Apache HTTP Server Version 1.3
Is this the version you want? For more recent
versions, check our documentation
This document explains how to install, configure and run
Apache 1.3 under Microsoft Windows. Most of this document
assumes that you are installing Windows from a binary
distribution. If you want to compile Apache yourself (possibly
to help with development, or to track down bugs), see Compiling Apache for Microsoft
If you find any bugs, please document them on our bug reporting
page. Contributions are welcomed, please submit your code
or suggestions to the bug report page, or join the new-httpd
The bug reporting page and new-httpd mailing list are
not provided to answer questions about configuration
or running Apache. Before you submit a bug report or request,
first consult this document, the Frequently Asked Questions page and
the other relevant documentation topics. If you still have a
question or problem, post it to the comp.infosystems.www.servers.ms-windows
newsgroup, where many Apache users and several contributions
are more than willing to answer new and obscure questions about
using Apache on Windows.
groups.google.com's newsgroup archive offers easy browsing
of previous questions. Searching the newsgroup archives, you
will usually find your question was already asked and answered
by other users!
Warning: Apache on NT has not yet been optimized for
performance. Apache still performs best, and is most
reliable on Unix platforms. Over time NT performance has
improved, and great progress is being made in the upcoming
version 2.0 of Apache for the Windows platforms. Folks doing
comparative reviews of webserver performance are still asked to
compare against Apache on a Unix platform such as Solaris,
FreeBSD, or Linux.
Apache 1.3 is designed to run on Windows NT 4.0 and Windows
2000. The binary installer will only work with the x86 family
of processors, such as Intel's. Apache may also run on Windows
95 and 98, but these have not been tested. In all cases TCP/IP
networking must be installed.
If running on NT 4.0, installing Service Pack 3 or 6 is
recommended, as Service Pack 4 created known issues with
TCP/IP and WinSock integrity that were resolved in Service
Pack 5 and later.
Note: "Winsock2" is required for Apache 1.3.7 and
If running on Windows 95, the "Winsock2" upgrade must be
installed before Apache will run. "Winsock2" for Windows 95 is
here or via here.
Be warned that the Dialup Networking 1.2 (MS DUN) updates
include a Winsock2 that is entirely insufficient, and the
Winsock2 update must be reinstalled after installing Windows 95
dialup networking. Windows 98, NT (Service Pack 3 or later) and
2000 users need to take no special action, those versions provide
Winsock2 as distributed.
Information on the latest version of Apache can be found on
the Apache web server at http://httpd.apache.org/.
This will list the current release, any more recent alpha or
beta-test releases, together with details of mirror web and
anonymous FTP sites.
You should download the binary build of Apache for Windows
apache_1_3_#-win32-src.msi if you are
interested in the source code, or simply
apache_1_3_#-win32-no_src.msi if you don't plan to
do anything with the source code and appreciate a faster
download. Each of these files contains the complete Apache
runtime. You must have the Microsoft Installer version 1.10
installed on your PC before you can install the Apache runtime
distributions. Windows 2000 and Windows ME are both delivered
with the Microsoft Installer support, others will need to
download it. For more information, visit the main download
page at http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi.
Instructions on locating the Microsoft Installer,
as well as the binary distributions of Apache, are found at
the win32 download directory on the mirrors.
The source code is available in the
distribution, or from the
distribution directory as a
.zip file. If you plan
on compiling Apache yourself, there is no need to install
.msi package. The
contains only source code, with MS-DOS line endings (that is
cr/lf line endings, instead of the single lf used for Unix
files distributed in .tar.gz or .tar.Z archives.)
While the source is also available as a .tar.gz
.tar.Z archive, these contain unix lf line endings
that cause grief for Windows users. To use those archives, you
must convert at least the .mak and
.dsp files to have DOS line endings before MSVC
can understand them. Please stick with the .zip
file to spare yourself the headache.
