apache tutorial - Using .htaccess files - apache - apache web server - apache server - apache2


  • An .htaccess file is a plain-text configuration file that enables you to customize the web server's configuration.
  • When the Apache web server processes an incoming client request for a file, it looks for an .htaccess file in the same directory.
  • If the .htaccess file exists, Apache reads the directives in the file and overrides the server's global configuration.
  • Any directives defined in an .htaccess file apply to the directory where the file is located, and to all subdirectories beneath it.
  • You can use directives in .htaccess files to redirect requests to different URLs, control directory listings, specify custom error documents, and more.
  • A2 Hosting web server configurations use the AllowOverride All directive to provide the most flexibility for your web site.
  • If there are any misconfigured rules or incorrect syntax in an .htaccess file, users see an “Internal Server Error” message when they visit a page in the same directory. Be very careful when you make any changes to an .htaccess file.


  • By default, anyone can view the contents of an .htaccess file. However, this is a potential security risk, because it exposes web site configuration information.
  • For security reasons, it is a good idea to prevent visitors from viewing .htaccess files.
  • To do this, add the following directives to the .htaccess file:
# Prevent Apache from serving .htaccess files:
<FilesMatch "^\.htaccess">
    Order allow,deny
    Deny from all
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  • Now, visitors who try to view the .htaccess file directly receive a “403 Forbidden” error in their web browser.

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