Setting a maintenance page in apache 2

March 15, 2007

In order to set a maintenance page in apache 2 you need:

  1. Enable mod_rewrite. In my debian server I just need to do the following:
    ln -s /etc/apache2/mods-available/rewrite.load /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/rewrite.load
  2. Create the maintenance page somewhere in your disk server. I created it under /srv/www/maintenance
  3. Set up apache2 to redirect all requests to your site to the maintenance page (you will need to comment out the current apache2 directives for your website). In my case I have a /etc/apache2/sites-available/mysite file that is linked from /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/mysite.
    #Maintenance page
    <VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName mysite.com
    ServerAdmin postmaster@mysite.com
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/index\.html$
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/logo\.gif$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.html [L]
    DocumentRoot “/srv/www/maintenance”
    </VirtualHost>
  4. Reload apache2 configuration:
    /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

In my case I only have an index.html and a logo.gif file in the /srv/www/maintenance folder. If you have more files that are needed to render the maintenance page you will need to add some extra “RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/yourfile\.extension$” rules.

Note if you do not use the rewrite engine, the maintenance page will show up when you users access http://mysite.com or http://mysite.com/index.html, but if they access http://mysite.com/something_else they will get a nice “Page not found error”.

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