Koha Hacks: How To Enable Apache Caching On A Koha Library System Server (running Ubuntu 20.04LTS)

Is your Koha server taking too long to catalog or checkout items? Before you break the bank and purchase a bigger server with bucket-loads of RAM and processing power, enable Apache caching on your Koha ILS server instead – you might just save yourself a lot of time and money!

Koha Hacks: How To Enable Apache Caching On A Koha Library System Server (running Ubuntu 20.04LTS)

Is your Koha server taking too long to catalog or checkout items? Before you break the bank and purchase a bigger server with bucket-loads of RAM and processing power, enable Apache caching on your Koha ILS server instead – you might just save yourself a lot of time and money!

Enabling Apache Caching on Koha ILS 

    Just like Memcached, enabling Apache Caching will increase your Koha web server’s speed and reduce the overall load on your server.

    1. Install Apache Cache

    sudo apt update

    sudo apt install apache2-utils

    2. Enable Apache cache modules

    sudo a2enmod cache

    sudo a2enmod cache_disk

    sudo a2enmod expires

    sudo a2enmod headers

    3. Restart Apache Web Server

    sudo systemctl restart apache2

    4. Update Koha’s Virtual Hosts Configuration

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

    Scroll to the bottom of the file and add the following lines just before line </VirtualHost> in both your OPAC and staff virtual host sections.
    CacheQuickHandler off
    CacheLock on

    CacheLockPath /tmp/mod_cache-lock

    CacheLockMaxAge 5

    CacheIgnoreHeaders Set-Cookie

    CacheEnable disk
    CacheHeader on
    CacheDefaultExpire 800

    CacheMaxExpire 64000

    CacheIgnoreNoLastMod On

    ExpiresActive on

    ExpiresDefault A300

    Save and Exit the file.

    Note: You can set the CacheQuickHandler on or off. If it is set to on, then when requests are made to the server, the cache will be checked first without consulting Apache. This will make your server faster but it’s a bad idea if you need users to be logged in or authenticated first before they can access data (which I assume will be the case for most libraries). I recommend setting it to ‘off’ so that Apache can still authenticate users before serving content.

    5. Test Apache Configuration

    Test Apache configuration to check that there are no errors.

    sudo apachectl configtest

    6. Restart Apache Web Server

    If there are no errors, restart Apache web server to enable cache.

    sudo systemctl restart apache2

    7. Test Apache Cache

    You can test if the Apache cache is working by viewing the contents of directory where the cache is stored. The size of these directories and the number of files in them will grow with with time.

    ls -la /var/cache/apache2/mod_cache_disk/

    Tweaking Your Koha Library Server

    Pro Tip: You should regularly check Koha’s Home > About Koha page. It gives you a quick overview of your server information. If there are any errors, missing applications or dependencies that might be slowing down your server, they will show up here. Now, read on to find out how to make the most of Koha library system.

    Koha ILS About Page

    Speed is of the essence in today’s world so it’s important you optimize your Koha library system server to ensure your patrons and staff can do their work quickly and efficiently. Did you have any trouble following this tutorial? Let me know in the comments and if you need help, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

    Koha Support provides hassle-free Koha installation and cloud hosting as well as training, data migration, customization and technical support. Check out our packages and start your free trial today!

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