Now what do I need to do to get some documents accessible using HTTP (start some services?)?
After compiling, you need to install the files. Usually it's
make install as root.
However, most Linux distros already have Apache2 in their repositories – compiled, configured, etc. It's also more convienent than installing from source, since you get updates automagically.
(Admittedly, you won't get the latest "beta" that way, but do you need it just to serve a few files? Stick to the stable version.)
Also, do I need to group all the files I want to make accessible in some directory and make the directory and its contents accessible or can I just make the individual documents available?
You can only serve entire directories.
The default configuration of Apache2 usually points to
/var/www, depending on the system.
The default location for Apache2's config seems to be
/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf. Look for a line that says "
If using Debian's
apache2 package, you can change it in
Next, start Apache2. Again, depending on the system, it may be one of the following:
Make sure you run the command as root.
I will be providing these links to my colleagues and do not want them to be down, so need to make sure that the apache services are up automatically after a reboot. Does apache have some inbuilt support for this?
This depends on the operating system. On some Linux distros (Debian, Ubuntu), the initscript is added to the list of daemons to start automatically. On others you have to do it manually (in Arch, by editing