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How do I troubleshoot Apache configuration file issues?

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How do I troubleshoot Apache configuration file issues?
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For products:
Webtrends Enterprise 7.0
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Last modified: 9/1/2010

Introduction:
Making Apache configuration changes can provide a variety of additional features to the Apache 2.0 web server. Modifications should be done one at a time and each change tested to verify the syntax and the ability to stop and start the Apache service. The Apache configuration file is "httpd.conf" located in the following Webtrends directory:

\Webtrends\common\apache\conf

Note: It is strongly recommended that prior to making changes in the file to make a backup copy of the "httpd.conf".

Apache configuration files contain one directive per line. The back-slash "\" may be used as the last character on a line to indicate that the directive continues onto the next line. There must be no other characters or white space between the back-slash and the end of the line. Directives in the configuration files are case-insensitive, but arguments to directives are often case sensitive. Lines that begin with the hash character "#" are considered comments, and are ignored. Comments may not be included on a line after a configuration directive. Blank lines and white space occurring before a directive are ignored, so you may indent directives for clarity. You can check your configuration files for syntax errors without starting the server by using the "apache-t" command line option when in a command prompt while in the following location:

\Webtrends\common\apache\bin

As an added feature of Apache 2.0 for Windows any errors in syntax will be logged to the Windows Event Viewer when the "Webtrends - Apache" service is started but fails. Initially when restarting the "Webtrends - Apache" service the following pop-up may appear when a syntax error causes the service to fail during startup: The Event Viewer, Application log may contain one or more entries.

The following two entries were created after adding several dashes before the "Listen" directive:

The Apache service named reported the following error: >>> Syntax error on line 125 of C:/Program Files/Webtrends Beta/common/apache/conf/httpd.conf:. For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. The Apache service named reported the following error: >>> Invalid command '---Listen', perhaps mis-spelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration. For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

Note: The Event Viewer can normally be accessed in one of the following ways:
a. Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer
b. Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer
c. Start, Run, type "eventvwr"
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