I am a little new to the apache vhosts configuration and for educational purposes I wish to set up a domain and a subdomain.

The domain is already set up under the name example.com. Now I want to create a subdomain test.example.com.

Consider the following (desired) directory structure:

- site_com
   - test
       - index.html
   - css
       - gobal.css
   - index.html

I have managed to do this by doing:

<virtualhost *:80>
ServerName test.example.com
ServerAdmin [email protected]
DocumentRoot site_com/test

<Directory />
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride None

<Directory site_com/test>
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    AllowOverride All
    Order allow,deny
    allow from all

I successfully go to the correct index.html when I go to test.example.com.

Now consider that index.html is a very simple page that contains a relative path to load a css file from the site_com/css directory. by using the following code in test/index.html:

<link href="../css/global.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"/>

However the CSS does not load. The reason is a 404 response. I have verified that the actual directory structure is correct and I have no idea why this behaves like that. I have used webhosts before and there a subdomain is also just a folder in your top domain but everything works perfectly. The stack software I use is called ZPanel.

1 Answer 1


You will need to load http://example.com/css/global.css as its for a different domain - the browser doesn't know about the directory structure on your server and cannot link the 2 sites together without a direct URL

  • Is there not some way to tell apache that the parent directory (would be root domain) files are available aswell?
    – Limnic
    Jun 6, 2015 at 17:14
  • 1
    You could set up a symlink site_com/test/css that points to site_com/css and have Apache follow symlinks, but it can't serve files outside of its root directory otherwise. Jun 6, 2015 at 17:17
  • 1
    If you did that, you would load /css/global.css rather than ../css/global.css Jun 6, 2015 at 17:18

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