Setting up Virtual Hosts in Apache

Today, I wanted to put my downloads on a different domain from my screenshots. Not wanting to manage multiple servers for no reason, I set up virtual hosts, also known as vhosts. Basically, depending on what domain you visit my web server from, you will get a different website. This is actually very simple to set up.

First, navigate to your apache2 directory and go to the sites-available directory within it. On my Debian system, this is at /etc/apache2/sites-available/. In this directory, you’ll see a bunch of files. Each one of these files is a config file that can be enabled or disabled individually; this is called a site.

To set up vhosting, you should first disable the default website. Use the command sudo a2dissite default to do this.

Next, add the rest of your websites. Here is the very simple config file I use:

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/sitefiles/
<Directory /var/www/sitefiles/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Save this to a file with the name of the site, no extension. I named my site screenshots for example.

Obviously, replace with the domain you want to use for the website. (For my screenshot website, this is The document root is the folder that contains the files at the root of your website. For me that’s /var/www/screenshots.

Lastly, type sudo a2ensite sitename where sitename is whatever you named that file. Then, restart apache with sudo service apache2 restart, and all is well. For any additional domains, create more config files with that information, replacing all of the relevant stuff. Enjoy your awesome new vhosted website!

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