This is WinFeat, the free Apache web server tool from Fireseed.
WinFeat is a free tool for Windows that allows you to easily generate virtual host files for Apache web servers without knowledge of coding or configuration files. It does this by asking simple questions that you answer by simply entering information into input fields, then using this information to generate a configuration (.conf) file that you can upload to your Apache web server using SCP (Secure Copy) or FTP (File Transfer Protocol). WinFeat is 100% accessible to people with little or no eyesight who use screen reading software such as NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) or JAWS (Job Access With Speech).
The name "WinFeat" is an acronym meaning "Fireseed's Easy Apache Tool for Windows". FeatWin didn't sound quite right, so I chose WinFeat instead.
Picture this. You're the web master of a small business, charged with setting up 3 websites: the main website of your business, a download site for your company's software, and a forum site where clients can ask questions and find solutions to problems with your products and services. You have 2 choices. You can either buy, set up and maintain 3 separate servers (keep in mind you'll probably have 3 domain names as well) or set up a single server and have your 3 websites running on that server. If I were you, I'd choose option 2. VHosts, or virtual hosts, allow you to do just that. They allow you to effectively run multiple websites from one server, resulting in saved time, reduced costs and less stress. A big win win for all!
WinFeat supports the following Windows versions
Both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) system architectures are supported.
If you're using the portable version of WinFeat, simply press Enter/Return or double-click on the WinFeat executable file (WinFeat.exe). If your Windows installation isn't set up to show file extensions, you will not see the .exe extension, so the filename will only show as "WinFeat". If you ran the WinFeat installer, look for WinFeat's desktop or start menu icon and either press Enter/Return or double-click on it. If you decided not to have icons created during installation, you will have to manually browse to where ever you installed the program and open the executable file. Once the program has been launched, you'll hear the startup sound, and the main menu will appear.
After the startup sequence, a menu will appear with 6 options. Simply type the number relative to your desired option to select.
This takes you to the VHost menu, where you can generate one of two types of VHost:
This will generate a standard, run-of-the-mill virtual host file.
This option generates a virtual host file that is suitable for websites that use SSL (Secure Socket Layer)/TLS (Transport Layer Security) to encrypt data transfers.
This will open WinFeat's readme file (the file you're reading right now) in your default text editor (Notepad, Notepad++, EdSharp etc).
This option opens the developer's website in your default web browser (Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox etc)
This simply tells you the version of WinFeat you're currently using.
This brings up WinFeat's settings menu.
If WinFeat's shutdown sequence is enabled, which it is by default, this option initiates WinFeat's shutdown sequence, which involves a nice shutdown sound being played, WinFeat's program and data files being taken out of memory and the user being returned to the wacky and wild world of Windows.
Depending on what type of VHost you decided on, WinFeat will ask you the following questions as part of the VHost generation procedure. Once you've answered a question, press Enter/Return to proceed to the next question.
This is the hostname that is assigned to your web server, for example mysite.tld or download.mysite.tld. Apache will check the server name, included in the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) request header, against that of its VHost and other config files. If there is a match, Apache will serve the website associated with that server name.
A server alias is basically another version of a server name. A server nick name, if you will. The server name could be mysite.tld, while the server alias might be www.mysite.tld. Server aliases are not required, however an A, AAAA or CNAME record is required for them to work. DNS records are beyond the scope of this documentation, but feel free to research them in your own time. If you decide not to enter a server alias, WinFeat won't include it in the resulting VHost file.
Here is where you'd enter some contact details, such as an email address or telephone number, that your website's visitors would use to reach you if they ran into a problem with the website, such as a 404 not found error. Apache typically refers to the server administrator's contact details in its default error pages (contact [email protected] with information about this error).
This is simply the directory on the web server where your website's data files reside. By default on Ubuntu systems, this is typically /var/www/html. However, if you're running multiple websites, you might enter something like /var/www/mysite.tld/html.
This is the name of your VHost file.
For a secure VHost, WinFeat will ask you the same questions as it would for a normal VHost, along with the following additional questions
This is the path to the SSL certificate you obtained from your certification authority, such as Let's Encrypt or VeriSign. For example, /certs/mysite.tld/cert.pem.
This is the path to your SSL private key file. For example, /certs/mysite.tld/private.key. The private key is used to decrypt data once it has arrived at your web server, so do not share it with anyone! Repeat, do not share your private key with anyone! It's called a (private) key for a reason!
The path to your cert authority chain file. For example, /certs/mysite.tld/chain.pem.
After all questions have been answered, WinFeat will proceed to create your VHost file and save it to your desktop with your desired filename. Feel free to upload it to your server and restart Apache to activate the new VHost. Note: on Ubuntu systems, the default location for virtual host files is /etc/apache2/sites-enabled. To have WinFeat generate another file, type a lowercase y at the retry prompt. Or, to go back to the main menu, type a lowercase n.
To restart Apache, log into your server via SSH using your favourite client, then type
sudo systemctl restart apache2into the terminal and press Enter.
When you generate a secure VHost, WinFeat will add -secure to the end of your desired filename to indicate that it is a secure VHost. For example, if you enter test into the filename input prompt, the file will be named test-secure.
WinFeat 1.5 and higher includes the ability to store and modify user settings. These settings are stored inside a file called
settings.featwhich is created when you first run WinFeat and saved in its installation directory (i.e. where the WinFeat executable and its supporting files are).
The settings.feat file can either be modified from inside WinFeat or with a text editor such as Notepad++.
Typing 5 at the main menu prompt brings up another menu with 3 toggle options. Simply type the number of that option to activate it.
This disables or enables WinFeat's startup sequence. If it's on, it'll be turned off. If it's off, it'll be turned back on.
This toggles WinFeat's shutdown sequence on or off.
This option toggles whether WinFeat copies the Linux command to restart the Apache web server to the PC's clipboard or not.
Your settings are saved and you're returned to the main menu.
You're returned to the main menu, but your settings are not saved.
Your settings are set back to how they were when you ran WinFeat for the first time.
ShutdownSequence=I1, it will now read
Due to the way some screen readers handle command prompts, users might not hear the state of a toggle right away when they activate it. Therefore, flat review/object navigation might have to be used.
I can be contacted in the following ways
You have 2 options for downloading WinFeat. Choose the option that best suits your needs. 2 download locations are available.