Starting Web Server Apache2 Action Start Failed

What is Apache2?

Apache2 is a popular open-source web server software that is widely used to serve websites on the internet. It is known for its stability, security, and flexibility, making it the preferred choice for many website owners and developers.

Common Error: Action Start Failed

One common error that Apache2 users may encounter is the “Action Start Failed” message when trying to start or restart the web server. This error typically occurs due to various reasons, such as misconfiguration, conflicting software, or insufficient permissions.

1. Check Configuration Files

The first step in troubleshooting the “Action Start Failed” error is to check the Apache2 configuration files. These files contain the settings and directives that determine how the web server operates. Any syntax errors or misconfigured settings can prevent the server from starting successfully.

2. Verify Port Availability

Another possible cause of the “Action Start Failed” error is a port conflict. Apache2 typically listens on port 80 or 443 for HTTP and HTTPS traffic, respectively. If another application is already using these ports, Apache2 will fail to start. You can check for port availability using the netstat command or by reviewing the system’s firewall settings.

3. Check Log Files

The Apache2 log files can provide valuable insights into the cause of the “Action Start Failed” error. The main log file, typically located at /var/log/apache2/error.log, records any errors or warnings encountered during the server’s operation. Reviewing these log files can help pinpoint the exact issue that is preventing Apache2 from starting.

4. Verify User Permissions

Apache2 requires proper permissions to access its configuration files, log files, and other necessary resources. If the user running the Apache2 service does not have sufficient permissions, it can result in the “Action Start Failed” error. Ensure that the user has appropriate ownership and access rights to the required files and directories.

5. Disable Conflicting Software

In some cases, other software installed on the system may conflict with Apache2 and prevent it from starting. This could be another web server, such as Nginx or IIS, or any software that uses port 80 or 443. Temporarily disabling or stopping these conflicting services can help resolve the “Action Start Failed” error.

6. Check System Resources

If the server is low on system resources, such as memory or CPU, it may struggle to start Apache2 successfully. Insufficient resources can cause the web server to fail during the startup process. Ensure that the system has enough available resources to accommodate Apache2’s requirements.

7. Restart the Server

Restarting the server itself can sometimes resolve the “Action Start Failed” error. A simple reboot can help clear any temporary issues or conflicts that may be preventing Apache2 from starting. After the server restarts, attempt to start Apache2 again and see if the error persists.

8. Reinstall Apache2

If all else fails, reinstalling Apache2 can be a last resort. This will overwrite any existing configuration files and reset the server to its default state. Before reinstalling, make sure to back up any important configuration files or website data to avoid potential data loss.


The “Action Start Failed” error in Apache2 can be caused by various factors, including misconfigurations, port conflicts, insufficient permissions, or resource limitations. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can identify and resolve the underlying issue, allowing you to successfully start the Apache2 web server and get your websites back online.