How to Enable HTTP/2 with Apache in Ubuntu

How to configure or enable or setup HTTP/2 with Apache in Ubuntu. HTTP/2 is a protocol developed to reduce latency, minimize protocol overhead and many more efficient features compared to HTTP/1.

In this guide you are going to learn how to enable HTTP/2 with Apache. This setup is tested on a Google cloud compute engine instance with Ubuntu 20.20 OS and Apache 2.4.41.

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  1. Apache version greater or equal to 2.4.26.
  2. SSL installed and working. Learn how to configure free SSL using Let’sEncrypt.

Make sure you have the above 2 requirements in place to have HTTP/2 working.

Check Apache version using this command.

apache2 -v

In Ubuntu 20.04 you will get an output similar to the one below.

Server version: Apache/2.4.41 (Ubuntu)
Server built: 2021-02-08T08:16:15

Enable HTTP/2 Apache Module

You can enable HTTP/2 module using the a2enmod command.

sudo a2enmod http2

Configure Apache virtual host to use HTTP/2.

Edit your HTTP virtual host config and the Protocol directive.

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/ssl.conf

Repace ssl.conf with the file name of yours.

Add the following below <VirtualHost *:443>

Protocols h2 http/1.1

Your configuration should look like below.

<VirtualHost *:443>
     Protocols h2 http/1.1

Hit CTRL+X followed by Y and ENTER to save and close the file.

Restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

sudo service apache2 restart

Configure Apache to use HTTP/2 for PHP

By default Apache uses mod_php with MPM. HTTP/2 does not support prefork module. So you need to use Event MPM which is not compatible with mod_php. So you need to configure PHP-FPM.

Disable PHP module.

sudo a2dismod php8.0

Disable prefork MPM module.

sudo a2dismod mpm_prefork

Enable Event MPM, Fast_CGI and setenvif module.

sudo a2enmod mpm_event proxy_fcgi setenvif

Install PHP-FPM.

sudo apt install php8.0-fpm

Start PHP-FPM.

sudo systemctl start php8.0-fpm

Enable PHP-FPM config in Apache.

sudo a2enconf php8.0-fpm

Restart Apache for the changes to take effect.

sudo systemctl restart apache2

Now HTTP/2 should be enabled on your server.

Test configuration

If you open console in your inspect element and load your website you will see the protocol as h2 which confirms HTTP/2 is running.

That’s it. Now you have HTTP/2 enabled with Apache.


Now you have learned how to enable HTTP2 with Apache on Ubuntu 20.04.

Thanks for your time. If you face any problem or any feedback, please leave a comment below.

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