Note: prior to 1.3.17 Apache was distributed as an
InstallShield 2.0 .exe file. With an increasing
number of users unable to run the InstallShield package [on
Windows ME or Windows 2000] the binaries were repackaged into
the readily available Microsoft Installer .msi
Run the Apache .msi file you downloaded above.
This will prompt you for:
- whether or not you want to run Apache for all users
(installing Apache as a Service), or if you want it installed
to run in a console window when you choose the Start Apache
- your Server name, Domain name and administrative email
- the directory to install Apache into (the default is
C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache although
you can change this to any other directory you wish)
- the installation type. The "Complete" option installs
everything, including the source code if you downloaded the
-src.msi package. Choose the "Custom" install if
you choose not to install the documentation, or the source
code from that package.
During the installation, Apache will configure the files in
the conf directory for your chosen installation
directory. However if any of the files in this directory
already exist they will not be overwritten.
Instead the new copy of the corresponding file will be left
with the extension .default.conf. So, for example,
if conf\httpd.conf already exists it will not be
altered, but the version which would have been installed will
be left in conf\httpd.default.conf. After the
installation has finished you should manually check to see what
in new in the .default.conf file, and if necessary
update your existing configuration files.
Also, if you already have a file called
htdocs\index.html then it will not be overwritten
(no index.html.default file will be installed
either). This should mean it is safe to install Apache over an
existing installation (but you will have to stop the existing
server running before doing the installation, then start the
new one after the installation is finished).
After installing Apache, you should edit the configuration
files in the conf directory as required. These
files will be configured during the install ready for Apache to
be run from the directory where it was installed, with the
documents served from the subdirectory htdocs.
There are lots of other options which should be set before you
start really using Apache. However to get started quickly the
files should work as installed.
If you eventually uninstall Apache, your configuration and log
files will not be removed. You will need to delete the installation
directory tree ("C:\Program Files\Apache Group" by default)
yourself if you do not care to keep your configuration and
other web files. Since the httpd.conf file is your
accumulated effort in using Apache, you need to take the effort
to remove it. The same happens for all other files you may have
created, as well as any log files Apache created.
There are two ways you can run Apache:
- As a "service". This is
the best option if you want Apache to automatically start
when your machine boots, and to keep Apache running when you
- From a console window. Closing
this console window will terminate the Apache server.
Complete the steps below before you attempt to start
Apache as a Windows "service"!
To run Apache from a console window, select the "Start
Apache as console app" option from the Start menu (in Apache
1.3.4 and earlier, this option was called "Apache Server").
This will open a console window and start Apache running inside
it. The window will remain active until you stop Apache. To
stop Apache running, either press select the "Shutdown Apache
console app" icon option from the Start menu (this is not
available in Apache 1.3.4 or earlier), or see Controlling Apache in a Console Window for
commands to control Apache in a console window.
In Apache 1.3.13 and above it is now quite safe to press
Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Break to stop the Apache in the console window.
And on Windows NT/2000 with version 1.3.13, Apache will stop if
you select 'Close' from the system menu (clicking the icon on
the top-left corner of the console window) or click the close
(X) button on the top-right corner. The Close menu item and
close (X) button also work on Windows 95/98 as of Apache
version 1.3.15. But do not try any of these approaches
on earlier versions of the Apache server, since Apache would
not clean up.
If you have trouble starting Apache please use the following
steps to isolate the problem. This applies if you started
Apache using the "Start Apache as a console app" shortcut from
the Start menu and the Apache console window closes immediately
(or unexpectedly) or if you have trouble starting Apache as a
Run the "Command Prompt" from the Start Menu - Programs
list. Change to the folder to which you installed Apache, type
the command apache, and read the error message. Then review the
error.log file for configuration mistakes. If you accepted the
defaults when you installed Apache, the commands would be:
cd "\program files\apache group\apache"
Wait for Apache to exit, or press Ctrl+C
After looking at the error.log you will probably have a good
chance of working out what went wrong and be able to fix the
problem and try again. If you are unable to work it out then
please follow the guidelines for assistance
at the top of this document or in the FAQ. Many users discover that
the nature of the httpd.conf file is easier to manage and audit
than page after page of configuration dialog boxes.
