Sunday, July 23, 2017

Setting up Apache2 (a web server on which to host PAC files) on Ubuntu

In this posting the steps to setup Apache2 on Ubuntu are reviewed. The reason for needing a web server (Apache2) is to host a PAC file. A PAC file (proxy auto-config) is used to map a URL to a proxy (host/port). The contents are of the PAC file are javascript (a simple script that when invoked takes a URL and returns the string required to access the proxy). Applications access PAC files based on their URL so to develop an application that makes use of PAC files a web server is required.

Apache is a package so on the server run the following to update the package information:
sudo apt-get update

Running the previous commands displays the following:

Once the package information has been updated run the following command:
sudo apt-get install apache2

An example of the previous command's invocation is as follows (a small snippet from a great deal of output):

The status of Apache2 can be verified as follows:

With the previous installation and status check, Apache is not quite ready. The inbound port for apache has to be open.

A web server uses port 80 and on an Azure hosted Ubuntu virtual machine this port is not open. Recall the previous post that demonstrated how to open an inbound port for the Azure virtual machine, Opening an inbound port for an Ubuntu Virtual Machine on Azure. If HTTPS is to be used, open port 443.

Once setup, the next step in order to full support proxies will be to create the PAC file copy it to Apache's content folder.

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