How to install Caddy web server on Rocky Linux 8 / Alma Linux 8 – The very secure web server

Although the web server market is largely dominated by Nginx and Apache HTTPD, there are other alternatives. That is why today, you will learn how to install Caddy web server on Rocky Linux / Alma Linux 8 / CentOS 8.

Introducing Caddy Web Server

Usually, when it comes to web servers, we always think of Nginx or Apache HTTPD. The truth is that these two open-source solutions dominate the market. However, they are not alone; there are other very solid alternatives that we have to consider.

Caddy is a fairly lightweight and modern web server that is written in GO that we can install on our distribution to serve websites. Installing and configuring Caddy is a fairly simple task because it has a syntax similar to that of Nginx.

One of the main features of this web server is that it has the SSL implementation enabled by default. This is an advantage because although we can quickly install it, we will not neglect the security.

Other features that we can find in Caddy are the following:

  • Caddy is the only web server that uses HTTPS by default.
  • Written in Go, its binaries are entirely self-contained and run on every platform.
  • Supports HTTP/2.
  • Multi core.
  • CrossPlattform.

And many others that we can take advantage of without many problems in our server with Rocky Linux 8, but we can also take advantage of Alma Linux 8 or Oracle Linux 8.

Let’s go for it.

Preparing the system for installation

Unfortunately, Caddy web server is not in the official repositories of Rocky Linux or Alma Linux. But this is not an impediment to perform the process.

After you have connected to the server via SSH, we can then upgrade the system.

sudo dnf update

In case you do not use sudo then run the commands as the root user.

Then, you can run this pair of commands to add the special repository to install Caddy and enable it at once.

sudo dnf install 'dnf-command(copr)'.
sudo dnf copr enable @caddy/caddy

Install Caddy Web Server on Rocky Linux 8 / Alma Linux 8

Now we are ready for the Caddy installation. To complete this, we just need to run.

sudo dnf install caddy

If you want to check if the installation was successful, you can then check the installed version.

caddy version

Sample Output:

v2.4.6 h1:HGkGICFGvyrodcqOOclHKfvJC0qTU7vny/7FhYp9hNw=

We only need to open the ports in the firewall. To do this run.

sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=http
sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=https

Restart the firewall to make the changes effective.

sudo systemctl reload firewalld

Thereafter, you have to enable the Caddy service.

sudo systemctl enable --now caddy

Finally, check the status of the Caddy service. This way, we will know if it is working properly.

sudo systemctl status caddy

The caddy service status

Just open your favorite web browser and visit http://your-server and you will see the welcome page.

Caddy web server on Rocky Linux / Alma Linux 8

Create a new site on Caddy Web server

One of the most common things when using Nginx or Apache web server is to create a new site with a custom configuration.

To complete this, create a new folder dedicated to your site in the root of Caddy with the following structure

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/atechtown/html

It is a good idea to create a folder dedicated to the logs generated using Caddy.

sudo mkdir /var/log/caddy

Both folders must belong to the caddy user that was created during installation.

sudo chown caddy:caddy /var/www/atechtown/html -R
sudo chown caddy:caddy /var/log/caddy

Now edit the configuration file for this new site

sudo nano /etc/caddy/Caddyfile

Comment out all the lines and add the following

atechtown.test { 
root * /var/www/atechtown/html
file_server
encode gzip 
log { 
output file /var/log/caddy/atechtown.log
} 

@static { 
file path *.ico *.css *.js *.gif *.jpg *.jpeg *.png *.svg *.woff *.pdf *.webp
}
header @static Cache-Control max-age=5184000
tls [email protected] 
}

Remember to adapt the file to your needs and criteria. Save the changes and close the editor.

Validate the file

caddy validate --adapter caddyfile --config /etc/caddy/Caddyfile

If you get a warning, then run

caddy fmt --overwrite /etc/caddy/Caddyfile

Restarts caddy

sudo systemctl restart caddy

And now you can visit your website. Remember that caddy enables HTTPS by default, so it must be a valid domain.

Uninstalling Caddy web server on Rocky Linux 8 / Alma Linux 8

To uninstall Caddy web server from our system, we have to run the following command.

sudo dnf remove caddy

However, you should also remove all the manual configurations you have made.

In any case, they are not heavy files and can stay on your computer.

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