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I've changed this from the original VHost but it should still work in my mind:

Listen 80
NameVirtualHost *:80
<VirtualHost *:80>
 ServerName localhost
 ServerAdmin ross@localhost

 DocumentRoot /var/www
 <Directory /var/www/>
  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
  AllowOverride None
  Order allow,deny
  allow from all

 ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log

 # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
 # alert, emerg.
 LogLevel warn

 CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined

The only difference between this and other working VHosts is that /var/www requires higher privileges to access it - I get a "Could not connect" error which I assume is a 500 error (Chrome hides the status codes and I can't remember). What can I do to make this work?

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Error 500 means, that connect to Apache is working, but something behind it does not. What can you see in /var/log/apache2/error.log after trying to see the page? – ddeimeke Aug 31 '10 at 4:00
Use wget -S hostname to see the real errorcode it returns all the headers. Or you can press Ctrl+u in chrome on the error page to see the html sent from apache if any. – LassePoulsen Aug 31 '10 at 6:21
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Try performing a manual connection using telnet from a terminal window:

telnet localhost 80

If you receive a connection refused message, the daemon is not running or starting up propertly. From there it would be a good idea to inspect your Apache error log (/var/log/apache2/error.log) to find out why.

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Could not connect is not a 500 error. It means apache is either not running or not reachable.

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This is a guess, but I think Apache runs as the www-user login, or similar. Does it have rights to the root of /var/www? I think by default, Apache points to symlinks off an /etc/apache2/default directory or something like that. Working from memory here, and no expert though. Sorry.

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