Tech stuff explained colorfully and simply.

What the fuck is Apache?

Apache is short for the Apache Server. This shit has nothing to do with helicopters. Oh, and it’s confusing because in nerd-land, the term server means two things: the physical hardware that computer software runs on, and also a specific program on the computer that serves, or responds, to requests for information. Cool.

Apache is software that runs on the computer to respond to requests from the internet. When your computer asks for a specific web page, and that request arrives at the host computer, Apache then decides what the fuck to send back to your computer. It determines if it should even respond to your shitty request (knock knock? Is Shaniqua.html there? “Naw”, Apache responds. “Shaniqua Don’t Live Here No More”), what file it might send (cat dot gif, pronounced like the peanut butter), or what page of data to send back (like a list of all the Pokemon).

Generally, people who specialize in Apache are Systems Engineers. They might specialize in optimizing for large traffic spikes or creating bridges between the public internet and private computer resources. Otherwise apache can be sort of a set-it-and-forget-it piece of software. When people say they know Apache, you gotta figure out if they actually know it (like how I know ALL the lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) or if they’re just familiar with it (like I am with my belly button).

Apache is part of the LAMP Stack.