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Re: Bug#6619: apache default paths

"Brian" == Brian Gough <bjg@vvv.lanl.gov> writes:

Brian> the default paths compiled into the debian version of apache
Brian> are different from the default paths in the current apache
Brian> source.

As far as I can tell, this is normal for packages like Apache which
have default locations which do not comply with the FSSTD.  I think
Apache should be able to work correctly even when invoked from the
command line, without one having to manually specify the location of

Brian> This creates two problems:
Brian>  -- inconsistent documentation,
Brian>   the supplied manpage and welcome page refer to the online
Brian> documentation at http://www.apache.org/, but this documentation
Brian> assumes the second form of the defaults. Confusing for
Brian> beginners.

You're right, this should be prominent in README.debian, or HTML docs
should be available which contain corrected pathnames (preferably
both).  The manpages do list the new paths, though.

To be honest it never occurred to me that a Debian administrator might
expect the files to be somewhere other than /etc/apache -- I've always
found it easier to have config files in /etc instead of off in
/home/www-data/webspace/conf/ somewhere.

Brian>  -- portability of configuration files,

Brian>   so when porting an apache website to debian it will usually
Brian> be necessary for people to add explicit directives like
Brian>     AccessConfig conf/access.conf ResourceConfig conf/srm.conf
Brian>   to the httpd.conf file otherwise their paths will be wrong.

Actually there's a third problem, in that the above no longer
works. (!)

At least one point in the Apache source was written in such a way that
requires relative config file names, since it prepends the document
root.  This was preventing a minor yet cool feature from working.

I fixed this in 1.1.3-1 with a temporary hack that requires that full
pathnames be used in the Config lines, if they are used at all,
planning to go back in -2 with a fix that works for all cases.

Brian> I would recommend sticking with the apache defaults in the
Brian> binary but overriding them on the start-stop-daemon command
Brian> line in the rc scripts. This would make it easier to move from
Brian> an existing system to debian.

I'm reluctant to do that because first, I think Debian-specific
binaries should do things the Debian way by default, and second, quite
a number of things were changed --- like the location of the PID file
(/var/run), the logfiles (/var/log/apache/), and the mime.types file
(/etc, and provided by another package entirely).

Restoring things to non-FSSTND defaults after all these months would
break installations that have removed the redundant Config statements
from their files, and would probably annoy administrators who expect
Debian programs to behave a certain way.

How about if, for new installations, I have it ask the user if there
are any existing config files that should be copied into /etc/apache?

Brian> Alternatively the change could be more clearly documented.

That too.  :-)

I'd like, too, to get some more opinions on this before I act on this

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