21.1. Web hosting basics

Hosting a web site isn’t substantially different from providing any other network service. The foundation of the World Wide Web is the Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), a simple TCP-based protocol for transmitting documents that contain a variety of media types, including text, pictures, sound, animation, and video. HTTP behaves much like other client/server protocols used on the Internet, for example, SMTP (for email) and FTP (for file transfer).

A web server is simply a system that’s configured to answer HTTP requests. To convert your generic Linux system into a web hosting platform, you install a daemon that listens for connections on TCP port 80 (the HTTP standard), accepts requests for documents, and ...

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