CustomLog defines a custom log and its location on the server as well as what LogFormat it will use to post to the log.
  • CustomLog logs/access_log common defines this Custom log (you can more than one) the the file access_log in the sub directory logs of the ServerRoot and tells it to use the common definition for LogFormat to post to the log.
PidFile /var/run/ is the file the server should log the pid for httpd (Apache daemon) to

  • The ScoreBoardFile directive is required on some architectures to place a file that the server will use to communicate between its children and the parent. The easiest way to find out if your architecture requires a scoreboard file is to run Apache and see if it creates the file named by the directive. If your architecture requires it then you must ensure that this file is not used at the same time by more than one invocation of Apache.
  • Unless you are providing virtual hosting with a different run of Apache for each virtual host then you probably will not be running more than one invocation of Apache on your server.
  • The LockFile directive sets the path to the lockfile used when Apache is compiled with either USE_FCNTL_SERIALIZED_ACCEPT or USE_FLOCK_SERIALIZED_ACCEPT. This directive should normally be left at its default value. The main reason for changing it is if the logs directory is NFS mounted, since the lockfile must be stored on a local disk. The PID of the main server process is automatically appended to the filename.
  • SECURITY: It is best to avoid putting this file in a world writable directory such as /var/tmp because someone could create a denial of service attack and prevent the server from starting by creating a lockfile with the same name as the one the server will try to create.
  • The ServerName directive sets the hostname of the server; this is only used when creating redirection URLs. If it is not specified, then the server attempts to deduce it from its own IP address; however this may not work reliably, or may not return the preferred hostname. For example:


    would be used if the canonical (main) name of the actual machine were
  • In many situations Apache has to construct a self-referential URL. That is, a URL which refers back to the same server. With UseCanonicalName on (and in all versions prior to 1.3) Apache will use the ServerName and Port directives to construct a canonical name for the server. This name is used in all self-referential URLs, and for the values of SERVER_NAME and SERVER_PORT in CGIs.
  • With UseCanonicalName off Apache will form self-referential URLs using the hostname and port supplied by the client if any are supplied (otherwise it will use the canonical name). These values are the same that are used to implement name based virtual hosts, and are available with the same clients. The CGI variables SERVER_NAME and SERVER_PORT will be constructed from the client supplied values as well.
  • If set, this directive allows content-negotiated documents to be cached by proxy servers. This could mean that clients behind those proxys could retrieve versions of the documents that are not the best match for their abilities, but it will make caching more efficient.
  • This directive only applies to requests which come from HTTP/1.0 browsers. HTTP/1.1 provides much better control over the caching of negotiated documents, and this directive has no effect in responses to HTTP/1.1 requests
  • The TimeOut directive currently defines the amount of time Apache will wait for three things:
    1. The total amount of time it takes to receive a GET request.
    2. The amount of time between receipt of TCP packets on a POST or PUT request.
    3. The amount of time between ACKs on transmissions of TCP packets in responses.
  • We plan on making these separately configurable at some point down the road. The timer used to default to 1200 before 1.2, but has been lowered to 300 which is still far more than necessary in most situations. It is not set any lower by default because there may still be odd places in the code where the timer is not reset when a packet is sent
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