Apache

Apache: How To Redirect http to https

If you want to direct traffic from your http so that it gets encrypted, this is really easy to do in Apache:

Step one: Set up your https vhost:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost 10.1.1.1:443>
DocumentRoot /var/www
# other server options go here as needed
# – logging for example
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/example.cert
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/example.key
# Add other SSL specific options as needed</pre>
</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

Step two: Set up your http vhost:

<VirtualHost 10.1.1.1:80>
ServerName my.example.com
RedirectPermanent / https://my.example.com/
</VirtualHost>

We have previously posted more information on enabling SSL in Apache.

Obviously, instead of 10.1.1.1 and my.example.com you’ll have to use your own IP and hostname, whatever they may be.

Note that this will redirect everything from http to https. Finer control is possible, for example you could do:

RedirectPermanent /secure/ https://my.example.com/secure/

Or you could use RewriteRules for even more control. However, in the age of mass surveillance and constant threats from hackers, a general redirect to https is a good idea.

WordPress: Images not displaying, Redirects not working

Moved my WordPress installation to a new server. I kept all paths etc intact, copied my VirtualHost and permissions were good, so I was at first surprised when my images didn’t show and redirects didn’t work. The cause was quickly found, however; it seems my old install had different default settings hidden somewhere in the Apache configuration.

I guess there may also be different causes, but in my case I fixed it by adding this to my WordPress VirtualHost:

<Directory “/var/www/wordpress/”>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
</Directory>

/var/www/wordpress is obviously the DocumentRoot of my WordPress install.

Lo and behold, my WordPress site wasn’t broken anymore.

Enabling SSL in Apache2 on Ubuntu

I’m using my server for various admin interfaces and so want to SSL encrypt all traffic to the web server. This is easy enough to add to the default vhosts.

First, we need an SSL certificate. Create it by running:

openssl req -new -x509 -days 3650 -nodes
-out /etc/ssl/certs/apacheserver.pem
-keyout /etc/ssl/private/apacheserver.pem

This generates a self-signed certificate. For tests this is good enough; for production sites you WILL want to use a real purchased certificate. Since one of the jobs of SSL is not only to encrypt, but also to authenticate a site to the user, a self-signed certificate will cause browsers to pop up a warning. Users can (permanently) accept this for your site, but it’s probably not the impression you want to leave.

Ubuntu’s Apache2 will come with the SSL module installed by default, but it’s not used. As our next step, we need to enable it:

a2enmod ssl

Finally, we need to create an SSL virtual host. In my case, I want all http traffic to be simply redirected to https. Find the file /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default and edit it.

Change the existing vhost to listen to Port 443; edit the “VirtualHost” line so it reads:

<VirtualHost *:443>
[…]
</VirtualHost>

(Where […] is of course the rest of your vhost configuration)

Now, inside the VirtualHost definition we’ll need to enable SSL and tell it where the certificate resides:

<VirtualHost *:443>
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/ephesus.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ephesus.pem
[…]
</VirtualHost>

Finally, add a new vhost for redirection:

<VirtualHost *:80>
RedirectPermanent / https://server.example.org/
</VirtualHost>

Naturally, https://server.example.org/ should point to your machine’s name.

Restart Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

And that’s all. If you go to http://server.example.org/ you should now be redirected to https://server.example.org

For final reference, here’s my configuration. Note that I commented out the Ubuntu documentation (No need to make this available to the big wide world) and cgi-bin (I’m not using this).

<VirtualHost *:80>
RedirectPermanent / https://ephesus.pandemonium.de/
</VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:443>
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/ephesus.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ephesus.pem

ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

DocumentRoot /var/www
<Directory />
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
</Directory>
<Directory /var/www/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride None
Order allow,deny
allow from all
</Directory>

#ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
#<Directory “/usr/lib/cgi-bin”>
# AllowOverride None
# Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
# Order allow,deny
# Allow from all
#</Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

# Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
# alert, emerg.
LogLevel warn

CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
# Alias /doc/ “/usr/share/doc/”
# <Directory “/usr/share/doc/”>
# Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
# AllowOverride None
# Order deny,allow
# Deny from all
# Allow from 127.0.0.0/255.0.0.0 ::1/128
# </Directory>

</VirtualHost>