It's a pain to get a configuration error when restarting your Apache service and the service just wouldn't start; even more so in a production environment. It's always a good idea to test the validity of your newly updated Apache config file before restarting the service.

You can use both apachectl and httpd to test your Apache configuration.

Steps to test Apache configuration:

  1. Launch your preferred terminal application.
  2. Edit Apache configuration file using your preferred text editor.
    $ sudo vi /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
  3. Test configuration file syntax using Apache binary.
    $ sudo apachectl configtest
    AH00543: apache2: bad user name username
    Action 'configtest' failed.
    The Apache error log may have more information.

    Use -t option instead of configtest if you're using httpd or apache and not apachectl

  4. Continue editing and testing your Apache configuration until no error is reported by the configtest option.
    $ sudo apachectl configtest
    Syntax OK
  5. Restart Apache service for the changes to take effect.
    $ sudo systemctl restart apache2 # Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE and SLES
    $ sudo systemctl restart httpd # CentOS and Red Hat
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