I thought the apache config files were stored in /etc/apache2. Yet if I remove the /etc/apache2 directory and run a
sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl start the web server runs and serves up pages.
Is there another set of config files?
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At least on my system (OS X 10.9.2), I see that apache is going to use /private/etc/apache2. Note
$ sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl -V Server version: Apache/2.2.26 (Unix) Server built: Dec 10 2013 22:09:38 Server's Module Magic Number: 20051115:33 Server loaded: APR 1.4.5, APR-Util 1.3.12 Compiled using: APR 1.4.5, APR-Util 1.3.12 Architecture: 64-bit Server MPM: Prefork threaded: no forked: yes (variable process count) Server compiled with.... -D APACHE_MPM_DIR="server/mpm/prefork" -D APR_HAS_SENDFILE -D APR_HAS_MMAP -D APR_HAVE_IPV6 (IPv4-mapped addresses enabled) -D APR_USE_FLOCK_SERIALIZE -D APR_USE_PTHREAD_SERIALIZE -D SINGLE_LISTEN_UNSERIALIZED_ACCEPT -D APR_HAS_OTHER_CHILD -D AP_HAVE_RELIABLE_PIPED_LOGS -D DYNAMIC_MODULE_LIMIT=128 -D HTTPD_ROOT="/usr" -D SUEXEC_BIN="/usr/bin/suexec" -D DEFAULT_PIDLOG="/private/var/run/httpd.pid" -D DEFAULT_SCOREBOARD="logs/apache_runtime_status" -D DEFAULT_LOCKFILE="/private/var/run/accept.lock" -D DEFAULT_ERRORLOG="logs/error_log" -D AP_TYPES_CONFIG_FILE="/private/etc/apache2/mime.types" -D SERVER_CONFIG_FILE="/private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf"
Normally /etc is a symlink to /private/etc, but if it isn't on your system, that may explain the discrepancy.
A good way to find out this is to use the command :
apachectl -t -D DUMP_INCLUDES
Which will output something like
Included configuration files: (*) /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf