Virtual Hosting of Buckets

Amazon Simple Storage Service: 2006-03-01

Virtual Hosting, in general, is the practice of serving multiple web sites from a single web server. One way to differentiate sites is by using the apparent host name of the request instead of just the path name part of the URI. An ordinary Amazon S3 REST request specifies a bucket using the first slash delimited component of the Request-URI path. Alternatively, using Amazon S3 Virtual Hosting, you can address a bucket in a REST API call using the HTTP Host header. In practice, Amazon S3 interprets Host as meaning that most buckets are automatically accessible (for limited types of requests) at Furthermore, by naming your bucket after your registered domain name and by making that name a DNS alias for Amazon S3, you can completely customize the URL of your Amazon S3 resources, for example:

Besides the attractiveness of customized URLs, a second benefit of virtual hosting is the ability to publish to the 'root directory' of your bucket's virtual server. This can be important because many existing applications search for files in this standard location. For example, favicon.ico, robots.txt, crossdomain.xml, are all expected to be found at the root.