In only about ten years, the World Wide Web (WWW or Web for short) has exploded from nothing to a vital part of our daily lives. Most computer users are familiar with the Web and with web browsers—the client side of the Web's client/server structure. Web servers, also known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) servers, are the programs with which web browsers most commonly communicate. (Most web browsers can also use a few other protocols, but HTTP dominates web page delivery.) Naturally, Linux supports web servers, including the single most popular web server program, Apache. Other options are available and may be preferable in some cases, though.

A default Apache installation takes remarkably little effort to function as a basic web server. A few tweaks to the configuration can enable or disable common features, though. More complex uses of a web server are delivering dynamic content and delivering secure content. These practices require careful preparation of the server or the content. You should also know at least a little about creating web pages.

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