How to Install Mod_GeoIP for Apache in RHEL and CentOS

Mod_GeoIP is an Apache module that can be used to get the geographic location of IP address of the visitor into the Apache web server. This module allows you to determine the visitor’s country,...

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Mod_GeoIP is an Apache module that can be used to get the geographic location of IP address of the visitor into the Apache web server. This module allows you to determine the visitor’s country, organization and location. It is specially useful for Geo Ad Serving, Target Content, Spam Fighting, Fraud Detection, Redirecting/Blocking visitors based on their country and much more.

GeoIP module allows system administrators to redirect or block web traffic according on the client geographical location. The geographical location is learned via client IP address.

Mod_GeoIP has two different version one is Free and another one is Paid and uses MaxMind GeoIP / GeoCity databases.

  1. Free Version : In Free version the Geo City and Country databases are availble with 99.5% accuracy.
  2. Paid Version : In Paid version you will get both databases with 99.8% accuracy with some more advanaced details about IP address.

If you like to check out the more differences betweetn Free and Paid version, please visit the Maxmind.com.


This article explains how to setup and install Mod_GeoIP module for Apache in RHEL and CentOS using EPEL repository with YUM package manager utility.

We assume that you already have running RHEL and CentOS system with a working LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) setup. If not, then read our articles where we’ve shown the installation of both operating systems with LAMP.

Installation Of RHEL/CentOS
  1. Installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.3 Guide
  2. Installation of CentOS 7.3 Guide
LAMP Setup on RHEL/CentOS
  1. How to Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) on RHEL and CentOS

Enable EPEL Repository in RHEL and CentOS

By default mod_Geoip is not avilable under RHEL / CentOS official repository, so we need to install and enable third party EPEL repository.

# yum install epel-release

Install Mod_GeoIP in RHEL and CentOS

Once you’ve EPEL repository enabled on your system, you can simple install mod_geoip by running following command with their dependency packages.

# yum install mod_geoip GeoIP GeoIP-devel GeoIP-data zlib-devel

Download latest Geo City and Country Database

It’s good idea to download latest Geo City and Country Database to stay updated.

# cd /usr/share/GeoIP/
# mv GeoIP.dat GeoIP.dat_org
# wget http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCountry/GeoIP.dat.gz
# wget http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCity.dat.gz
# gunzip GeoIP.dat.gz
# gunzip GeoLiteCity.dat.gz

Enable Mod_GeoIP in Apache

After the module has been installed, open and edit the module main configuration file, with a command line text editor such as vi, and activate the module server-wide, as illustrated in the below excerpt.

# vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/geoip.conf

Set the line GeoIPEnable from Off to On. Also, make sure you add the absolute path to GeoIP database file.

<IfModule mod_geoip.c>
GeoIPEnable On
GeoIPDBFile /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat MemoryCache
</IfModule>

Restart the Apache service to reflect changes.

# systemctl restart httpd
OR
# service httpd restart

However, it’s not recommended to turn on GeoIP module server-wide. You should enable the GeoIP module only in <Location> or <Directory> blocks where you would actually perform the traffic redirection or block.

Testing Mod_GeoIP Module

To test the mod_geoip module is working correctly with Apache, we need to creat a PHP file called testgeoip.php under Apache root directory (e.g. /var/www/html).

# vi /var/www/html/testgeoip.php

Insert the following piece of php code to it.

<html>
<head>
<title>What is my IP address - determine or retrieve my IP address</title>
</head>
<body>
<?php
if (getenv(HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR)) {
$pipaddress = getenv(HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR);
$ipaddress = getenv(REMOTE_ADDR);
echo "Your Proxy IP address is : ".$pipaddress. " (via $ipaddress) " ;
} else {
$ipaddress = getenv(REMOTE_ADDR);
echo "Your IP address is : $ipaddress";
}
$country = getenv(GEOIP_COUNTRY_NAME);
$country_code = getenv(GEOIP_COUNTRY_CODE);
echo "<br/>Your country : $country ( $country_code ) ";
?>
</body>
</html>

Now, try to call the file using web browser (e.g. http://localhost/testgeoip.php). You will get your IP address and Country details.

Updating GeoIP Database

GeoIP database is updated beginning of every month. So, its is very important to keep GeoIP database up-to-date. To download latest version of database use the following command.

# cd /usr/share/GeoIP/
# mv GeoIP.dat GeoIP.dat_org
# wget http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCountry/GeoIP.dat.gz
# wget http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCity.dat.gz
# gunzip GeoIP.dat.gz
# gunzip GeoLiteCity.dat.gz

Automatic GeoIP Database Update

We have written a smaill shell script that will automatically download the latest version of GeoIP database every month. Just place the any of the following script under /etc/cron.monthly.

Script 1
# Automatic GeoIP Database Update from www.tecmint.com
#!/bin/sh
cd /usr/share/GeoIP
mv GeoIP.dat GeoIP.dat_org
wget -q http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCountry/GeoIP.dat.gz
gzip -d -f GeoIP.dat.gz
Script 2
#!/bin/sh
GEOIP_MIRROR="http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database"
GEOIPDIR=/usr/share/GeoIP
TMPDIR=
DATABASES="GeoLiteCity GeoLiteCountry/GeoIP asnum/GeoIPASNum GeoIPv6"
if [ -d "${GEOIPDIR}" ]; then
cd $GEOIPDIR
if [ -n "${DATABASES}" ]; then
TMPDIR=$(mktemp -d geoipupdate.XXXXXXXXXX)
echo "Updating GeoIP databases..."
for db in $DATABASES; do
fname=$(basename $db)
wget --no-verbose -t 3 -T 60 "${GEOIP_MIRROR}/${db}.dat.gz" -O "${TMPDIR}/${fname}.dat.gz"
gunzip -fdc "${TMPDIR}/${fname}.dat.gz" > "${TMPDIR}/${fname}.dat"
mv "${TMPDIR}/${fname}.dat" "${GEOIPDIR}/${fname}.dat"
chmod 0644 "${GEOIPDIR}/${fname}.dat"
done
[ -d "${TMPDIR}" ] && rm -rf $TMPDIR
fi
fi

Redirecting Users based on Country

The below example code will redirect users based on the country code that we set to AS (Asia). This way you can redirect any users based on their county code.

GeoIPEnable On
GeoIPDBFile /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat
# Redirect one country
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{ENV:GEOIP_COUNTRY_CODE} ^AS$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.tecmint.com$1 [R,L]

Blocking Users based on Country

This example will block users based on the country code that GeoIP sets. Below example will block users from AS (Asia) and US (United States) countries.

GeoIPEnable On
GeoIPDBFile /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat
SetEnvIf GEOIP_COUNTRY_CODE AS BlockCountry
SetEnvIf GEOIP_COUNTRY_CODE US BlockCountry
# ... place more countries here
Deny from env=BlockCountry

Allowing Users based on Country

This below example will only allow users from below mentioned countries.

GeoIPEnable On
GeoIPDBFile /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat
SetEnvIf GEOIP_COUNTRY_CODE AS AllowCountry
SetEnvIf GEOIP_COUNTRY_CODE US AllowCountry
# ... place more countries here
Deny from all
Allow from env=AllowCountry

For more information about mod_geoip and its usage can be found at http://www.maxmind.com/app/mod_geoip. If you’re having any trouble in setting up mod_geoip module, please let us know via comments and please don’t forget to share it with your friends.

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