Htaccess: Introduction

From The Uniform Server Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

.htaccess: Introduction | Site error documents | Prevent Directory Listing | Redirect | Preventing hot linking |

.htaccess - Apache directory-level configuration file

.htaccess files are simple ASCII files that easily extend the Apache configuration file. Edit these files only with a text editor such as Notepad. Never use a word processor to do this because it will add extra formatting characters.

This section provides a detailed description of some commands you can use in this file. A more concise and quick reference guide can be found on this page HT.

What's in a name

In Unix, files beginning with a period ( . ) typically hold settings for programs. These are referred to as dot files. Apache is a Unix application ported to Windows and for compatibility retains this naming convention. For all Windows users the file .htaccess is just a file; at first it looks strange but that's its full name. It has nothing before the dot, so Windows Explorer cannot create this type of file name.

Create the file

The easiest way to create the .htaccess file is just to copy an existing one into its new location and edit its content. The problem in creating a new file from scratch is that most Windows text editors (Windows Notepad is no exception) will insist on adding a dot txt extension so the file looks like this .htaccess.txt . Even when trying to rename this file, Windows will insist on a "proper" file name.

Note: Most commands in .htaccess are meant to be placed on a single line only.

Several .htaccess files

You will find several .htaccess files in The Uniform Server. Do not remove these as they are part of The Uniform Server's security. The file in root directory WWW controls the access to your server from the Internet and Intranet (i.e., online access). You can copy this file into any directory within your website and edit it to meet your needs.

What it affects

The .htaccess file affects the directory it is placed in and all sub-directories. The .htaccess file that's located in your root directory (WWW) affects your whole website and all directories and files below it.

You can tailor this action so it applies to a specific sub-directory by copying the .htaccess file to that directory and removing the .htaccess commands that you do not want to be applied to this directory and its sub-directories.

From the viewpoint of a directory or file, it is the hierarchically nearest .htaccess file that affects it.

What can you do with it?

The Uniform Server places no restrictions on what can be contained in the .htaccess file. Since the file is interpreted by Apache, examples found on the Internet or from textbooks should work.