your hosts file:

nano /etc/hosts 

If you are on a Windows Computer, you can find the directions to alter the host file on the Microsoft site

You can add the local hosts details to this file, as seen in the example below. As long as that line is there, directing your browser toward, say, example.com will give you all the virtual host details for the corresponding IP address.

# Host Database
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting.  Do not change this entry.
##       localhost

#Virtual Hosts    www.example.com 

However, it may be a good idea to delete these made up addresses out of the local hosts folder when you are done to avoid any future confusion.

Step Seven—RESULTS: See Your Virtual Host in Action

Once you have finished setting up your virtual host, you can see how it looks online. Type your ip address into the browser (ie.

It should look somewhat similar to my handy screenshot

Good Job!

Adding More Virtual Hosts

To create additional virtual hosts, you can just repeat the process above, being careful to set up a new document root with the appropriate new domain name each time. Then just copy and paste the new Virtual Host information into the Apache Config file, as shown below

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/example.com/public_html
     ServerName www.example.com
     ServerAlias example.com
     ErrorLog /etc/var/www/example.com/error.log
     CustomLog /var/www/example.com/requests.log
<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin webmaster@example.org
     DocumentRoot /var/www/example.org/public_html
     ServerName www.example.org
     ServerAlias example.org
     ErrorLog /var/www/example.org/error.log
     CustomLog /var/www/example.orgrequests.log

See More

Once you have set up your virtual hosts, you can proceed to Create a SSL Certificate for your site or Install an FTP server

By Etel Sverdlov

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Thanks-- fixed :)

how to save and exit in step three

sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

when i type , blank page open. what is the solution, can some one guide me plz

There is no file as you mentioned above in centos7

Using username “root”. Last login: Fri Sep 23 06:34:57 2016 from [root@server ~]# sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

This is the main Apache HTTP server configuration file. It contains the

configuration directives that give the server its instructions.

See URL:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/ for detailed information.

In particular, see


for a discussion of each configuration directive.

Do NOT simply read the instructions in here without understanding

what they do. They’re here only as hints or reminders. If you are unsure

consult the online docs. You have been warned.

Configuration and logfile names: If the filenames you specify for many

of the server’s control files begin with “/” (or “drive:/” for Win32), the

server will use that explicit path. If the filenames do not begin

with “/”, the value of ServerRoot is prepended – so ‘log/access_log’

with ServerRoot set to ‘/www’ will be interpreted by the

server as ‘/www/log/access_log’, where as ‘/log/access_log’ will be

interpreted as ‘/log/access_log’.

ServerRoot: The top of the directory tree under which the server’s

configuration, error, and log files are kept.

Do not add a slash at the end of the directory path. If you point

ServerRoot at a non-local disk, be sure to specify a local disk on the

Mutex directive, if file-based mutexes are used. If you wish to share the

same ServerRoot for multiple httpd daemons, you will need to change at

least PidFile.

ServerRoot “/etc/httpd”

Listen: Allows you to bind Apache to specific IP addresses and/or

ports, instead of the default. See also the <VirtualHost>


Change this to Listen on specific IP addresses as shown below to

prevent Apache from glomming onto all bound IP addresses.

#Listen Listen 80

Dynamic Shared Object (DSO) Support

To be able to use the functionality of a module which was built as a DSO you

have to place corresponding `LoadModule’ lines at this location so the

directives contained in it are actually available before they are used.

Statically compiled modules (those listed by `httpd -l’) do not need

to be loaded here.


LoadModule foo_module modules/mod_foo.so

Include conf.modules.d/*.conf

If you wish httpd to run as a different user or group, you must run

httpd as root initially and it will switch.

User/Group: The name (or #number) of the user/group to run httpd as.

It is usually good practice to create a dedicated user and group for

running httpd, as with most system services.

User apache Group apache

‘Main’ server configuration

The directives in this section set up the values used by the ‘main’

server, which responds to any requests that aren’t handled by a

<VirtualHost> definition. These values also provide defaults for

any <VirtualHost> containers you may define later in the file.

All of these directives may appear inside <VirtualHost> containers,

in which case these default settings will be overridden for the

virtual host being defined.

ServerAdmin: Your address, where problems with the server should be

e-mailed. This address appears on some server-generated pages, such

as error documents. e.g. admin@your-domain.com

ServerAdmin root@localhost

ServerName gives the name and port that the server uses to identify itself.

This can often be determined automatically, but we recommend you specify

it explicitly to prevent problems during startup.

If your host doesn’t have a registered DNS name, enter its IP address here.

#ServerName www.example.com:80

Deny access to the entirety of your server’s filesystem. You must

explicitly permit access to web content directories in other

<Directory> blocks below.

<Directory /> AllowOverride none Require all denied </Directory>

Note that from this point forward you must specifically allow

particular features to be enabled - so if something’s not working as

you might expect, make sure that you have specifically enabled it


DocumentRoot: The directory out of which you will serve your

documents. By default, all requests are taken from this directory, but

symbolic links and aliases may be used to point to other locations.

DocumentRoot “/var/www/html”

Relax access to content within /var/www.

<Directory “/var/www”> AllowOverride None # Allow open access: Require all granted </Directory>

Further relax access to the default document root:

<Directory “/var/www/html”> # # Possible values for the Options directive are “None”, “All”, # or any combination of: # Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks SymLinksifOwnerMatch ExecCGI MultiViews # # Note that “MultiViews” must be named explicitly — “Options All” # doesn’t give it to you. # # The Options directive is both complicated and important. Please see # http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/core.html#options # for more information. # Options Indexes FollowSymLinks

# AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
# It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords:
#   Options FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
AllowOverride None

# Controls who can get stuff from this server.
Require all granted


DirectoryIndex: sets the file that Apache will serve if a directory

is requested.

