The magic of /etc/conf.d/apache2 and it's failings

I'm still running a Gentoo despite of the recent political stuff they've undergone. It simply works well for me and why fix and switch everything to Ubuntu.

At any rate, there is a web server that lives on the Gentoo box, that I occasionally add things to. I'm a big fan of splitting each virtual host into it's own file for cleanliness and after making changes I tend to run apache2 -t to verify the syntax is correct in all of the config files.

For a while now I've been seeing the following error regarding mod_suexec:

Syntax error on line 3 of /etc/.....conf:
Invalid command 'SuexecUserGroup', perhaps misspelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration

Now, somehow Gentoo is a bit stupid building the mod_suexec module and I have to cobble around that (more on that later), but the config file runs perfect, when I restart apache via the standard startup script in /etc/init.d.

I finally figured out that the issue is with the Gentoo default parameters stored in /etc/conf.d/apache2 which are included when the startup script is run, but not when running apache2 directly.

Everything is perfectly fine when I simple add the DEFINE:

apache2 -D SUEXEC -t

That gives me a clean bill of health.