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Webserver alternatives to Apache

Any worth looking at?

     
4:34 am on Jun 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Now that I finally have the opportunity to co-lo and operate my own webserver, I'm exploring software issues that have never cropped up when I was just running a LAN router. :) One decision I've got to make is what webserver software to use under Debian - Woody. I know everyone and their great-aunt used Apache, but I'm wondering if this is really the best solution to my needs?

I'll be running Debian on a Sparcstation with 64MB RAM and a 2GB disk, serving *only* as a webserver for a *single* site with a small number of pages (under forty, but growing) which are HTML-only. The entire site is HTML; no perl, no javascript, no images, nothing fancy. There are a lot of sites which run Apache on the same hardware as I do, which seem to run fine, but I'm curious whether a smaller, lighter choice might meet my needs and free up more system resources.

Has anyone got anything good or bad to say about WN, WebFS, or DHTTPD? Or anything else I can compile and run under Woody? How about the old CERN HTTP software?

3:00 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Apache is a great server, To be honest I think it has proven it's self over the years to be the leader in terms of stability and technology. Perhaps this is why there havent been any alternatives suggested.

I have only ever used AOL server, IIS and Apache. Out of those I would recoment apache every time.

Call this post a bump to see if anyone else has any better suggestions for you.

Mack.

3:01 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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As an alternative, you can remove a lot of extra modules from Apache's httpd.config and it will make it lighter.
11:45 am on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sounds as if you need thttpd - I've heard very good things about this one (and it's available as a Debian package):

[acme.com...]

I believe the CERN server is unmaintained (replaced by the W3C Jigsaw server) so it would be a bad choice now for security reasons - and I'm not sure it did HTTP 1.1 anyway.

5:06 pm on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to give thttpd a try; thanks! It looks like it could really breathe new life into this old machine...
5:12 pm on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If that thttpd only supports http 1.1, you might have some problems with bots being unable to access your content, since last I read, http 1.1 was a suggested spec and not fully completed...and most (if not all) search engine bots perform GET requests with http 1.0 ;)

But, if search engine indexing isn't a concern, then I wouldn't worry about it (though I could also be reading that page wrong that describes the web server...)

5:16 pm on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Heres another lightweight:

[boa.org...]

6:17 pm on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If that thttpd only supports http 1.1, you might have some problems with bots being unable to access your content, ...and most (if not all) search engine bots perform GET requests with http 1.0 ;)

It handles HTTP 1.0 requests fine too - it is just the description on the product page that is a bit unclear. No problems for search bots.

6:18 pm on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ah, ok - they could make their language a bit more clear, then - if they would like to encourage more folks to adopt their technology (at least, if that is part of their aim...)
6:32 pm on July 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ah, ok - they could make their language a bit more clear, then - if they would like to encourage more folks to adopt their technology (at least, if that is part of their aim...)

I don't think they're too worried about popular acclaim - it's distributed under a BSD license rather than GNU, and it is part of a collection of UNIX freeware created by a guy called Jef Poskanzer. There is quite a load of interesting stuff here (including "the worlds smallest web server" if thttpd is too much for you!):

[acme.com...]

They describe themselves as: "ACME Laboratories - Purveyors of fine freeware since 1972."!

3:24 am on July 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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xitami is another lightweight server that works well.

www.imatix.com

7:11 pm on July 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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OK, this is a way lame follow-on question. :) While looking at thttpd, I was impressed with their statistics about multiple connections, and how well it supposedly handles lots of them. This seemed like it would be useful on a client's site that has a very busy phpbb2 forum (circa 30 active users most evenings) where I've been trying every possible thing to make the site run as fast as possible... So, I'm really sorta ignorant about this, and can't tell from the docs: Can thttpd be made to run PHP scripts?
7:51 pm on July 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Can thttpd be made to run PHP scripts?

From the PHP 4.3.2 Release notes [php.net]:

...
Improvements to thttpd SAPI module.
...

I think you'll have to build it from source, though - there is no easy install for thttpd, but it should work. (Not that I've ever tried!).

8:19 pm on July 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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u can run php as cgi too

SN

8:56 pm on July 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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u can run php as cgi too

True, but what would that do in terms of performance (the main criteria here)? I'd guess that thttpd + php running as cgi would end up slower than running a slimmed-down Apache + the PHP module.

 

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