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12.4. Web Services

Mac OS X comes with Apache, an open source web server responsible for more than half of all the Internet's web sites.[2] At its most basic level, Apache runs as a daemon named httpd that supports the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP); it listens to web surfers' requests (on port 80, by default) and replies with response codes and web pages.

[2] Netcraft tracks the changing popularity levels of Apache and other web servers on its web site at http://www.netcraft.com/survey/.

12.4.1. Apache Configuration

Apache's configuration information lies in the /etc/httpd directory, mainly in the file /etc/httpd/httpd.conf. This file sets up options through lists of directives and values, often mapped to filesystem directories and other criteria. Many of its options are highly specific to Mac OS X, so that Apache works "out of the box"; turning on web services with a single click in the Sharing pane (see Section 12.2.1) launches a full-featured web server on a fresh Mac OS X installation. Here are some highlights (and variances from the defaults that are in a platform-independent Apache installation):


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