I can stop it using

/etc/init.d/apache2 stop

But when I want to start it again using:

/etc/init.d/apache2 start

I get this error:

Starting web server apache2                                                  /usr/sbin/apache2ctl: 87: ulimit: error setting limit (Operation not permitted)
apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName
(13)Permission denied: make_sock: could not bind to address [::]:80
(13)Permission denied: make_sock: could not bind to address
no listening sockets available, shutting down
Unable to open logs
Action 'start' failed.
The Apache error log may have more information.

4 Answers 4


Some words about the errors you get which hopefully will save you from similar situations in future.

In Linux ports from 0 to 1024 are reserved for system use. This means that in order to use one, you must have the authority to change - access basic system settings. The root user has such privileges and can actually use a port from the range 0 - 1024.

In your problem as you can see, the system through Apache2 response indicates the root of the problem ([...]could not bind to address blah blah 80):

(13)Permission denied: make_sock: could not bind to address [::]:80
(13)Permission denied: make_sock: could not bind to address

When the Apache2 http daemon starts, it tries to bind the 80 port as it is the default port for use in HTTP see, which is a port within the system assigned ports and as such it can only be accessed by root.

You executed the start command as a typical user without root privileges and led to failure to do so.

In simple words:


Hi Apache2. I am Kongthap and I am telling you to start (/etc/init.d/apache2 start)


OK. I am starting (Starting web server apache2)

System, please give me port 80 to use and listen for connections.


OK. One moment to check...

Ahh... Sorry Apache2 but I cannot let you run at 80 port, it is for personal use.

And you do not have the correct privileges to bind it. (Operation not permitted)


Ohh, Kongthap I failed to start, the System did not let me do it ((13)Permission denied:[...])


There are mainly two solutions to this problem:

  1. Run the Apache2 HTTP daemon with root privileges using sudo:

    sudo service apache2 start


    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start
  2. Change the default port from 80 to something greater than 1024, say 2000, 2500, 9000, etc. A typical port to run when in such situation is 8080

    sudo vi /etc/apache2/ports.conf

    look for or if not there add:

    Listen 8080

    or any other port of your choice such as port > 1024 and the selected port is not used by another process.

  • 5
    Really excellent explanation!!!
    – Artisan
    Aug 28, 2013 at 9:52
  • Great explanation, understood well!
    – Timothy
    Sep 6, 2014 at 12:05
  • Great explanation. Why is using service the preferred method?
    – Holloway
    Oct 15, 2014 at 20:34
  • 1
    Needless wordiness. Answer does not address the problem.
    – reggie
    Oct 27, 2015 at 16:00
  • 1
    sudo service apache2 start does NOT run the service as root, it starts the service as root. By default systemd services run as root anyway - all sudo does is let you start/stop them. If your apache service is configured to run as apache it matters not that you start it with root.
    – Marc
    Mar 29, 2022 at 12:58

Following are the commands to start/stop/restart apache server:

  • To start:

    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start
  • To stop:

    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop
  • To restart:

    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
  • After restart the computer, it seems ok with all commands you suggested but I got this message during restarting... Restarting web server apache2 apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName
    – Artisan
    Aug 28, 2013 at 6:50
  • 1
    @Kongthap: that's not an error. I'm sure the web is full of explanation for that message. Aug 28, 2013 at 7:09
  • Yes, @AndreaCorbellini is correct. It is not an error, it says because your ip does not have any Fully Qualified Domain Name for example mail.google.com. Aug 28, 2013 at 11:22

Check the selinux port context by issuing command

semanage port -l | grep http

If it's present in the http_port_t list then it's OK, otherwise add your port by

semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 80

or something that you want to assign.

  • This was helpful, will add that issuing semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 8081 may fail if the port is already defined. What then helped me get past that was issuing a subsequent command semanage port -m -t http_port_t -p tcp 8081 Jan 14, 2020 at 21:20

This is an selinux error, or at least it was in my case. Either change the boolean, disable selinux, or set it for permissive with setenforce 0.

The boolean change would require you to run getenforce -a | grep http, and look for the "allow http connect network". Copy it and replace "on" where the list says "-- off"

  • Ubuntu use AppArmor not SELinux, so your answer is irrelevant to ubuntu.
    – sgx1
    Jan 17, 2014 at 3:25
  • As a centos user who got this problem and this is the first stackoverflow question to come up I appreciate the help this fixed my issue
    – Cacoon
    Apr 16, 2018 at 5:20

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