After starting Apache running (either in a console window or
as a service) it will be listening to port 80 (unless you
changed the Port, Listen or
BindAddress directives in the configuration
files). To connect to the server and access the default page,
launch a browser and enter this URL:
This should respond with a welcome page, and a link to the
Apache manual. If nothing happens or you get an error, look in
the error.log file in the logs
directory. If your host isn't connected to the net, you may
have to use this URL:
Once your basic installation is working, you should
configure it properly by editing the files in the
Because Apache CANNOT share the same port with
another TCP/IP application, you may need to stop or uninstall
certain services first. These include (but are not limited to)
other web servers, and firewall products such as BlackIce. If
you can only start Apache with these services disabled,
reconfigure either Apache or the other product so that they do
not listen on the same TCP/IP ports. You may find the Windows
"netstat -an" command useful in finding out what ports are in
Apache is configured by files in the conf
directory. These are the same as files used to configure the
Unix version, but there are a few different directives for
Apache on Windows. See the Apache
documentation for all the available directives.
Begin configuring the Apache server by reviewing
httpd.conf and its directives. Although the files
srm.conf both exist,
these are old files which are no longer used by most
administrators, and you will find no directives there.
httpd.conf contains a great deal of
documentation itself, followed by the default configuration
directives recommended when starting with the Apache server.
Begin by reading these comments to understand the configuration
file, and make small changes, starting Apache in a console
window with each change. If you make a mistake, it will be
easier to back up to configuration that last worked. You will
have a better idea of which change caused the server to
The main differences in Apache for Windows are:
Because Apache for Windows is multithreaded, it does not
use a separate process for each request, as Apache does
with Unix. Instead there are usually only two Apache
processes running: a parent process, and a child which
handles the requests. Within the child each request is
handled by a separate thread. So, "process"-management
directives are different:
- Like the Unix directive, this controls how many
requests a process will serve before exiting. However,
unlike Unix, a process serves all the requests at once,
not just one, so if this is set, it is recommended that a
very high number is used. The recommended default,
MaxRequestsPerChild 0, does not cause the
process to ever exit.
- This directive is new, and tells the server how many
threads it should use. This is the maximum number of
connections the server can handle at once; be sure and
set this number high enough for your site if you get a
lot of hits. The recommended default is
- The directives that accept filenames as arguments now
must use Windows filenames instead of Unix ones. However,
because Apache uses Unix-style names internally, you must use
forward slashes, not backslashes. Drive letters can be used;
if omitted, the drive with the Apache executable will be
Apache for Windows has the ability to load modules at
runtime, without recompiling the server. If Apache is
compiled normally, it will install a number of optional
modules in the
modules directory. To activate
these, or other modules, the new LoadModule directive
must be used. For example, to activate the status module, use
the following (in addition to the status-activating
httpd.conf - see the mod_status docs for more
LoadModule status_module modules/mod_status.so
Information on creating loadable
modules is also available. Note that some 3rd party
modules may be distributed in the old style names,
ApacheModuleFoo.dll. Always set the LoadModule command as
directed by the 3rd party module's own documentation.
- Apache for Windows version 1.3 series is implemented in
synchronous calls. This poses an enormous problem for CGI
authors, who won't see unbuffered results sent immediately to
the browser. This is not the behavior described for CGI in
Apache, but it is a side-effect of the Windows port. Apache
2.0 is making progress to implement the expected asynchronous
behavior, and we hope to discover that the NT/2000
implementation allows CGI's to behave as documented.
