Ole Morten Halvorsen

June 24, 2008
One Virtual Host, Many eZ Publish Installations

As someone who spends most of the day testing and developing eZ Publish, I always have multiple instances of eZ Publish checked out. Different versions, customer installations, etc. Previously I’ve created a new virtual host in Apache for each installation — very painful indeed.

I went searching for a better solution — one that wouldn’t need reconfiguring of Apache. I could have used rewrite rules to map part of the URL to a directory, however rewrite rules will get messy fast. I want my configuration to be as clean and simple as possible. Some researching later and I stumbled upon the VirtualDocumentRoot directive. From the VirtualDocumentRoot documentation:

The VirtualDocumentRoot directive allows you to determine where Apache will find your documents based on the value of the server name. The result of expanding interpolated-directory is used as the root of the document tree in a similar manner to the DocumentRoot directive’s argument.

Sounds perfect. Here’s my new and improved virtual host configuration I came up with using VirtualDocumentRoot:

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<VirtualHost *:80>
    <Directory /www>
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride None
        Order allow,deny 
        Allow from all 
    </Directory>

    VirtualDocumentRoot /www/%1

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule content/treemenu/?$ /index_treemenu.php [L]
    Rewriterule ^/var/storage/.* - [L]
    Rewriterule ^/var/[^/]+/storage/.* - [L]
    RewriteRule ^/var/cache/texttoimage/.* - [L]
    RewriteRule ^/var/[^/]+/cache/texttoimage/.* - [L]
    Rewriterule ^/design/[^/]+/(stylesheets|images|javascript)/.* - [L]
    Rewriterule ^/share/icons/.* - [L]
    Rewriterule ^/extension/[^/]+/design/[^/]+/(stylesheets|images|javascripts?)/.* - [L]
    Rewriterule ^/packages/styles/.+/(stylesheets|images|javascript)/[^/]+/.* - [L]
    RewriteRule ^/packages/styles/.+/thumbnail/.* - [L]
    RewriteRule ^/favicon\.ico - [L]
    RewriteRule ^/robots\.txt - [L]

    RewriteRule .* /index.php [PT]        

</VirtualHost>

How it works

This is the same virtual host setup as explained in the eZ Publish installation documentation, except for 2 new directives.

  1. VirtualDocumentRoot /www/%1

    Instead of DocumentRoot, we use VirtualDocumentRoot to dynamically set the document root depending on the Host HTTP header. The %1 specifies that we only want the first part of the host name. For more information about VirtualDocumentRoot, check out the mod_vhost_alias documentation.

  2. RewriteRule .* /index.php [PT]

    [PT] (pass through to next handler) was added to make sure the document root is set using VirtualDocumentRoot. If omitted the default DocumentRoot setting will be used, resulting in paths looking like /www/index.php, instead of /www/trunk/index.php.

Examples

To illustrate how the mapping between the host header and directories on your file system, here are some examples:

Host Document root
http://trunk /www/trunk
http://trunk.oh.ez.no /www/trunk
http://stable.oh.ez.no /www/stable

Comments

#1 Damien Pitard

Posted: June 24, 2008

Thanks for this usefull tips !!!

#2 Maxime THOMAS

Posted: June 24, 2008

Very useful, thanks for this… No more apache config days…

#3 Damien Pitard

Posted: June 25, 2008

mod_vhost_alias need to be enabled :

With apache 1.3 on debian, put the following line in /etc/apache/modules.conf LoadModule vhost_alias_module /usr/lib/apache/1.3/mod_vhost_alias.so

If you want to use url like http://yourlogin.thedomain.com with the eZPublish sources in /home/[HTML_REMOVED]/www/thedomain.com

Use the folowing directive for VirtualDocumentRoot : *VirtualDocumentRoot /home/%-3/www/%-1.0.%-2.0

Subdomains like http://admin.yourlogin.thedomain.com will also work with this directive (usefull if you use siteaccess mapped on subdomain).

#4 Damien Pitard

Posted: June 25, 2008

What’s this [HTML_REMOVED] tag ??? :(

you should read : If you want to use url like http://yourlogin.thedomain.com with the eZPublish sources in /home/yourlogin/www/thedomain.com”

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