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I have just installed the lamp-server package on a new ubuntu 12.10 installation. It went fine.

I tested on localhost/ and got the expected response.

The I created an index.php file

Loading localhost/index.php works fine but loading localhost/ does not. Here a download of a ~ file is started.

I tried creating a .htaccess file contain only this line in the /var/www: DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.cgi

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Probably you are missing the DirectoryIndex directive.

Try putting this in your default site configuration:

 DirectoryIndex index.php
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