to Install the Apache Web Server on Windows
How to Install the Apache Web Server on Windows
Even though my "live" websites are located on third
party web hosts, I maintain an Apache web server on my Windows machine.
1. I find it very inconvenient to have to go online just to test
and debug my PHP scripts. If you write CGI and PHP scripts, you
might be in the same boat.
2. Although I do have Apache and PHP installed in my Linux box,
it is a real hassle to keep having to reboot in order to test my
scripts, since I spend most of my time in Windows.
If you are facing a similar situation, or want to set up Apache
in Windows for some other reason, you might find the information
Windows 95 Preliminaries
If you are using Windows 95 (whether the original release or OSR1,
OSR2, 2.1 or 2.5), you will need to install Winsock 2 first.
Get both WS2SETUP.EXE (Winsock 2) and the Y2K fix for that (Y2KVDHCP.EXE)
from Microsoft's website.
Go to the link for the Y2K fix for Winsock 2 and DUN 1.3 and follow
it. It'll lead you to a page with both the fix as well as the complete
Winsock 2 package.
Note that Winsock 2 requires you to have DCOM version 812 or higher
installed. DCOM can be obtained from:
If, like me, you hate to install anything on your Windows machine
that will affect the fragile balance it currently operates under,
here are some (hopefully) reassuring news:
1. You do not have to install DUN 1.3 just to install Winsock 2.
The two are separate. The Y2K fix listed above will not install
any DUN 1.3 if you do not currently have it. (DUN 1.3 has been reported
to cause problems on a number of Windows 95 machines.)
2. Winsock 2 can apparently be uninstalled, and your original Winsock
1.1 will be restored. Your old Winsock files are copied to C:\WINDOWS\WS2BAKUP
together with a batch file named WS2BAKUP.BAT which can be used
to restore your Winsock 1.1 if your upgrade fails for some reason.
Windows 95/98/ME Notes
If you are thinking of allowing others on the Internet to access
your web server while it is running on Windows 95/98/ME, think again.
The operating system is not secure, and opening your system to the
world is asking for trouble. Big trouble.
If you really need to go "live", my suggestion is to install
Linux into another partition (or disk) and read up on how to tightened
your security (which is possible on Linux) and run your Apache server
from there. Linux, by the way, is free. You can always download
a set from RedHat at: http://www.redhat.com/.
Precompiled executables, complete with a Setup program, of the Apache
server are available from the Apache website: http://www.apache.org/httpd.html
1. Download and run it to get the server copied onto your machine.
2. Fire up your favourite text editor and add the following line
"C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache\conf\httpd.conf"
3. Run the server with the "Start Apache" item in your
Programs | Apache Web Server group that was created by the installer.
A DOS console window will open and remain open as long as the server
is running. When you want to terminate it, run "Stop Apache"
from that same program group.
4. To test that it works, open a DOS console window and type:
telnet localhost 80
5. The Windows telnet program will start up. Go to the Terminal
| Preferences dialog box and make sure that the "Local echo"
check box is selected (unless you are one of those who like to type
6. Type the following into the telnet window.
GET / HTTP/1.0
followed by hitting the Enter key twice. You will get a whole lot
of text scrolling swiftly by. This is the default page installed
by the Apache installer at your local site. It is located in your
"C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache\htdocs\"
7. If you're using Internet Explorer 5 or Opera, you might be able
to use it to connect to "locahost" or its IP address "127.0.0.1"
while offline. I have not been able to get earlier versions of IE
and Netscape 4.73 to connect without the Dial-Up Networking dialog
box popping up and insisting that I connect to my ISP (defeating
the entire purpose of this exercise for me).
8. If you can't get the above to work, you can try downloading a
Windows console version of Lynx, a text based browser, that seems
to work fine.
The command to access your local site is simply:
You might as well get it anyway. It's a useful tool to check your
ordinary HTML pages for compatibility with this text browser.
9. If you plan to simply use telnet, I suggest that you get a better
one. The one I use is HyperTerminal Private Edition (a more advanced
version than the one distributed with Windows), which is free. You
can download it from: http://www.hilgraeve.com/htpe.html.
10. Where to go from here? The entire Apache manual set was installed
on your machine in
"C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache\htdocs\manual\"
Read it. This guide only covers installation. You (obviously) have
to configure your server and learn where to put your documents and
the like. If you'd like a hardcopy book on the Apache server, the
one I use is the O'Reilly book Apache The Definitive Guide. It's
a bit weak on the installation bit (which is why I wrote this, after
finding out how to do it myself, the hard way), but it is helpful
if you need to learn about configuring Apache and bone up on security
Remember, this installation guide is designed for you to install
Apache for private offline use. If your site is going "live",
I suggest that you not only learn how to configure from the manuals
but also brush up on security issues as well.
About the Author
Christopher S L Heng.
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