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Having completed this chapter, you should be able to make a series of informed decisions about the Apache installation process.

Apache comes in source code and binary distributions. Although the binary distribution may be simpler at the onset, the source code distribution will provide more power and flexibility in the long run.

You can obtain Apache for free at the apache.org Web site. Once obtained, the distribution must be unpacked, and perhaps compiled, before it is installed. The installation instructions are different for Unix and Windows platforms.

On Unix, Apache can be compiled by modifying a configure script or by using the APACI command line interface. Both methods use scripts to generate a makefile, which is used to compile the httpd binary. On Windows, the installation is automatic, and Apache can be run as either a console application or a service.

Binary distributions use a makefile to install the executable code. Even with binary distributions, you can exercise some control over the modules included in the executable by using dynamic shared objects.

There are several commercial distributions of Apache that may be appealing for reasons of security or convenience.

At this point, all the basic pieces should be successfully installed. However, some work remains before you can actually run Apache. See Chapter 2 for information on how to configure and run Apache.

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