Lighttpd, the best web server software for websites but the least used

It is a web server designed to be fast, secure, flexible, and true to web server standards.

It is optimized for environments where speed is very important, and that is why it consumes less CPU and RAM resources compared to other servers. For all that it offers, lighttpd is suitable for any server experiencing load problems.

Lighttpd is officially available on GNU / Linux and UNIX. For Microsoft Windows there is currently a distribution known as Lighttpd For Windows maintained by Kevin Worthington.


Lighttpd is free software and is distributed under the BSD license, this license is compatible with the GPL license, and because of this this web server is available in almost all GNU / Linux, FreeBSD and even UNIX distributions.


Among all its own characteristics, we can list those that are considered most relevant below:

  • Virtual hosting (host several domains on the same IP)
  • CGI, SCGI and FastCGI
  • Support for PHP, Ruby, Python and others
  • Chroot environment
  • SSL encryption
  • Compression (gzip, bzip2, …)
  • Authentication (LDAP, htpasswd, others)
  • Server Side Includes
  • Constant memory consumption
  • HTTP redirects, and URL rewrites
  • You can send parts of a file (ranges)
  • You can use select () or poll ()
  • It also allows other event notification systems such as kqueue and epoll
  • Makes statistics through RRDtool
  • Shows a list of files when entering a directory without index.html
  • Conditional redirection
  • Allows external modules
  • Cache Meta Language
  • • Accept part of WebDAV

If you want to observe or see all of its available features, click here.

Supported server-side languages

Lighttpd allows you to communicate with external programs through FastCGI or SCGI, which are improvements to the original CGI (also supported), it can be said that it is the safest and most efficient way to do it. In this way, programs in practically any programming language can be used.

PHP is of particular importance, for which specific enhancements have been made. It is also common to combine it with Ruby on Rails.

High performance environments where lighttpd is needed

Well In the web environment this server is implemented in environments such as an extreme load where high performance and a quick response to its users is required, in most cases it is excellent in websites such as environments for web access brokers and where users traiders They are operating almost 24 hours a day on this type of platform, other platforms where lighttpd is excellent is in government systems where a lot of load is handled by users.A tangible example would be the website of any government entity that is in charge of immigration and foreigners or a last example for websites of banking entities with many influxes of users.

In itself, the benefits of this web server are very high and it is usable almost in all areas, but the market share is more oriented to other software, partly due to misinformation and propaganda.

Download and install

Lighttpd, as mentioned previously, practically in all distributions have available a packaged version of this excellent web server for a simple installation in the case of Debian GNU / Linux it can be installed with the command (as root user):

apt-get install lighttpd

If this is not your case, you can download it from your office website using the following url:

Once downloaded, unzip the package and follow the steps explained in README or INSTALL.

In the case of other operating systems, look for more information on its official website at the following url:

Market share covered by lighttpd

As the title of this publication refers to, it is one of the least used web servers as can be seen in the following graph that shows the current market share of different web server software available for its implementation of VPS or hostings which is available at the following url:

For reference at the time of the consultation, the date is September 16, 2021 and shows that lightttpd is in position 10 with 0.11% of the covered market.

Activity in its development

Something that is a little worrying is that if activity in recent months is quite paralyzed, seeing on its official website that the last update in terms of news is from February 2, 2021 and this can be consulted by accessing the following URL:


Although not everyone likes to use lightttpd due to the complexity of its configuration, it does not have many users but in terms of its security it is one of the safest software even surpassing apache as a web server in terms of security, stability and speed in its operation, giving low yields much you are due to a high load of user access to it.


If you are interested in participating and interacting with their community of programmers and volunteers, you can write directly through their IRC channel #lighttpd which can be found on the following IRC server:


If you want to support the lightttpd project financially, you can make a donation through paypal to the following email: [email protected].

Your contribution will cover expenses such as hosting payment, domain payment and maintenance of different inherent services necessary to keep this project active.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.