How a Web Server Delivers Content

A web server works in a client-server relationship with a client program, such as a web browser. The clients are usually web browsers, like Konqueror or Mozilla.

The client program requests information (such as an HTML page), and the web server program supplies it.

Apache then delivers the actual resource (such as index.html) from its file directory. The file can be located in the top level of the directory (http://www.suse.com/index.html) or in a subdirectory (http://www.suse.com/us/business/services/support/index.html).

The file path is relative to the DocumentRoot setting, which can be changed in the Apache configuration file (http.conf).

HTML pages can be stored in a directory (passive or static pages) or generated in response to a query (active contents).

These requests and transfers use HTTP, which is part of the TCP/IP suite of protocols. The current version, HTTP 1.1, is documented in RFC 2068 and in the update RFC 2616. These RFCs are available at http://www.w3.org.

Commands and data are passed as plain text to port 80 (the default web server port) through a TCP connection. Web browsers submit HTTP requests; web servers use HTTP to respond by sending the requested file through port 80.

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