Setting Up IP and Port-Based Virtualhost in Apache

Virtual hosting is a method for hosting multiple websites on a single server. There are two types of virtual hosting: Name based virtual hosting and IP-based virtual hosting. IP-based virtual hosting is a technique to apply different directives based on the IP address and port a request is received on. You can assign a separate IP for each domain on a single server using IP-based virtual hosting. Mostly this is used to host different websites on different ports or IPs.

Here we are going to host “www.ipvhost1.com” on IP “192.168.1.227”, “www.ipvhost2.com” on IP “192.168.1.228” and “www.portvhost.com” on IP “192.168.1.228” with Port 8080.

  • OS: Ubuntu server 14.04 with Apache installed
  • IP address1: 192.168.1.227
  • IP address2: 192.168.1.228
  • Domain: www.ipvhost1.com
  • Domain: www.ipvhost2.com
  • Domain: www.portvhost.com

To setup IP-based virtual hosting, you must have more than one IP address assigned to your Linux machine. Setting up multiple IP addresses on a single network interface is called IP aliasing. IP aliasing is very useful if you have only one network interface card.

To do this, you need to edit the “/etc/network/interfaces” file.

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Add the following lines:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.1.227
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.1
dns-nameservers 8.8.8.8
 
auto eth0:1
iface eth0:1 inet static
address 192.168.1.228
netmask 255.255.255.0

Save and close the file, then restart network service to make these changes take effect.

sudo  /etc/init.d/networking restart
sudo ifup eth0:1

By default, Apache listen on port 80. For port-based virtual hosting, you need to tell Apache to listen to IP “192.168.1.227” and “192.168.1.228” on port 80 and IP “192.168.1.228” on port 8080.

To setup multiple ports, you need to edit “/etc/apache2/ports.conf”.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/ports.conf

Add the following line:

Listen 192.168.1.227:80
Listen 192.168.1.228:80
Listen 192.168.1.228:8080

Save and close the file, then restart Apache to make these changes take effect.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

First, you need to make a directory structure which will hold the web pages. This directory is known as DocumentRoot for the domain.

Create three directories for websites “www.ipvhost1.com”, “www.ipvhost2.com” and “www.portvhost.com” under Apache default DocumentRoot directory.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/www.ipvhost1.com
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/www.ipvhost2.com
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/www.portvhost.com

Create an “index.html” file for each website that identifies specific IPs and Port.

Create an index.html file for “www.ipvhost1.com” virtual host.

sudo nano  /var/www/html/www.ipvhost1.com/index.html

Add the following content.

<html>
<head>
<title>www.ipvhost1.com</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>The ipvhost1.com ip virtual host is working!</h1>
</body>
</html>

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Create an “index.html” file for “www.ipvhost2.com” virtual host.

sudo nano  /var/www/html/www.ipvhost2.com/index.html

Add the following content.

<html>
<head>
<title>www.ipvhost2.com</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>The ipvhost2.com ip virtual host is working!</h1>
</body>
</html>

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Create an “index.html” file for “www.portvhost.com” virtual host.

sudo nano  /var/www/html/www.portvhost.com/index.html

Add the following content.

<html>
<head>
<title>www.portvhost.com</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>The portvhost.com port virtual host is working!</h1>
</body>
</html>

Save and close the file when you are finished.

By default, Apache service runs as a “www-data” user in Ubuntu. You must change the ownership of these three virtual directories to “www-data” so that Apache can read and write data.

To do this, run:

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/www.ipvhost1.com
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/www.ipvhost2.com
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/www.portvhost.com

Also, you need to make sure the Apache web root (/var/www/html) directory is readable so that everyone can read files from it.

sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html

By default, Apache comes with a default virtual host file called “000-default.conf”. You need to disable this virtual host file first.

To do this, run the following command.

sudo a2dissite 000-default.conf

The next step is to create a virtual host configuration file for each website. The name of each configuration file must end with “.conf”.

Create a virtual host file for website “www.ipvhost1.com”.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/www.ipvhost1.com.conf

Add the following content.

<VirtualHost 192.168.1.227:80>
 
ServerAdmin admin@ipvhost1.com
ServerName  www.ipvhost1.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/www.ipvhost1.com
 
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.ipvhost1.com_error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.ipvhost1.com_access.log combined
 
</VirtualHost>

Save and close the file.

Create a virtual host file for website “www.ipvhost2.com”.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/www.ipvhost2.com.conf

Add the following content.

<VirtualHost 192.168.1.228:80>
 
ServerAdmin admin@ipvhost2.com
ServerName  www.ipvhost2.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/www.ipvhost2.com
 
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.ipvhost2.com_error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.ipvhost2.com_access.log combined
 
</VirtualHost>

Save and close the file.

Create a virtual host file for website “www.portvhost.com”.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/www.portvhost.com.conf

Add the following content.

<VirtualHost 192.168.1.228:8080>
 
ServerAdmin admin@portvhost.com
ServerName  www.portvhost.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/www.portvhost.com
 
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.portvhost.com_error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/www.portvhost.com_access.log combined
 
</VirtualHost>

Save and close the file.

After creating the virtual host files, you need to enable the virtual hosts.

You can do this by running.

sudo a2ensite www.ipvhost1.com.conf
sudo a2ensite www.ipvhost2.com.conf
sudo a2ensite www.portvhost.com.conf

Finally, restart the Apache service.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now, it’s time to test the IP Virtualhost. On a computer, open your web browser and navigate to URLs “http://192.168.1.227:80” and “http://192.168.1.228:80”. You should see sample demo pages for IP-based virtual hosting that look like this:

apache_ipvhost1

apache_ipvhost2

Similarly, to test Port Virtualhost, open your web browser and navigate to URL “http://192.168.1.228:8080”. You should see a sample demo page for Port-based virtual hosting that looks like this:

apache_portvhost

In this post, I showed the step-by-step procedure to create and enable an IP-based and port-based virtual host on Apache web server. You can easily set up many domains on the same server.