How to Restart Apache in Ubuntu [3 Best Methods]

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Last updated: July 1, 2023

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To learn to restart Apache in Ubuntu, you can try these three methods:

  1. systemctl command: A seamless and efficient way to control and restart Apache in Ubuntu.
  2. service command: Easily start, stop, and restart Apache using the service command in Ubuntu.
  3. init.d script: Utilize the init.d script to restart Apache and maintain continuous operation.

To ensure a smooth and efficient restart of your Apache server, follow these best practices: schedule restarts during maintenance windows, thoroughly check error logs, inform stakeholders, test configuration changes, and perform a dry run. By implementing these practices, you can minimize disruptions, address potential issues, and maintain uninterrupted service for your website visitors.

Read the guide below to learn different methods to restart Apache in Ubuntu and the best practices to restart Apache.

Apache is a powerful and widely-used web server that plays a crucial role in hosting websites and managing server-related tasks. However, like any other software, Apache may encounter issues or require a restart to resolve certain problems. Whether you’re a web developer, system administrator, or website owner, knowing how to restart Apache in Ubuntu can help you maintain a high-performing website and ensure uninterrupted service for your visitors. In this comprehensive guide, I will explore three methods to restart Apache in Ubuntu and the best practices to follow for a smooth experience.

How to Restart Apache in Ubuntu

To restart Apache in Ubuntu, you can use different methods. The systemctl command provides a seamless way to control and restart Apache, while the service command offers a reliable approach to managing Apache services. Additionally, the init.d script allows you to restart Apache and maintain a stable hosting environment effectively.

1. systemctl command

The systemctl command is a widely-used tool in Ubuntu for managing system services, including Apache.  It provides a seamless and efficient way to control and restart Apache, ensuring smooth operation and optimal web server performance. Let’s go through the steps to restart Apache using this method:

  1. Launch the Terminal application on your Ubuntu system.
opening terminal 13
  1. Viewing the current status of the Apache service by running the following command:
<strong>systemctl status apache2</strong>
  1. This command will display the current status of Apache.
viewing apache2 service status
  1. Type the following command to stop the Apache service:
<strong>sudo systemctl stop apache2</strong>
  1. This command will stop the Apache service, temporarily suspending its operation.
stopping apache service
  1. Now, start the Apache service by executing the command:
<strong>sudo systemctl start apache2</strong>

Remember to replace apache2 with the appropriate service name if you are using a different version or distribution of Apache.

  1. This command will initiate the Apache service, allowing it to resume serving web requests.
restarting apache

2. service command

The service command is commonly used to manage system services in Ubuntu, and it serves as a reliable method for restarting Apache. With the service command, you can easily start, stop, and restart Apache, making it a convenient tool for maintaining the functionality of your web server. Let’s explore how to restart Apache using this approach:

  1. Launch your command window and type the following command to stop the Apache service:
<strong>sudo service apache2 stop</strong>
  1. This command will temporarily halt the Apache service.
stopping apache service using service command
  1. Start Apache again by executing the command:
<strong>sudo service apache2 start</strong>
  1. After the execution of this command, the Apache service will restart.
restarting apache service using service command

3. init.d script

The init.d script offers an alternative approach to restarting Apache in Ubuntu. By utilizing this script, you can effectively restart Apache and ensure the continuous operation of your web server. It provides a reliable method for managing Apache and maintaining a stable hosting environment. Follow these steps:

  1. Access your Terminal window and run the following command to restart Apache:
<strong>sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart</strong>
  1. You may be prompted to enter your password for authentication. Apache will be restarted, allowing it to continue serving web requests.
restarting apache service using init.d script

5 Best Practices for Restarting Apache Server

By adhering to best practices, you can restart your Apache server confidently, minimizing downtime and ensuring a smooth user experience. Following these best practices helps you mitigate potential risks, maintain a stable web hosting environment, and provide uninterrupted service to your website visitors. Here are five best practices:

  • 📝 Plan for Maintenance Windows: Schedule server restarts during low-traffic periods or designated maintenance windows to minimize disruptions to your website visitors. Consider analyzing your website’s traffic patterns to identify periods of low activity. By planning restarts during these periods, you can avoid inconveniencing your users and provide uninterrupted service. Communicate any planned downtime to users in advance through notifications on your website or social media channels to manage expectations and mitigate any negative impact.
  • 🔍 Check Error Logs: Before restarting Apache, thoroughly review the error logs for any critical issues or recurring errors. Examining the logs will help you identify underlying problems that may have contributed to the need for a server restart. Look for error patterns, warnings, or unusual activities that can provide insights into potential misconfigurations or conflicts. Understanding the root causes of these issues will enable you to address them effectively during the restart process and ensure a smoother server operation.
  • 👥 Inform Stakeholders: Notify relevant stakeholders, such as developers or website administrators, about the upcoming server restart. Communication is key to maintaining transparency and minimizing any disruptions caused by the restart. Sharing this information ensures that everyone involved knows the maintenance and can plan accordingly. It allows developers to prepare for the restart by saving their work, closing open connections, or putting up temporary maintenance pages. Involving stakeholders can prevent potential confusion or conflicts and ensure a smooth restart process.
  • 🔧 Test Configuration Changes: If you have made any configuration changes to Apache or its related modules, it is crucial to test them before restarting the server. Validate the modifications in a non-production environment or use a staging server. This allows you to verify that the changes function as intended and do not introduce any unexpected errors. Testing configuration changes helps you identify potential issues or conflicts in advance, ensuring a smoother transition during the actual restart. It is always recommended to have a testing environment that mirrors your production setup to assess the impact of configuration changes accurately.
  • 👷‍♂️ Perform a Dry Run: Before executing the actual restart, consider performing a dry run or trial restart. This involves simulating the restart process without actually affecting the live server. By doing so, you can identify any potential issues or conflicts that may arise during the actual restart. Use a staging environment or a separate server to conduct the dry run and closely monitor the outcome. This practice allows you to rectify any problems or misconfigurations in advance, minimizing the risk of unexpected errors or downtime during the actual restart.

In Conclusion

Throughout this article, I have discussed different methods to restart Apache in Ubuntu, including using the systemctl and service commands and using the init.d script. I have also highlighted key best practices to ensure a seamless restart without disrupting other services.

To further enhance your knowledge, consider exploring the following articles: Optimizing Apache Performance, Troubleshooting Apache Errors, and enhancing web hosting environment. Expanding your expertise in Apache and Ubuntu will empower you to build and maintain a reliable web hosting environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check if Apache is running or not?

To determine the status of the Apache service, you can use either the command systemctl status apache2 or service apache2 status. Running either of these commands in the Terminal will provide you with detailed information about the current state of the Apache service. The output will indicate whether Apache is running or not, along with additional details such as the process ID (PID), memory usage, and any recent error messages. By checking the status of Apache, you can quickly verify if the service is up and running as expected.

Can I restart Apache without affecting other services?

Certainly! Restarting Apache should not impact other services as long as they are properly configured and independent of Apache. Apache operates as a standalone web server, and restarting it only affects the Apache service and any websites or applications hosted on it. Other services running on the same server, such as databases, email servers, or DNS servers, should continue to function normally during the Apache restart. It is important to ensure that these services are set up correctly and do not rely on Apache for their operation. Proper configuration and isolation of services will help prevent any unintended impact during the Apache restart process.

How can I automate Apache restarts in Ubuntu?

To automate Apache restarts in Ubuntu, you can utilize tools like cron jobs or systemd timers. Cron jobs are time-based job schedulers, while systemd timers are the modern equivalent in Ubuntu. By configuring a cron job or systemd timer, you can schedule regular restarts for Apache to ensure ongoing maintenance and optimal performance. Set the desired schedule, such as daily, weekly, or monthly, and specify the command to restart Apache. This way, the system will automatically execute the restart command at specified intervals, allowing seamless and periodic restarts. Automating Apache restarts helps ensure that your server remains up to date and can help prevent any potential issues caused by long-running server instances.



Ojash is a skilled Linux expert and tech writer with over a decade of experience. He has extensive knowledge of Linux's file system, command-line interface, and software installations. Ojash is also an expert in shell scripting and automation, with experience in Bash, Python, and Perl. He has published numerous articles on Linux in various online publications, making him a valuable resource for both seasoned Linux users and beginners. Ojash is also an active member of the Linux community and participates in Linux forums.



Akshat is a software engineer, product designer and the co-founder of Scrutify. He's an experienced Linux professional and the senior editor of this blog. He is also an open-source contributor to many projects on Github and has written several technical guides on Linux. Apart from that, he’s also actively sharing his ideas and tutorials on Medium and Attirer. As the editor of this blog, Akshat brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to provide readers with valuable insights and advice on a wide range of Linux-related topics.

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