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apachectl start vs service httpd start

What is the difference between these two commands? If I start apache using apachectl start, I have no problems connecting to a MSSQL server from a PHP page, whereas if I use service httpd start only a blank page appears when loading the page. If I have to use apachectl start, will I still be able to configure httpd to secure the service? I haven't configured anything yet, still doing a lot of reading. The only thing that I have done is flush the iptables (#iptables -F) and doing so allows me to connect to the server from other computers on the network.  I've been reading about htaccess files. Are these placed in the folder that I want the user to access (/usr/www/html) and place a "deny from all" "Allow from none" statement? I'll award the maximum points since I'm asking several questions. Thanks!
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horalia
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horalia
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periwinkleCommented:

1. apachectl is a shell script usually located in /etc/sbin/apachectl while the service script executes a server startup script, generally located in /etc/rc.d/init.d .  The startup scripts often differ from server to server -- you'd have to read and compare /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd to /etc/sbin/apachectl to find the differences.  If apachectl is working properly for you, you may be able to rewrite parts of your startup script to use similar code, or even just call apachectl instead.

2. .htacess files are used to override commands that are located in your httpd.conf file.  Most commonly, they are used to indicate password protection of a directory.  If you have deny from all and allow from none in your configuration, NO ONE will be able to to read your directory from the web server.  See: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/howto/auth.html#allowdeny .  
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horaliaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info! I'll read the scripts that you mentioned.

I also read that by default, httpd will deny from none and allow all, is this correct?
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periwinkleCommented:
I believe that the default and ordering of allow and deny and their settings will depend upon your httpd.conf file.
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