error] [client 192.168.9.3] File does not exist: /etc/apache2/htdocs
I knew this was not a configuration issue as in the original VM apache does run without complaining.
It ended up being something about relative and absolute paths. For some reason Apache was failing to find the sites-enabled directory when using relative paths. A correction in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf made the trick:
$ sudo vi /etc/apache2/apache2.conf #Include sites-enabled/ Include /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/