Apache HTTP server control interface
When acting in SysV init mode, apache2ctl takes simple, one-word com‐ mands, defined below. apachectl command apache2ctl command When acting in pass-through mode, apache2ctl can take all the arguments available for the httpd binary. apachectl [httpd-argument] apache2ctl [httpd-argument]
apache2ctl is a front end to the Apache HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server. It is designed to help the administrator control the functioning of the Apache apache2 daemon. NOTE: The default Debian configuration requires the environment vari‐ ables APACHE_RUN_USER, APACHE_RUN_GROUP, and APACHE_PID_FILE to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars. The apache2ctl script returns a 0 exit value on success, and >0 if an error occurs. For more details, view the comments in the script.
The command can be any one or more of the following options: start Start the Apache daemon. Gives an error if it is already running. stop Stops the Apache daemon. restart Restarts the Apache daemon by sending it a SIGHUP. If the daemon is not running, it is started. This command automatically checks the configuration files via con‐ figtest before initiating the restart to to catch the most obvious errors. However, it is still possible for the daemon to die because of problems with the configura‐ tion. fullstatus Displays a full status report from mod_status. For this to work, you need to have mod_status enabled on your server and a text-based browser such as lynx available on your system. The URL used to access the status report can be set by setting the APACHE_STATUSURL variable in /etc/apache2/envvars. status Displays a brief status report. Similar to the fullstatus option, except that the list of requests currently being served is omitted. graceful Gracefully restarts the Apache daemon by sending it a SI‐ GUSR1. If the daemon is not running, it is started. This differs from a normal restart in that currently open connections are not aborted. A side effect is that old log files will not be closed immediately. This means that if used in a log rotation script, a substantial de‐ lay may be necessary to ensure that the old log files are closed before processing them. This command automati‐ cally checks the configuration files via apache2ctl con‐ figtest before initiating the restart to to catch the most obvious errors. However, it is still possible for the daemon to die because of problems with the configura‐ tion. graceful-stop Gracefully stops the Apache httpd daemon. This differs from a normal stop in that currently open connections are not aborted. A side effect is that old log files will not be closed immediately. configtest Run a configuration file syntax test. It parses the con‐ figuration files and either reports Syntax Ok or informa‐ tion about the particular syntax error. This test does not catch all errors. help Displays a short help message. The following option was available in earlier versions but has been re‐ moved. startssl To start httpd with SSL support, you should edit your configuration file to include the relevant directives and then use the normal apache2ctl start.
The behaviour of apache2ctl can be influenced with these environment variables: APACHE_HTTPD, APACHE_LYNX, APACHE_STATUSURL, APACHE_ULIMIT_MAX_FILES, APACHE_RUN_DIR, APACHE_LOCK_DIR, APACHE_RUN_USER, APACHE_ARGUMENTS, APACHE_ENVVARS. See the comments in the script for details. These variables (except APACHE_ENVVARS) can be set in /etc/apache2/envvars.