Step One: Name ResolutionUsually name resolution is done by a DNS server. This server takes a URL like "www.thecuriousdreamer.com" and returns an IP number (the Internet Protocol address is actually a number, but we humans find numbers more difficult to remember than text addresses). In addition to the DNS server, the operating system has a text file that can be used to resolve URLs.
I need my operating system (Linux in my case) to resolve URLs that I specify to my machine's IP number. This is very easy. I just need to edit the file called "/etc/hosts" to add the names I want to resolve. In this file I found an entry for “localhost” which is standard name for the default Apache web server on a local machine. The entry was:
As my machine came, typing “http://localhost” into a web browser would serve up documents in the standard web server on the machine. So I added a couple of lines to the hosts file so this part of it no read:
I needed to be root to be able to edit and save the hosts file.
Step Two: Setting up a Virtual ServerI found that Apache will handle virtual servers easily. You just need to modify one setup file called "\etc\apache2\httpd.conf". I found the section for virtual hosts in httpd.conf and added a few more lines. I read about virtual hosting on the Apache site. I learned that the first virtual host that is specified is used by default in case the URL is not resolved by Apache. I wanted to use the existing directory in this case. I added the following lines to the httpd.conf file:
<virtualhost> DocumentRoot /home/andrewault/public_html/ </virtualhost> <virtualhost> DocumentRoot /home/andrewault/public_html/www.thecuriousdreamer.com ServerName my.thecuriousdreamer.com </virtualhost> <virtualhost> DocumentRoot /home/andrewault/public_html/www.andrewault.net ServerName my.andrewault.net </virtualhost>The first block of code makes the existing server the default virtual server. The next two blocks each add a new virtual server. Note that I use the target URL except that instead of “www” I use”my”. This allows be to keep the same name and keep my system organized. Notes: You have to restart Apache for these changes to be effected. I just stopped and restarted the Apache daemon, but you could just restart the computer. Also, as with the hosts file, you need to be root to edit the httpd.conf file.