Installing AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics) on Ubuntu 18.04 with Apache

In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install AWStats on Ubuntu 18.04 server with Apache web server. AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics) is a free, open-source Web analytics software written in the Perl programming language. Web analytics software are used by webmasters to know how many visitors are on a site in a day/week/month, what web browser they are using, etc. It is a crucial piece of software to help grow their websites.

AWStats Features

  • It can generate user statistics from server log files. Web, streaming, ftp or mail server are supported.
  • It can show you number of visits, and unique visitors, visit duration.
  • display information about visitors (OS, browser, IP address, screen size, search engine, keyphrase and keywords used to find your website)
  • It works from command line and as CGI.

To see a full list of features, please check the official AWStats website.

Installing AWStats on Ubuntu 18.04 with Apache

First, you need to install Apache web server. Run the following command to install Apache from the default Ubuntu repository.

sudo apt install apache2

Then install AWStats. The two Perl package is used to get GeoIP information.

sudo apt install awstats libgeo-ip-perl libgeo-ipfree-perl

AWStats can collect statistics from Apache log files. It’s recommended to create separate log files for each Apache virtual host.

Configuring Apache Virtual Host

Edit your Apache virtual host file.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf

First, you need to enable logging in your virtual host by adding the following lines in the <VirtualHost> tag.

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/exmaple.com_error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/example.com_access.log combined

Then add the following lines to the end of the file before the closing </VirtualHost> tag.

Alias /awstatsclasses "/usr/share/awstats/lib/"
Alias /awstats-icon/ "/usr/share/awstats/icon/"
Alias /awstatscss "/usr/share/doc/awstats/examples/css"
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
ScriptAlias /awstats/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch

Save and close the file. Run the following command to enable CGI module and restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

sudo a2enmod cgi

sudo systemctl restart apache2

The AWStats web interface will be accessible at example.com/cgi-bin/awstats.pl, but we need to make a little more configuration to make it work.

awstats ubuntu 18.04

Configuring AWStats

The main configuration file is /etc/awstats/awstats.conf. To keep your modifications when the awstats package gets updated, we copy it to a new file.

sudo cp /etc/awstats/awstats.conf /etc/awstats/awstats.exmaple.com.conf

Then edit the new file.

sudo nano /etc/awstats/awstats.example.com.conf

First, you need to change the value of LogFile to the file name used by your Apache virtual host.

LogFile="/var/log/apache2/example.com_access.log"

Next, find the following line.

LogFormat=4

Because we used the combined log format in Apache virtual host, so we need to change the value to 1.

LogFormat=1

Then, add your domain name in the SiteDomain parameter. If your website uses a sub-domain, like blog.example.com, then add blog.example.com to SiteDomain parameter.

SiteDomain="blog.example.com"

Also, add your domain name to the HostAliases parameter.

HostAliases="blog.example.com localhost 127.0.0.1"

Save and close the file. Next, we need to allow www-data user to read the Apache logs by using the following command.

sudo setfacl -R -m "u:www-data:rx" /var/log/apache2/

The AWStats web interface is now accessible (example.com/cgi-bin/awstats.pl).

awstats ubuntu how to

The AWStats cron job (/etc/cron.d/awstats) by default updates statistics every 10 minutes. AWStats stores its data under /var/lib/awstats/ directory.

Restricting Access to AWStats Web Interface

By default, the AWStats web interface is publicly accessible. To restrict access, we can enable basic password authentication with Apache web server. Run the following command to set a password for user admin. /etc/apache2/htpasswd file is used to store usernames and password

sudo htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/htpasswd admin

Then edit the Apache virtual host file.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf

Add the following lines.

<Directory "/usr/lib/cgi-bin/">
    AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/htpasswd
    AuthName "Please Enter Your Password"
    AuthType Basic
    Require valid-user
</Directory>

Save and close the file. Then restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

sudo systemctl restart apache2

If you access the AWStats web interface again, you will be asked to enter username and password.

awstats ubuntu install

Conclusion

I hope this tutorial helped you install AWStats on Ubuntu 18.04 with Apache web server. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Take care 🙂

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