Ubuntu Linux: Start / Restart / Stop Apache Web Server

How do I start, restart, or stop Apache 2.x web server on Ubuntu Linux operating systems using command line options?

You can use any one of the following method to restart / start / stop your Apache (httpd) sever on Ubuntu:

  1. systemctl command – Only works on systemd based Ubuntu like version 16.04 LTS and above.
  2. /etc/init.d/apache2 – A sys v init style script to start / stop / restart the Apache2 service under Debian or Ubuntu Linux.
  3. service command – This command work in most Linux distributions including Debian and Ubuntu.
  4. upstart command – Only works on certain version of Ubuntu.
  5. apache2ctl command – This method should work on all Linux and Unix like operating systems.

Method #1: systemctl command examples

To start Apache 2 on Ubuntu Linux LTS 16.04 LTS or the latest systemd based Ubuntu Linux, type:
$ sudo systemctl start apache2.service
To stop Apache 2 on Ubuntu Linux LTS 16.04 LTS or the latest systemd based Ubuntu Linux, type:
$ sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
To restart Apache 2 on Ubuntu Linux LTS 16.04 LTS or the latest systemd based Ubuntu Linux, type:
$ sudo systemctl restart apache2.service
To status of start/restart/stop operation, enter:
$ journalctl -u apache2
To find out whether Apache 2 running or not, enter:
$ sudo systemctl status apache2.service
Sample session:

Fig.01: Ubuntu Linux systemctl start/stop/restart Apache server (systemd)

Method #2: /etc/init.d/apache2 command examples

You need to login as root user or use the sudo command to control Apache web-server.

Task: Start Apache 2 Server

# /etc/init.d/apache2 start
or
$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start

Task: Restart Apache 2 Server

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
or
$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Task: Stop Apache 2 Server

# /etc/init.d/apache2 stop
or
$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop

Method #3: service command examples

To restart Apache 2, enter:
$ sudo service apache2 restart
To stop Apache 2, enter:
$ sudo service apache2 stop
To start Apache 2, enter:
$ sudo service apache2 start
To gracefully reload Apache 2, enter:
$ sudo service apache2 reload

Method #4: upstart command examples

The following commands only works with certian version of Ubuntu such as Ubuntu Linux LTS 12.04 and 14.04. To start Apache 2 on Ubuntu, run:
$ sudo start apache2
To stop Apache 2 on Ubuntu, run:
$ sudo stop apache2
To restart Apache 2 on Ubuntu, run:
$ sudo restart apache2
To gracefully reload Apache 2 on Ubuntu, run:
$ sudo restart apache2

Method #5: apache2ctl command examples

apache2ctl is Apache HTTP server control interface command, which can be used to stop or start web server under any Linux distribution or UNIX.
To start Apache 2 on Ubuntu, type:
$ sudo apache2ctl start
To stop Apache 2 on Ubuntu, type:
$ sudo apache2ctl stop
To restart Apache 2 on Ubuntu, type:
$ sudo apache2ctl restart
To gracefully reload Apache 2 on Ubuntu, type:
$ sudo apache2ctl graceful

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.