Http/2, Apache, & Lightsail

This post only covers the technical details of how to implement http/2 on an Apache web server running in Amazon Linux on Lightsail. It does not go into the details of what http/2 is or why use it. For that information, I suggest https://http2.github.io.

First you have to switch the Multi-Processing Modules (MPMs) from pre-fork (the default) to another one. I chose the event mpm for no particular reason.

To do this, edit /etc/httpd/conf.modules.d/00-mpm.conf and make the following changes …

Comment out the following line…

#LoadModule mpm_prefork_module modules/mod_mpm_prefork.so

… and uncomment the following line …

LoadModule mpm_event_module modules/mod_mpm_event.so

Next, you have to activate the http2 protocol. You can do this at the virtual host level or the server level.

I activated it at the server level by editing the /etc/http/conf/httpd.conf file and adding the following line…

Protocols h2 h2c http/1.1

After the changes are made, restart the server with the following command…

service httpd restart

Your apache server is now serving content using http/2.

You can verify that the server is handling http/2 by looking at the web server logs and looking for “HTTP/2.0”.

Something like this:

1.2.3.4 – – [07/Mar/2019:10:59:48 -0600] “GET / HTTP/2.0” 200 4646 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/72.0.3626.121 Safari/537.36”

NOTE: web crawlers (Google, Bing, etc) will continue to use http/1.1, so don’t worry about that.

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