Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.0 > Platform Specific Notes

Using Apache with Microsoft Windows

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This document explains how to install, configure and run Apache 2.0 under Microsoft Windows. If you find any bugs, or wish to contribute in other ways, please use our bug reporting page.

This document assumes that you are installing a binary distribution of Apache. If you want to compile Apache yourself (possibly to help with development or tracking down bugs), see Compiling Apache for Microsoft Windows.

Because of the current versioning policies on Microsoft Windows operating system families, this document assumes the following:


Operating System Requirements

The primary Windows platform for running Apache 2.0 is Windows NT. The binary installer only works with the x86 family of processors, such as Intel and AMD processors. Running Apache on Windows 9x is not thoroughly tested, and it is never recommended on production systems.

On all operating systems, TCP/IP networking must be installed and working. If running on Windows 95, the Winsock 2 upgrade must be installed. Winsock 2 for Windows 95 can be downloaded from here.

On Windows NT 4.0, installing Service Pack 6 is strongly recommended, as Service Pack 4 created known issues with TCP/IP and Winsock integrity that were resolved in later Service Packs.


Downloading Apache for Windows

Information on the latest versions of Apache can be found on the web site of the Apache web server at http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi. There you will find the current release, as well as more recent alpha or beta test versions, and a list of HTTP and FTP mirrors from which you can download the Apache web server. Please use a mirror near to you for a fast and reliable download.

For Windows installations you should download the version of Apache for Windows with the .msi extension. This is a single Microsoft Installer file, which contains a ready-to-run version of Apache. There is a separate .zip file, which contains only the source code. You can compile Apache yourself with the Microsoft Visual C++ (Visual Studio) tools.


Installing Apache for Windows

You need Microsoft Installer 1.2 or above for the installation to work. On Windows 9x you can update your Microsoft Installer to version 2.0 here and on Windows NT 4.0 and 2000 the version 2.0 update can be found here. Windows XP does not need this update.

Note that you cannot install two versions of Apache 2.0 on the same computer with the binary installer. You can, however, install a version of the 1.3 series and a version of the 2.0 series on the same computer without problems. If you need to have two different 2.0 versions on the same computer, you have to compile and install Apache from the source.

Run the Apache .msi file you downloaded above. The installation will ask you for these things:

  1. Network Domain. Enter the DNS domain in which your server is or will be registered in. For example, if your server's full DNS name is server.mydomain.net, you would type mydomain.net here.

  2. Server Name. Your server's full DNS name. From the example above, you would type server.mydomain.net here.

  3. Administrator's Email Address. Enter the server administrator's or webmaster's email address here. This address will be displayed along with error messages to the client by default.

  4. For whom to install Apache Select for All Users, on Port 80, as a Service - Recommended if you'd like your new Apache to listen at port 80 for incoming traffic. It will run as a service (that is, Apache will run even if no one is logged in on the server at the moment) Select only for the Current User, on Port 8080, when started Manually if you'd like to install Apache for your personal experimenting or if you already have another WWW server running on port 80.

  5. The installation type. Select Typical for everything except the source code and libraries for module development. With Custom you can specify what to install. A full install will require about 13 megabytes of free disk space. This does not include the size of your web site(s).

  6. Where to install. The default path is C:\Program Files\Apache Group under which a directory called Apache2 will be created by default.

During the installation, Apache will configure the files in the conf subdirectory to reflect the chosen installation directory. However, if any of the configuration files in this directory already exist, they will not be overwritten. Instead, the new copy of the corresponding file will be left with the extension .default. So, for example, if conf\httpd.conf already exists, it will be renamed as conf\httpd.conf.default. After the installation you should manually check to see what new settings are in the .default file, and if necessary, update your existing configuration file.

Also, if you already have a file called htdocs\index.html, it will not be overwritten (and no index.html.default will be installed either). This means it should be safe to install Apache over an existing installation, although you would have to stop the existing running server before doing the installation, and then start the new one after the installation is finished.

After installing Apache, you must edit the configuration files in the conf subdirectory as required. These files will be configured during the installation so that Apache is ready to be run from the directory it was installed into, with the documents server from the subdirectory htdocs. There are lots of other options which you should set before you really start using Apache. However, to get started quickly, the files should work as installed.


Customizing Apache for Windows

Apache is configured by the files in the conf subdirectory. These are the same files used to configure the Unix version, but there are a few different directives for Apache on Windows. See the directive index for all the available directives.

The main differences in Apache for Windows are: