D.4. Rewrite Configuration Guide

URL rewriting is a common function of HTTP servers. However, the rules and configuration differ widely between them. Below are some common approaches across a variety of popular web servers available at the time of writing.

D.4.1. Apache HTTP Server

All examples that follow use mod_rewrite, an official module that comes bundled with Apache. To use it, mod_rewrite must either be included at compile time or enabled as a Dynamic Shared Object (DSO). Please consult the Apache documentation for your version for more information.

D.4.1.1. Rewriting inside a VirtualHost

Here is a very basic virtual host definition. These rules direct all requests to index.php, except when a matching file is found under the document_root.

    DocumentRoot /path/to/server/root/

    RewriteEngine off

    <Location />
        RewriteEngine On
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -s [OR]
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -l [OR]
        RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
        RewriteRule ^.*$ - [NC,L]
        RewriteRule ^.*$ /index.php [NC,L]

Note the slash ("/") prefixing index.php; the rules for .htaccess differ in this regard.

D.4.1.2. Rewriting within a .htaccess file

Below is a sample .htaccess file that utilizes mod_rewrite. It is similar to the virtual host configuration, except that it specifies only the rewrite rules, and the leading slash is omitted from index.php.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -s [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -l [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^.*$ - [NC,L]
RewriteRule ^.*$ index.php [NC,L]

There are many ways to configure mod_rewrite; if you would like more information, see Jayson Minard's Blueprint for PHP Applications: Bootstrapping.

D.4.2. Microsoft Internet Information Server

As of version 7.0, IIS now ships with a standard rewrite engine. You may use the following configuration to create the appropriate rewrite rules.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
                <rule name="Imported Rule 1" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^.*$" />
                    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAny">
                        <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}"
                             matchType="IsFile" pattern=""
                             ignoreCase="false" />
                        <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}"
                             ignoreCase="false" />
                    <action type="None" />
                <rule name="Imported Rule 2" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^.*$" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="index.php" />

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