<IfModule dir_module> DirectoryIndex index.html </IfModule>

The following lines prevent .htaccess and .htpasswd files from being

viewed by Web clients.

<Files “.ht*”> Require all denied </Files>

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 “logs/error_log”

LogLevel: Control the number of messages logged to the error_log.

Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,

alert, emerg.

LogLevel warn

<IfModule log_config_module> # # The following directives define some format nicknames for use with # a CustomLog directive (see below). # LogFormat “%h %l %u %t "%r" %>s %b "%{Referer}i" "%{User-Agent}i"” combined LogFormat “%h %l %u %t "%r" %>s %b” common

<IfModule logio_module>
  # You need to enable mod_logio.c to use %I and %O
  LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\" %I %O" combinedio

# The location and format of the access logfile (Common Logfile Format).
# If you do not define any access logfiles within a <VirtualHost>
# container, they will be logged here.  Contrariwise, if you *do*
# define per-<VirtualHost> access logfiles, transactions will be
# logged therein and *not* in this file.
#CustomLog "logs/access_log" common

# If you prefer a logfile with access, agent, and referer information
# (Combined Logfile Format) you can use the following directive.
CustomLog "logs/access_log" combined


<IfModule alias_module> # # Redirect: Allows you to tell clients about documents that used to # exist in your server’s namespace, but do not anymore. The client # will make a new request for the document at its new location. # Example: # Redirect permanent /foo http://www.example.com/bar

# Alias: Maps web paths into filesystem paths and is used to
# access content that does not live under the DocumentRoot.
# Example:
# Alias /webpath /full/filesystem/path
# If you include a trailing / on /webpath then the server will
# require it to be present in the URL.  You will also likely
# need to provide a <Directory> section to allow access to
# the filesystem path.

# ScriptAlias: This controls which directories contain server scripts. 
# ScriptAliases are essentially the same as Aliases, except that
# documents in the target directory are treated as applications and
# run by the server when requested rather than as documents sent to the
# client.  The same rules about trailing "/" apply to ScriptAlias
# directives as to Alias.
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ "/var/www/cgi-bin/"


“/var/www/cgi-bin” should be changed to whatever your ScriptAliased

CGI directory exists, if you have that configured.

<Directory “/var/www/cgi-bin”> AllowOverride None Options None Require all granted </Directory>

<IfModule mime_module> # # TypesConfig points to the file containing the list of mappings from # filename extension to MIME-type. # TypesConfig /etc/mime.types

# AddType allows you to add to or override the MIME configuration
# file specified in TypesConfig for specific file types.
#AddType application/x-gzip .tgz
# AddEncoding allows you to have certain browsers uncompress
# information on the fly. Note: Not all browsers support this.
#AddEncoding x-compress .Z
#AddEncoding x-gzip .gz .tgz
# If the AddEncoding directives above are commented-out, then you
# probably should define those extensions to indicate media types:
AddType application/x-compress .Z
AddType application/x-gzip .gz .tgz

# AddHandler allows you to map certain file extensions to "handlers":
# actions unrelated to filetype. These can be either built into the server
# or added with the Action directive (see below)
# To use CGI scripts outside of ScriptAliased directories:
# (You will also need to add "ExecCGI" to the "Options" directive.)
#AddHandler cgi-script .cgi

# For type maps (negotiated resources):
#AddHandler type-map var

# Filters allow you to process content before it is sent to the client.
# To parse .shtml files for server-side includes (SSI):
# (You will also need to add "Includes" to the "Options" directive.)
AddType text/html .shtml
AddOutputFilter INCLUDES .shtml


Specify a default charset for all content served; this enables

interpretation of all content as UTF-8 by default. To use the

default browser choice (ISO-8859-1), or to allow the META tags

in HTML content to override this choice, comment out this


AddDefaultCharset UTF-8

<IfModule mime_magic_module> # # The mod_mime_magic module allows the server to use various hints from the # contents of the file itself to determine its type. The MIMEMagicFile # directive tells the module where the hint definitions are located. # MIMEMagicFile conf/magic </IfModule>

Customizable error responses come in three flavors:

1) plain text 2) local redirects 3) external redirects

Some examples:

#ErrorDocument 500 “The server made a boo boo.” #ErrorDocument 404 /missing.html #ErrorDocument 404 “/cgi-bin/missing_handler.pl” #ErrorDocument 402 http://www.example.com/subscription_info.html

EnableMMAP and EnableSendfile: On systems that support it,

memory-mapping or the sendfile syscall may be used to deliver

files. This usually improves server performance, but must

be turned off when serving from networked-mounted

filesystems or if support for these functions is otherwise

broken on your system.

Defaults if commented: EnableMMAP On, EnableSendfile Off

#EnableMMAP off EnableSendfile on

Supplemental configuration

Load config files in the “/etc/httpd/conf.d” directory, if any.

IncludeOptional conf.d/*.conf

I did exactly the same with the tutorial 5 times and it did not work at all! :D

CustomLog takes 3 arguments (not 2)

CustomLog /path/to/log/file.log combined

You are missing combined.

Hey All, I am getting an error on restart of the httpd service ( running CentOS release 6.7 (Final) )

Starting httpd: [Mon Sep 14 10:29:19 2015] [warn] default VirtualHost overlap on port 80, the first has precedence

Any ideas?

I don’t think you should be making your docroot writable by apache. readable, yes.


<VirtualHost> DocumentRoot /var/www/html ServerName </VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:80> DocumentRoot /var/www/html/laravelDemo/public ServerName laravel.demo.com </VirtualHost>

I had above code in httpd.conf file. If will call laravel.demo.com it’s should call this directory but it’s wont call it. It shows /var/www/html file.

Help me to solve above code.


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