How and when to restart Apache

Apache is an important part of many web servers. The cross-platform software is often used in LAMP stacks, a combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, to run dynamic websites. In this article, you’ll find out when you should restart Apache and how to do so.

When should I restart Apache?

The open-source software Apache has a range of modules available. Apache modules expand the web server’s features. These include Apache SSL) for digital certificates and modules that improve the performance of Apache.

When configurating modules, you’ll often need to restart the server to ensure that the modules are activated and run without any errors. There are also instances when Apache crashes and needs to be restarted. Other reasons why a restart might be necessary include:

  • The installation of updates
  • Changes to the Apache configuration file
  • To test other applications

With Linux web hosting from IONOS, you benefit from flexibly scalable performance and unmetered bandwidth on servers powered by green energy.

What do I need to keep in mind when restarting Apache?

To ensure that the Apache web server restarts without issues, you should save all important files on your server. We highly recommend making a copy of your Apache configuration file. Check all your applications that are running and close them before beginning the restart. If you’re installing the Apache web server, you need to ensure that your operating system is up to date, and all security patches have been installed.


A managed server from IONOS will save you time and give you powerful infrastructure with automated security management.

How to restart Apache on different Linux distributions

Before starting, you need to check that you are logged in as a root user or a sudo-approved user. The commands used to manage the Apache service depend on the type of distribution, system and session manager you are using. Older systems use SysVinit and newer ones use SystemD.

If you don’t have Apache installed on the local server, you can log in to the server using SSH. Enter “root” (or alternatively, the SSH username) and the password:

$ ssh -l root PASSWORD

Restart Apache on Ubuntu and Debian using SystemD

On Ubuntu and Debian, the Apache service is called apache2.

To start Apache, you can use the following command:

$ sudo systemctl start apache2

You can use a similar command to stop the process:

$ sudo systemctl stop apache2

Use the command systemctl restart to restart Apache.

$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Restart Apache on Ubuntu und Debian using SysVinit

SysVinit uses init.d scripts and the command service to control Apache.

$ sudo service apache2 start # Apache start
$ sudo service apache2 stop # Apache stop
$ sudo service apache2 restart # Apache restart

Restart Apache on RHEL/CentOS – SystemD

The syntax is the same as the syntax used in Ubuntu and Debian systems. The only difference is that on Red Hat-based Linux systems, the Apache process is referred to as “httpd”.

Starting Apache:

$ sudo systemctl start httpd

Stopping Apache:

$ sudo systemctl stop httpd

Restarting Apache:

$ sudo systemctl restart httpd

Restart Apache on RHEL/CentOS – SysVinit

On older systems that use SysVinit, “apache2” is once again replaced with “httpd”.

$ sudo service httpd start # Apache start
$ sudo service httpd stop # Apache stop
$ sudo service httpd restart # Apache restart
We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing to use our website or services, you agree to their use. More Information.