Apache: Activate / deactivate / remove websites and configurations

Activate, deactivate and remove Apache websites and configurations. This is how it works.

Display the configurations

Let’s start by displaying the virtual hosts, or the configurations, which are set up. These are located in the folder “/etc/apache2/sites-available/“. These configurations are available, but not necessarily active.

The active configurations are located in the folder “/etc/apache2/sites-enabled/“, whereby “located” is the wrong word. Here, links are created in the file system to the configuration in the folder “sites-available“. Thus, virtual hosts can be activated or deactivated without removing the actual configuration.

Enable site / Enable configuration

The activation of a configuration is done with the command “a2ensite“. It is possible that there are multiple configurations for a virtual host. In our example, there are two files, one with the normal “http” configuration and one with “https”.

First we change to the configuration folder with “cd /etc/apache2/sites-available“.

a2ensite server.andydunkel.net.conf
a2ensite server.andydunkel.net-le-ssl.conf

After executing the command, with sudo rights, the configuration is activated.

Disable site / disable configuration

For deactivation, there is the command “a2dissite” The operation is analogous.

a2dissite server.andydunkel.net.conf
a2dissite server.andydunkel.net-le-ssl.conf

Restart server

The configuration is not immediately active, as the output of the command already suggests. To do this, we use one of the following commands to re-read the configuration and restart the web server.

sudo systemctl reload apache2
sudo systemctl restart apache2
sudo service apache2 restart

Remove configuration

To completely remove a configuration, we first disable it. Then we delete the configuration file.

cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
rm server.andydunkel.net.conf
rm server.andydunkel.net-le-ssl.conf

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