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This chapter is from the book

Commercial Distributions

There are two reasons I can think of why you might want to purchase software that is available elsewhere for free.

First, you might have some sort of organizational need for a commercial support package. As mentioned earlier, the apache.org Web site does not provide telephone support. Although high-quality technical support is available through a variety of Internet sources, you may be frustrated to find that the time frame at which the support is provided does not meet your schedule.

Second, you may find the purchase of a commercial product to be the most efficient way to enable secure transactions on your server. For stupid reasons having to do with lawyers and bureaucrats, Apache cannot be freely distributed with the capability to encrypt the content it transmits.

There is some excellent, open-source software available you can use to enable secure client–server communication on your Web site. The module (mod_ssl) is based on the Secure Socket Layer communications protocol, and I will talk about it in some detail later. For now, however, be aware that the process of compiling and installing the module that provides secure communications is more than usually complex. Those of you with large budgets and little patience may prefer to simply write a check.

Commercial Apache via Linux Distribution

Lately, the commercial Linux distributors have taken to selling versions of Linux that include a secure version of Apache already installed. Limited support for the software (including Apache) comes with the purchase, and further support can be obtained for a price.

Commercial Apache

Finally, there are several companies that sell their own versions of Apache.


This includes the most recent version of Apache, some nice Web-based configuration tools, SSL, and software support. More information at http://www.c2.net.


Raven sells an Apache binary with SSL enabled. More information at http://www.covalent.net.


WebTen is an Apache-derivative Web server for Macintosh. WebTen has a browser-based interface and Squid caching. It supports standard Macintosh-style plug-ins and CGIs and includes SSL, DNS, FTP, and NFS. More information at http://www.tenon.com.

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