Apache Week
   
   Issue 86, 10th October 1997:  

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

In this issue


Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.2.4 (Released 22nd August 1997) (local download sites)
Beta: None
Alpha: 1.3a1 (Released 23rd July 1997) (local download sites)

Bugs fixed in 1.3:

  • Proxy module would cause a core dump if the product of values for CacheDirLevels and CacheDirLength was greater than 20.

Apache 1.2.4 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.2.3 and earlier should upgrade to this version. The next release will be 1.3. An alpha test release of 1.3 is available now for compilation and testing on Windows 95 and NT systems.


Patches for bugs in Apache 1.2.4 may be made available in the apply to 1.2.4 directory on the Apache site. Some new features and other unofficial patches are available in the 1.2 patches directory. For details of all previously reported bugs, see the Apache bug database and known bugs pages. Also many common configuration questions are answered in the Apache FAQ.

Development has slowed down over the last couple of weeks to prepare for the release of Apache 1.3b1. This release is expected during October.


Better Name-Based Virtual Hosts in Apache 1.3

The syntax for configuring virtual hosts in Apache 1.2 could be confusing, especially when some virtual hosts were to be selected based on the HTTP/1.1 Host: header. Under "traditional" virtual hosts, the configuration used to serve the response is based on the IP address on which the request was received. Machines with multiple IP addresses (either multiple network adaptors or by adding aliases to a single adaptor) can use this to handle multiple sites. This is called an "ip-based" virtual host.

HTTP/1.1 adds a new feature to enable multiple sites to be run with a single IP address, since HTTP/1.1 browsers send the name of the host or site they want to contact as a Host: header. This is called a "name-based" virtual host. Some browsers send the Host: header even though they are not fully HTTP/1.1 compliant.

Apache currently uses the same syntax to configure IP-based and name-based hosts. A virtual host is considered to be name based if the address given in its <VirtualHost> line matches the address of the main server part of the configuration (i.e. the part outside all <VirtualHost> sections). This had lead to confusion over whether virtual host sections are name or ip based, and it also limits name-based virtual hosts to only working when contacted through the main server's IP address. There are cases when name-based virtual hosts should be assigned to different real IP address.

To simplify the configuration by making the choice between name-based and ip-based virtual hosts more explicit, Apache 1.3 will add a new directive. This directive (currently called NameVirtualHost but this may change before release) is used to specify which IP addresses can receive name-based requests. This will allow name-based requests to be received on multiple addresses (or multiple ports).


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