Running Node.js in apache?

79

We have an Apache Webserver installed on a machine which also serves pages using Perl.

For a project I've decided to use Node.js instead of Perl/Ruby. Just wondering if it's possible to use Apache as my webserver (so it serves the pages) and use Node.js to dynamically create the web pages (this is for a web app I am creating)?

So in other words can they work hand in hand just like Apache/Perl or Apache/PHP etc..

This question is tagged with javascript apache node.js webserver

~ Asked on 2013-01-16 23:35:56

The Best Answer is


73

Hosting a nodejs site through apache can be organized with apache proxy module.

It's better to start nodejs server on localhost with default port 1337

Enable proxy with a command:

sudo a2enmod proxy proxy_http

Do not enable proxying with ProxyRequests until you have secured your server. Open proxy servers are dangerous both to your network and to the Internet at large. Setting ProxyRequests to Off does not disable use of the ProxyPass directive.

Configure /etc/apche2/sites-availables with

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    ServerName site.com
    ServerAlias www.site.com 

    ProxyRequests off

    <Proxy *>
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
    </Proxy>

    <Location />
        ProxyPass http://localhost:1337/
        ProxyPassReverse http://localhost:1337/
    </Location>
</VirtualHost>

and restart apache2 service.

~ Answered on 2014-05-28 11:08:11


44

No. NodeJS is not available as an Apache module in the way mod-perl and mod-php are, so it's not possible to run node "on top of" Apache. As hexist pointed out, it's possible to run node as a separate process and arrange communication between the two, but this is quite different to the LAMP stack you're already using.

As a replacement for Apache, node offers performance advantages if you have many simultaneous connections. There's also a huge ecosystem of modules for almost anything you can think of.

From your question, it's not clear if you need to dynamically generate pages on every request, or just generate new content periodically for caching and serving. If its the latter, you could use separate node task to generate content to a directory that Apache would serve, but again, that's quite different to PHP or Perl.

Node isn't the best way to serve static content. Nginx and Varnish are more effective at that. They can serve static content while Node handles the dynamic data.

If you're considering using node for a web application at all, Express should be high on your list. You could implement a web application purely in Node, but Express (and similar frameworks like Flatiron, Derby and Meteor) are designed to take a lot of the pain and tedium away. Although the Express documentation can seem a bit sparse at first, check out the screen casts which are still available here: http://expressjs.com/2x/screencasts.html They'll give you a good sense of what express offers and why it is useful. The github repository for ExpressJS also contains many good examples for everything from authentication to organizing your app.

~ Answered on 2013-01-18 04:43:12


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