How to Administrate the Apache Web Server Using “Apache GUI” Tool

Apache Web Server is one of the most popular HTTP server on Internet today, due to its open source nature, rich modules and features and can run on almost major platforms and operating systems....

Apache Web Server is one of the most popular HTTP server on Internet today, due to its open source nature, rich modules and features and can run on almost major platforms and operating systems.

While on Windows platforms there are some built in development environments that provides a Graphical Interface to manage Apache configurations, such as WAMP or XAMPP, on Linux the entire management process must be performed entirely from Command Line, in most of the cases.

While managing and configuring Apache Web Server from command line, can have a huge impact concerning system security, it can also be a scary job for newbies who are not very familiar with doing things from command line.

This is the point where Apache GUI tool can come in handy. This tools is a free and open source package designed for system administrators to manage the functionality of Apache Web Server from a browser, such as:

  1. Edit your web server configuration files right from your browser.
  2. Edit your web documents right from your browser.
  3. Download, search and visualize Apache Logs in real time.
  4. Install, edit or remove Apache modules.
  5. View runtime statistics or detailed graphs transactions of Apache HTTP Server.
  6. Manage global server settings.
  7. Manage and view all VirtualHosts in a tree view.

Apache Web Administartion Tool

Apache Web Administartion Tool

Requirements

  1. Install LAMP in RHEL/CentOS 7


For the purpose of this article, I will be installing Apache GUI Web Tool on a Linode CentOS 7 VPS with IP address 192.168.0.100 and provides you a short init script for starting or stoping the process.

The same instructions also works for RHEL/CentOS 6.x and Fedora distributions.

Step 1: Download and Install Apache GUI

1. Before getting started with downloading and installing Apache GUI tool, you need to assure that Java JDK provided by Java-openjdk package is installed on your system, so you can run Apache GUI.

Use the following commands to locate Java-openjdk package version and install it on RHEL/CentOS 7.

# yum search openjdk
# yum install java-1.8.0

Install Java JDK in CentOS

Install Java JDK Package

2. Assuming, that you are logged in as root and your current working directory is /root, use the following link to download latest version of Apache GUI source package (i.e. ApacheGUI-1.12.0.tar.gz) installation files from Sourceforge.net.

  1. http://sourceforge.net/projects/apachegui/files/

Alternatively, you can also grab the Linux-Solaris-Mac –> ApacheGUI tar archive source files using following wget command as shown below.

# wget https://sourceforge.net/projects/apachegui/files/1.12-Linux-Solaris-Mac/ApacheGUI-1.12.0.tar.gz/download

Download ApacheGUI

Download ApacheGUI

3. After the archive is downloaded, extract it and move the entire resulted directory to /opt system path, which will be the installation location of your Apache GUI Server.

# tar xfz ApacheGUI-1.9.3.tar.gz
# mv ApacheGUI /opt
# cd /opt

Extract ApacheGUI Archive

Extract ApacheGUI Archive

4. Now, it’s time to start and verify Apache GUI Web Tool functionality. Change your directory to ApacheGUI/bin/ path and use run.sh script to start the tool and stop.sh script to stop the server.

# cd ApacheGUI/bin/
# ./run.sh 

Start ApacheGUI Tool

Start ApacheGUI Tool

5. After the tool starts it will display some environment information and you can access it only from your localhost using the following URL address on your browser.

http://localhost:9999/ApacheGUI/

To gain remote control over Apache GUI Web Tool from a browser, you need to add a rule on your system Firewall that opens Port 9999/TCP, which is the default port that Apache GUI Tools listens on. Use the following commands to open port 9999 on RHEL/CentOS 7 using Firewalld utility.

# firewall-cmd --add-port=9999/tcp ## On fly rule
# firewall-cmd --add-port=9999/tcp --permanent ## Permanent rule – you need to reload firewall to apply it
# firewall-cmd --reload

Open Port On CentOS

Open Port on Firewall

6. If port 9999 used by Apache GUI overlaps with another application on your system you can change it by editing ApacheGUI server.xml configuration file, search for Connector port=”9999” protocol=”HTTP/1.1” directive and replace port statement with your favorite port number (don’t forget to apply port firewall rule the same time).

# nano /opt/ApacheGUI/tomcat/conf/server.xml

Change Port of ApacheGUI

Change Port of ApacheGUI

Step 2: Configure Apache GUI

7. Now it’s time to configure Apache GUI Web Tool for Apache Web Server administration from a remote point. Assuming that you have configured your system Firewall and allowed external connections, open a remote browser and type use your server
external IP address to access Apache GUI

http://192.168.1.80:9999/ApacheGUI/

Use following credentials to login into ApacheGUI tool.

Username: admin
Password: admin 

Access ApacheGUI Web Panel

Access ApacheGUI Web Panel

8. Next, the tool will prompt you on How Apache Web Server was installed? Choose Package option, if you installed Apache on RHEL/CentOS using yum package management tool and hit OK to move forward.

Select ApacheGUI Installation Type

Select ApacheGUI Installation Type

9. Provide your Apache Web Server Package Parameters with the following configurations and, also, choose a username and a strong password to login Apache GUI next time.

Server Root: /etc/httpd
Primary Configuration File: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
Configuration Directory: /etc/httpd
Log Directory: /var/log/httpd
Modules Directory: /etc/httpd/modules
Binary File: /usr/sbin/apachectl
Username: choose a username
Password: choose a strong password
Password: repeat the above password

Apache GUI Configuration

Apache GUI Configuration

10. After you finish hit on Submit button to apply configuration and you’re done. Now you can control Apache Web Server with all its configuration files and edit web documents directly from your browser like in the screenshots below.

ApacheGUI Settings

ApacheGUI Settings

Apache Server Information

Apache Server Information

ApacheGUI VirtualHosts

ApacheGUI VirtualHosts

Step 3: Create systemv init script

11. If you need method to manage Apache GUI Tool without always changing directory to [APACHEGUI_HOME], which for this installation is /opt/ApacheGUI/, and execute run.sh and stop.sh scripts, create a init configuration file /etc/init.d/apache-gui as in the following excerpt.

# nano /etc/init.d/apache-gui

Copy the below text without any modification, save it and apply execution permissions.

#!/bin/sh
#
#
# System startup script for apache-gui
#
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: apache-gui
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: Start the apache-gui
# Description: Start the apache-gui
### END INIT INFO
#
# chkconfig: 2345 20 80
# description: Runs the apache-gui
# processname: apache-gui
#
# Source function library
. /etc/init.d/functions case "$1" in start) cd /opt/ApacheGUI/bin/
./run.sh ;; stop) cd /opt/ApacheGUI/bin/
./stop.sh ;; *) echo $"Usage: $0 {start|stop}" exit 2
esac
exit $? 

ApacheGUI init Script

ApacheGUI init Script

12. Use the following commands to manage Apache GUI process on RHEL/CentOS 7.

# service apache-gui start
# service apache-gui stop OR # systemctl start apache-gui
# systemctl stop apache-gui
# systemctl status apache-gui

Start ApacheGUI Service

Start ApacheGUI Service

13. If you need Apache GUI Web Tool to automatically run after system reboot, use the following command to enable it system-wide.

# chkconfig apache-gui on

To disable it system-wide.

# chkconfig apache-gui off

Start ApacheGUI System-Wide

Start ApacheGUI System-Wide

Even though Apache GUI Web Tool has some limitations and doesn’t provide the same degree of flexibility for Apache Web Server as you can achieve from command line, it can provide a modern free Java web interface to administer your web server and has a full inline editor for web documents such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, Json, PHP, Perl, Shell, Python and can generate some detailed graphs of Apache Transactions.

Reference Links

Apache GUI Homepage

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