Install Apache Web Server on Debian 12

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How can i install Apache web server on Debian 12? Follow through the simple steps in this guide to learn how to install Apache web server.

Installing Apache Web Server on Debian 12

Have you installed Debian 12 and want to run some web applications on it? You can install Apache, the number HTTP server on the internet and configure it to server your web application.

Run System Update

To ensure you are installing up-to-date packages on Debian 12, update the package cache by running the command below;

sudo apt update

Installing Apache Web Server on Debian 12

Execute the command below to install Apache web server;

apt install apache2

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  apache2-data apache2-utils
Suggested packages:
  apache2-doc apache2-suexec-pristine | apache2-suexec-custom
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  apache2 apache2-data apache2-utils
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 577 kB of archives.
After this operation, 1,890 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y

Start Apache Service

Once the installation is done, Apache is started and enabled to run on system boot.

Thus, you can confirm the status using the command below;

systemctl status apache2

● apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/apache2.service; enabled; preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Tue 2023-06-13 22:16:40 EAT; 2min 3s ago
   Main PID: 3835 (apache2)
      Tasks: 55 (limit: 2285)
     Memory: 10.6M
        CPU: 50ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/apache2.service
             ├─3835 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             ├─3837 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
             └─3838 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

Jun 13 22:16:40 bookworm systemd[1]: Starting apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server...
Jun 13 22:16:40 bookworm systemd[1]: Started apache2.service - The Apache HTTP Server.

If it is not started nor enabled to run on system boot, run the command below to start Apache service;

systemctl enable --now apache2

Verify Apache2 installation

You can now try to access Apache from the browser to verify its installation.

You can use the address http://server-IP.

If Apache is installed and is working correctly, then you see Apache2 Test page;

Install Apache Web Server on Debian 12

Creating Custom Site with Apache

You can create and server your own site using Apache.

By default, Apache uses /var/www/html as the document root directory. It is also known as web root directory, is the main directory where the web server looks for files to serve to clients.

So if you want to serve your own page, you can create your application directory under /var/www/.

In this demo, we create a directory called kifarunix where will put our basic site html content.

mkdir /var/www/kifarunix

Then this is our html configs;

vim /var/www/kifarunix/index.html

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Welcome to</title>
        body {
            display: flex;
            justify-content: center;
            align-items: flex-start;
            min-height: 100vh;
            text-align: center;
            font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
            margin: 0;
        .container {
            max-width: 600px;
            margin-top: 20vh;
        h1 {
            font-size: 28px;
            margin-bottom: 20px;
        p {
            font-size: 18px;
            line-height: 1.5;
            margin-bottom: 10px;
        a {
            color: #007bff;
    <div class="container">
        <h1>Welcome to</h1>
        <p>This is a sample HTML page for my website.</p>
        <p>Feel free to customize this page with your own content.</p>
        <p>For more information, visit <a href=""></a>.</p>

Next, update the ownership of the directory;

chown -R www-data: /var/www/kifarunix/

Configure Apache to serve your site. Similarly, create your own Apache virtualhost config to server your site content;

cat > /etc/apache2/sites-available/kifarunix.conf << 'EOL'
<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/kifarunix

    <Directory /var/www/kifarunix>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/mywebsite_error.log
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/mywebsite_access.log combined

Check Apache for configuration syntax errors;

apachectl -t

The output should be, Syntax OK if everything is ok.

Next, enable your site;

a2ensite kifarunix.conf

Disable default Apache site;

a2dissite 000-default.conf

Restart and Verify Apache Installation

Restart Apache2 service;

systemctl restart apache2

Verify your site processing from web browser, http://server-IP-or-resolvable-domain-name.

sample site apache

Allowing Apache on Firewall

If firewall is on on your system and you want to access your web server externally, open the ports on firewall;


ufw allow "WWW"


iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT


firewall-cmd --add-port=80/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --reload

Configure Apache with HTTPS

If you want to enable HTTPS on Apache, how can you go about it?

Generate SSL/TLS certificates

Firs of all, you need to generate the SSL/TLS certificates.

We will use self signed SSL certs in this guide. The process to use commercial certs is out of scope of this guide.

Generate private key

mkdir /etc/ssl/kifarunix
openssl genrsa -out /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-private.key 4096

Generate CSR

openssl req -new -key /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-private.key \
-out /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-csr.pem \
-subj "/C=US/ST=CA/L=San Francisco/O=Organization/"


  • /C=: Country (2-letter ISO code)
  • /ST=: State or province
  • /L=: Locality or city
  • /O=: Organization
  • /CN=: Common Name (e.g., the domain name)

Generate SSL/TLS certificate;

openssl x509 -req -days 3650 -in /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-csr.pem \
-signkey  /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-private.key -out /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-cert.crt

Sample output;

Certificate request self-signature ok
subject=C = US, ST = CA, L = San Francisco, O = Organization, CN =

Install/Enable Apache SSL Modules

Run the command below to install Apache SSL modules;

When you install Apache, it installs alongside itself the SSL modules.

All you need to do is enable the SSL modules for apache;

a2enmod ssl

Confirm with;

apachectl -M | grep ssl
 ssl_module (shared)

Configure Apache to use SSL/TLS certs

Now, update your config to use SSL/TLS.

We will update our config above. So update yours accordingly.

vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/kifarunix.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
    Redirect permanent /

<VirtualHost *:443>

    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-cert.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-private.key

    DocumentRoot /var/www/kifarunix

    <Directory /var/www/kifarunix>
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted


Some of the settings;

  • Redirect: Redirects any HTTP requests to HTTPS
  • SSLEngine on enables SSL/TLS encryption.
  • SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile point to the paths of your SSL certificate and private key files, respectively.

Save and exit the file.

Enable Apache rewrite modules;

a2enmod rewrite

Check Apache for any errors;

apachectl -t

if no errors, restart;

systemctl restart apache2

Verify that you can now access your site via HTTPS by visiting the

Similarly, you need to open HTTPS port on firewall. Substitute the commands above with the correct app (UFW) and ports (iptables/firewalld);


ufw allow "WWW Secure"


iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT


firewall-cmd --add-port=443/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --reload

That is all on installing Apache web server on Debian Linux.

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Linux Certified Engineer, with a passion for open-source technology and a strong understanding of Linux systems. With experience in system administration, troubleshooting, and automation, I am skilled in maintaining and optimizing Linux infrastructure.

2 thoughts on “Install Apache Web Server on Debian 12”

  1. openssl x509 -req -days 3650 -in /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-csr.pem \
    -signkey kifarunix-private.key -out /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-cert.crt

    should read

    openssl x509 -req -days 3650 -in /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-csr.pem \
    -signkey /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-private.key -out /etc/ssl/kifarunix/kifarunix-cert.crt


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