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From "Greg Platt - Platt Consultants" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Why do I need /var/www as DocumentRoot & www-data as www owner?
Date Tue, 02 Sep 2008 21:27:54 GMT
I'm not arguing for or against what Debian did. One thing I can say is their
approach provides an individual VirtualHost file for each domain. It thus
tends to isolate any damage that might be done in editing httpd.conf to a
single domain. It also makes it easy to disable one domain using their
a2dissite utility without any risk of affecting other domains.

Other than that, I honestly don't care. I was actually quite comfortable
with the httpd.conf approach too. I wasted several hours when I first got
involved with Debian trying to figure out exactly how their setup differed. 

Indeed, it was just after I'd gone through the struggle of figuring all that
out and had gotten my 3 test sites working under the Debian paradigm that
another Debian user remarked about my "unusual" directory structure and
expressed the opinion that the entire web structure "should be" owned by
www-data and all sites should be under /var/www. It was at that point that I
began to worry I had somehow misinterpreted Apache and Debian's intent here.

That's what eventually lead to my first post here today.

-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph S D Yao [] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 2:59 PM
To: Greg Platt - Platt Consultants
Subject: Re: [users@httpd] Why do I need /var/www as DocumentRoot & www-data
as www owner?

I have no clue why the Debian Etch distribution is set up as you

I do remember discussion about the time /var/www was first used, long
ago, about /var always being a read-write file system even if the others
were mounted read-only from some other medium [CD-ROM, NFS, etc.].  This
seemed to be at least part of the motivation.  But I can't speak for
Apache at all.

** Joe Yao - Joseph S. D. Yao

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