HOWTO Open Suse 42 Virtual Web Hosting With Apache, PHP, vsFTPD and Let’s Encrypt

Introduction

The focus of this howto is for those users who need to host their own domains and maybe a few customer domains. This is not aimed at being used for mass web hosting.

There are many ways to do virtual websites under linux. The technique I am going to use is multiple domains on one ip address. I’m using standard linux users to log into the virtual domains.

Setting Up The Base Server

For a dedicated server start with the base server setup:

HOWTO SUSE 42 Base Server Setup

Introduction All of our servers will start with this install. This base server is based on OpenSUSE 42. Downloading the ISO Visit the OpenSUSE website and download the Leap version. Download the install DVD. You could also use the Network … Continue reading

NOTE: If you don’t follow the base server setup then you may run into problems with this howto.

Install Software

We need to install an FTP server and Let’s Encrypt. So type the following:
> zypper in vsftpd python-certbot-apache

Setup Default User Directory

A new user’s directory needs to have some files and folders created for them.  We will modify the user skel directory so when a new user is created the required folder structure will be there.

Type the following.
> mkdir -p /etc/skel/{website,logs,cgi-bin,backup}
> echo “HELLO WORLD” > /etc/skel/website/index.html

Configuring vsftpd

Lets create the configuration file.  Replace the contents of /etc/vsftpd.conf with the text below.

listen=NO
listen_ipv6=YES
anonymous_enable=NO
local_enable=YES
write_enable=YES
#local_umask=022
dirmessage_enable=YES
use_localtime=YES
xferlog_enable=YES
connect_from_port_20=YES
chroot_local_user=YES
secure_chroot_dir=/var/run/vsftpd/empty
pam_service_name=vsftpd
rsa_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
rsa_private_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
ssl_enable=NO
allow_writeable_chroot=YES
pasv_enable=Yes
pasv_min_port=40000
pasv_max_port=40100

Start vsftpd.
> sudo systemctl enable vsftpd
> sudo systemctl start vsftpd.service

Configuring Apache

Most of the apache configuration is already done.  We are going to do some changes to make managing websites easier.

Create the virtual host config file. I defined macros to make virtual host creation easier.  I also turn on compression. Create /etc/apache2/conf.d/virtual.conf with the following:

# compress all text & html:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/atom_xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-fastphp
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-eruby

# Go ahead and accept connections for these vhosts
# from non-SNI clients
SSLStrictSNIVHostCheck off

# define a macro for the virtual hosts
# the user's directory should be setup as follows:
# |- cgi-bin
# |- logs
# |- website
# |- ssl
#

LoadModule macro_module modules/mod_macro.so
<Macro virtHost $type $user $host>
  use $type $host

  ServerName $host
  ServerAlias www.$host 
  DocumentRoot /home/$user/website
  ScriptAlias "/cgi-bin/" "/home/$user/cgi-bin"
  LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b" common
  CustomLog /home/$user/logs/access_log common
  ErrorLog /home/$user/logs/error_log
  <Directory /home/$user/website>
   DirectoryIndex index.html index.php
   Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
   AllowOverride All
   Require all granted
  </Directory>
 </VirtualHost>
</Macro>

<Macro VHost80 $host >
 <VirtualHost *:80>
</Macro>

<Macro VHost443 $host >
 <VirtualHost *:443>
  SSLEngine on
  SSLProtocol all -SSLv2
  SSLCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM:!aNULL:!MD5
  SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/$host/cert.pem
  SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/$host/privkey.pem
  SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/$host/fullchain.pem
</Macro>

Enable mod_macro, mod_filter and mod_deflate.
> a2enmod mod_macro
> a2enmod mod_filter
> a2enmod mod_deflate

Restart apache
> systemctl restart httpd

Configuring Let’s Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt needs to be configured to auto renew certs. Lets create a daily cron job
> nano -w /etc/cron.daily/letsencrypt

#!/usr/bin/bash
# letsencrypt auto renew
/usr/bin/certbot renew --no-self-upgrade >> /var/log/le-renew.log

Adding a Default Website

Now we will create a default website.  This site will be used when no other website can be found.

Setup a DNS record for the new domain. I won’t cover this here.

Add a user. This user will be associated with the new domain name. Type the following. \\
> useradd -m -U -s /sbin/nologin -c “default website” defaultweb
> passwd defaultweb

Add the apache user to the new user’s group.
> usermod -a -G defaultweb wwwrun

Update directory permissions.
> chmod g+rwx /home/defaultweb
> chown -R defaultweb:defaultweb /home/defaultweb

Create the virtual host file.  For the default server we will use port 80. Past the text below into the file.  Type:
> nano -w /etc/apache2/vhosts.d/00-default.conf

# Virtual host config file
#
# MACRO FORMAT
# virtHost [type] [user] [host]
#  type = VHost80 or VHost443
#  user = the username of the website
#  host = domain name or virtual host name
#
# Use the line below to configure a site on port 80
use virtHost VHost80 defaultweb myserver.mydomain.tld
# Uncomment the line below once lets encrypt is setup
# use virtHost VHost443 defaultweb myserver.mydomain.tld

Reload apache config
systemctl reload httpd

Test out the new website.  You should get a page that says ‘Hello World’.

Now we will setup lets encrypt for the default website.  The website must be reachable from the internet.  So lets get the cert:
> certbot certonly –webroot -w /home/defaultweb/website/ -d <YOUR_DOMAIN> –email <YOUR_EMAIL_ADDRESS> –agree-tos

Edit /etc/httpd/virtualHosts.d/00-default.conf
Uncomment the last line to enable ssl connections for the virtual host.

Reload apache.
> systemctl reload apache

Test it out.  Connect to your default host via https.

Setup Additional Virtual Hosts

Adding a new virtual host is like adding the default virtual host.  Lets go through the steps.

Be sure DNS is configured for the new virtual host.

Setup a new user. This user will be associated with the new domain name. Type the following. Change ‘NEWUSER’ to the username you want.\\
> useradd -m -U -s /sbin/nologin -c “Virtual Website User” NEWUSER
> passwd NEWUSER
> usermod -a -G NEWUSER wwwrun
> chmod g+rwx /home/NEWUSER
> chown -R NEWUSER:NEWUSER /home/NEWUSER

Create the virtual host file.  For the virtual server we will use port 80. Past the text below into the file.  Replace ‘NEWUSER’ with your user name.  Replace NEWVHOST with your hostname.
> nano -w /etc/httpd/virtualhosts.d/NEWUSER.conf

# Virtual host config file
#
# MACRO FORMAT
# virtHost [type] [user] [host]
#  type = VHost80 or VHost443
#  user = the username of the website
#  host = domain name or virtual host name
#
# Use the line below to configure a site on port 80
use virtHost VHost80 NEWUSER NEWVHOST
# Uncomment the line below once lets encrypt is setup
# use virtHost VHost443 NEWUSER NEWVHOST

Reload apache config
systemctl reload httpd

Now we will setup lets encrypt for the new website.  The website must be reachable from the internet.  Replace NEWUSER and NEWVHOST with the info you have.  So lets get the cert.
> certbot certonly –webroot -w /home/NEWUSER/website/ -d NEWHOST -d www.NEWHOST –email YOUR_EMAIL_ADDRESS –agree-tos

Edit /etc/httpd/virtualHosts.d/NEWUSER.conf
Uncomment the last line to enable ssl connections for the virtual host.

Reload apache.
> systemctl reload apache

Test it out.  Connect to your new host via https.

Conclusion

That’s the complete setup.

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