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Old 05-05-2015, 03:06 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2015
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What does this rewrite rule actually do?

When looking at .htaccess on our server, I see that the developers included the following lines:

RewriteRule (services/.*) $1 [L] # adjust the regex to what you want.
RewriteRule ^$ app/webroot/ [L]
RewriteRule (.*) app/webroot/$1 [L]

No idea what the first RewriteRule actually does
Not sure about the ^$ in the 2nd rule
I understand the 3rd rule.

I would appreciate a quick explanation. Thank you very much in advance.

Last edited by brunofontaine; 05-05-2015 at 03:34 PM.
Old 05-05-2015, 07:31 PM   #2
Keith Hedger
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In regex ^ anchors to the start of a line, $ anchors to the end of a line, so ^$ matches the empty line.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:04 AM   #3
Tim Abracadabra
Registered: May 2014
Location: USA, Wherever I may Roam
Distribution: Debian w/Xfce, LFS 7.9, ++
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Hi brunofontaine and welcome to LQ!

Regarding the first RewriteRule:
RewriteRule (services/.*) $1 [L] # adjust the regex to what you want.
(services/.*) is the pattern match so matches against a directory or url path
that (minus the domain name) includes and ends with services/

The .* that follows matches any single character and any that follow it.

The $1 in this case is the target and is a variable that holds the value matched in the parenthesis.


services/myapp.php will select the target services/myapp.php and if found will return that to the requestor.

myandroidservices/myapp.php however will still select the target services/myapp.php and again if found will return that to the requestor.

Note that in a browser the URL will not change to the target even if it is different
as in the second example as this particular rule is a essentially mapping function and not a redirect.

Here is more info on Mod_Rewrite.

Hope that helps,


Last edited by Tim Abracadabra; 05-06-2015 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Add browser note
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:23 PM   #4
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Thank you.

Thank you for your detailed replies. Very informative.


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