What is Apache HTTP Server?

Apache HTTP Server (usually called just Apache) is an open-source web server developed by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache is the most popular web server software on the Internet; it is estimated that 50% of all active websites use Apache as their web server.

The Apache project was launched in 1995 and was based on an older web server software called NCSA HTTPd. The software is free and open-source, licensed under the Apache License that allows the user of the software the freedom to use the software for any purpose, to distribute it, to modify it, and to distribute modified versions of the software.

Apache HTTP Server is cross-platform. It is available for a number of operating systems, including:

  • Windows
  • OS X
  • Linux
  • Unix
  • FreeBSD
  • Solaris

Apache support many features and its functionality can be extended using compiled modules. Here are the major features:

  • a very robust web server that can handle large volumes of traffic.
  • one Apache installation can serve many different Web sites using virtual hosts.
  • configurable error messages.
  • supported by several graphical user interfaces (e.g. ApacheConf).
  • supports password and digital certificate authentication.
  • supports load balancing across multiple servers.
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