Apache was originally based on code and ideas found in the most popular HTTP server of the time.. NCSA httpd 1.3 (early 1995). It has since evolved into a far superior system which can rival (and probably surpass) almost any other UNIX based HTTP server in terms of functionality, efficiency and speed. It has several new features (among which are highly configurable error messages, DBM-based authentication databases, and content negotiation). It also offers dramatically improved performance, and fixes many bugs in the NCSA 1.3 code.
We are, of course, aware of NCSA's ongoing efforts towards the release of a 1.4 version of their server (as they are aware of ours; in fact, the current NCSA beta contains some code written by members of the Apache group). Once NCSA 1.4 has been released, we hope to incorporate most of its innovations (and perhaps to transition entirely to a 1.4 code base). However, these are independent efforts.
to address concerns of a group of www providers and part time httpd programmers, that httpd didn't behave as they wanted it to.
A cute name which stuck. Apache is "A PAtCHy server". It was based on some existing code and a series of "patch files".
Apache attempts to offer all the features and configuration options of NCSA httpd 1.3, as well as many of the additional features found in NCSA httpd 1.4 and NCSA httpd 1.5.
NCSA httpd appears to be moving toward adding experimental features which are not generally required at the moment. Some of the experiments will succeed while others will inevitably be dropped. The Apache philosophy is to add what's needed as and when it is needed.
Friendly interaction between Apache and NCSA developers should ensure that fundamental feature enhancments stay consistent between the two servers for the foreseeable future.
we didn't expect the features we needed to show up in a near-term NCSA release. Furthermore, uncertainty over the future of the NCSA httpd license worried some of us. Apache is and will be a free server. With its collaborative development team we openly welcome new volunteers, suggestions and support.
For an independent assessment, see http://www.webcompare.com/server-main.html
Version 1.0 of Apache was 'plugged in' at,
Also tested under HP-UX, Linux, SCO, Solaris, NeXT, .....
See http://www.apache.org/info/apache_users.html for an incomplete list of sites running Apache.
As you can see, these machines run services which are far busier than the average httpd server, so Apache has received a considerable workout. It works for us; however, this is beta code, and again, your mileage may vary.
Here are just some of the new features...
hard-coded responses, customizable text responses, local URL redirection, external URL redirection.
A server running on a machine with multiple IP addresses can have a different home page for each IP address
n.b. non-standard at the moment. The new CGI variables help scripts and server-side-includes be more aware of their environment and origin.
Clients can negotiate the type of information they prefer, e.g. jpeg rather than gif, German instead of the default English, dvi instead of postscript.
XBITHACK can be configured to send back a Last-modified: header to enable clients and proxies to cache documents which make use of XBITHACKed server-side includes.
CGI scripts can send back custom HTTP response headers as well as a body after an external redirect. An example of a custom response header,
Status 404: URL was not found
If a request results in a redirect to another URL, both URLs are logged in the access_log
Apache will search for index.html as well as any other filenames you prefer.
Apache version 1.1 and above will come with a proxy module. If compiled in, this will make Apache act as a caching-proxy server
There is no official support for Apache. None of the developers want to be swamped by a flood of trivial questions that can be resolved elsewhere. Bug reports and suggestions should be sent to email@example.com Other questions should be directed to comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix, where some of the Apache team lurk, in the company of many other httpd gurus who should be able to help.
Commercial support for Apache is, however, available from a number third parties.
Indeed there is. See http://www.apache.org/.
You can find the source for Apache at http://www.apache.org/.