Originally I ran the tutorial and changed the directory because I keep all the virtualhosts on my server in /home/me/domains/somedomain.com
Then I went through it again, using the same directory as the tutorial, and got the same error. I spent a couple of hours checking, re-checking and googling error messages before I posted here
I think the version may have been the problem. I removed ruby with apt because Etch installs 1.1.6 and installed the latest version with RubyGems instead and now it seems to be OK. Now I get the following message:
For security purposes, this information is only available to local requests.
Once I get around to copying the site I'm working on from my computer to the server I'll post back here and let you know if that fixed it