Apache can also load ISAPI Extensions (i.e.,
Internet Server Applications), such as those used by
Microsoft's IIS, and other Windows servers. More information is
available. Note that Apache CANNOT load ISAPI
- When running CGI scripts, the method Apache uses to find
the interpreter for the script is configurable using the ScriptInterpreterSource
- Since it is often difficult to manage files with names
.htaccess under windows, you may find it
useful to change the name of this configuration file using
The Start menu icons and the NT Service manager can provide
a simple interface for administering Apache. But in some cases
it is easier to work from the command line.
When working with Apache it is important to know how it will
find the configuration files. You can specify a configuration
file on the command line in two ways:
- -f specifies a path to a particular configuration
apache -f "c:\my server\conf\my.conf"
apache -f test\test.conf
- -n specifies the configuration file of an installed
Apache service (Apache 1.3.7 and later):
apache -n "service name"
In these cases, the proper ServerRoot should be set in the
If you don't specify a configuration file name with -f or
-n, Apache will use the file name compiled into the server,
usually "conf/httpd.conf". Invoking Apache with the -V switch
will display this value labeled as SERVER_CONFIG_FILE. Apache
will then determine its ServerRoot by trying the following, in
- A ServerRoot directive via a -C switch.
- The -d switch on the command line.
- The current working directory
- A registry entry, created if you did a binary
- The server root compiled into the server.
The server root compiled into the server is usually
"/apache". invoking apache with the -V switch will display this
value labeled as HTTPD_ROOT.
When invoked from the start menu, Apache is usually passed
no arguments, so using the registry entry is the preferred
technique for console Apache.
During a binary installation, a registry key will have been
installed, for example:
This key is compiled into the server and can enable you to
test new versions without affecting the current version. Of
course you must take care not to install the new version on top
of the old version in the file system.
If you did not do a binary install then Apache will in some
scenarios complain about the missing registry key. This warning
can be ignored if it otherwise was able to find its
The value of this key is the "ServerRoot" directory,
containing the conf directory. When Apache starts
it will read the httpd.conf file from this
directory. If this file contains a ServerRoot
directive which is different from the directory obtained from
the registry key above, Apache will forget the registry key and
use the directory from the configuration file. If you copy the
Apache directory or configuration files to a new location it is
vital that you update the ServerRoot directory in
the httpd.conf file to the new location.
To run Apache from the command line as a console
application, use the following command:
Apache will execute, and will remain running until it is
stopped by pressing control-C.
You can tell a running Apache to stop by opening another
console window and running:
apache -k shutdown
Note: This option is only available with Apache
1.3.3 and later.
For earlier versions, you must use Control-C in the Apache
console window to shut down the server.
From version 1.3.3 through 1.3.12, this should be used
instead of pressing Control-C in a running Apache console
window, because it allowed Apache to end any current
transactions and cleanup gracefully.
As of version 1.3.13 pressing Control-C in the running
window will cleanup Apache quite gracefully, and you may use -k
stop as an alias for -k shutdown. Earlier versions do not
understand -k stop.
You can also tell Apache to restart. This makes it re-read
the configuration files. Any transactions in progress are
allowed to complete without interruption. To restart Apache,
apache -k restart
Note: This option is only available with Apache
1.3.3 and later. For earlier versions, you need to use
Control-C in the Apache console window to shut down the server,
and then restart the server with the Apache
Another very useful feature is the configuration
files test option. To test the Apache configuration files,
This is especially useful following alterations to the
configuration files while Apache is still running. You can make
the changes, confirm that the syntax is good by issuing the
"apache -t" command, then restart Apache with "apache -k
restart". Apache will re-read the configuration files, allowing
any transactions in progress to complete without interruption.
Any new request will then be served using the new
Note: for people familiar with the Unix version of Apache,
these commands provide a Windows equivalent to
kill -USR1 pid.
The command line option used,
-k, was chosen as a
reminder of the "kill" command used on Unix.
Apache HTTP Server