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  • webapp-config is a Gentoo only tool to allow a single web applications to be correctly installed into multiple virtual hosts. This is nice as it allows the code to remain on a standard, Portage managed place while you can easily deploy your web applications into production.
  • Currently the way it works is by creating a directory corresponding to the application inside the specified virtual host. By default it will be installed in /var/www/<virtual_host_name>/htdocs; you can configure that by editing /etc/vhosts/webapp-config. I use the following convention:
  • In /etc/vhosts/webapp-config, you need to have a vhost_hostname variable that can conform to a fully qualified domain, eg localhost won't work. Put something like "elvanor.net" there.
  • The only problem is that webapp-config always creates icons, error, and cgi-bin directories in the virtual host directory if they are not there. I would prefer that not to happen.

Installing, checking

  • Typical installation:
webapp-config -h shoopz.com -d wordpress -I wordpress 2.7.1
  • To check what are the current installations of a given application (you can optionally specify a version):
webapp-config --list-installs wordpress 2.8
  • To check the application and version installed on a directory:
webapp-config --show-installed -h elvanor.net -d owncloud
  • To check unused installs (very useful):
webapp-config --lui wordpress


  • When you need to update a web application, use the -U switch, eg:
webapp-config -h elvanor.net -d phpmyadmin -U phpmyadmin 2.11.5
  • If you use a directory different that the application name, don't forget to change that. However note that by convention that should not happen.
webapp-config -h www.elvanor.net -d www/mediawiki -U mediawiki 1.13.3

Important warnings

  • Updating a web-application can sometimes remove the configuration files! Be sure to systematically check (this is the case with Wordpress, although it seems to be a bug). Also, any changes to the DB must usually be done manually.
  • emerge --depclean will remove *installed* versions of a webapp package if a newer one has been already merged! Thus update all your web-applications before running emerge --depclean.
  • Running webapp-cleaner should also be done before emerge --depclean.
  • On the version of the web application, you must not omit any Gentoo specific -rX (for instance, 1.27.1-r1).


  • The application webapp-cleaner can be used to remove old versions of an webapp package.
  • Manual removal of a web-app (there may be some leftover files):
webapp-config -C -h shoopz.net -d bugzilla bugzilla 3.0.5