Here’s a gotcha I encountered. By changing the document root from the default of /var/www/html to somewhere that I can access without elevated permissions, I encountered a client denied by server configuration error, even though I’d set the new directory to be writable to Apache. What’s happened with the release of Apache 2.4 is it will not allow access outside the default directory if the server IP and client IP are the same – which they are by default if you operate a LAMP as localhost.

So, in /etc/apache2/000-default.conf where you changed the document root, you’ll need to add:

<Directory "/home/peter/public_html">
Require local
</Directory>

to the file, obviously changing the directory to match your own circumstances. Restart Apache and you should be good to go. Thanks to this place for helping out.