The development of Linux closely parallels the growth of the World Wide Web. As described in Chapter 01 , Linux is based on software developed by a community of volunteers. Apache, the most popular web server in use today, was also developed by a community of many of the same volunteers. So it should not be surprising that the success of Linux is closely tied to Apache and the World Wide Web.
In 1995, the most popular web server was the HTTP daemon from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. When the developers of this web server left NCSA, several webmasters from around the world started updating and maintaining changes through patches, which led to its description as a patchy server. Thus, their web server software is known as Apache .
Because Apache and Linux developed in a similar way, their fortunes are closely aligned. However, Apache is also used on other Unix-style operating systems and Microsoft Windows. According to a Netcraft survey ( www.netcraft.com/survey ), Apache is by far the most popular web server on the Internet, and has been since early 1996.
This chapter covers the version of Apache included with Red Hat Linux 9: version 2.0.40. Later versions are available from the Apache project website, httpd.apache.org . As part of its Advanced Server offering, Red Hat also offers the Stronghold Enterprise web server, which is also based on Apache.
In addition, this chapter covers Red Hat s Content Accelerator, formerly known as Tux, which is a kernel-based web server designed to speed delivery of static information (such as pictures) and can be configured to work closely with Apache. This chapter covers the following topics:
Exploring web server options
Learning Apache basics
Incorporating the Red Hat Content Accelerator