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Bun, 2008-12-28 07:54
Fixed formatting and typos


Configuration

How much time do you have to set up lighttpd? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? More?

5 minutes

Want to run a fast, low-resource server for static content? It's easy:

server.document-root = "/var/www/servers/www.example.org/pages/" 

server.port = 3000

mimetype.assign = (
  ".html" => "text/html", 
  ".txt" => "text/plain",
  ".jpg" => "image/jpeg",
  ".png" => "image/png" 
)

lighttpd will listen on TCP port 3000 and bind to all interfaces by default. The few important MIME types are assigned
and the document root (the base directory that is used for all requests) is set. The files in the document root have to be
readable by the user starting the web server.

First, check that your config is ok:

$ lighttpd -t -f lighttpd.conf

Now start the server for testing:

$ lighttpd -D -f lighttpd.conf

and point your browser to http://127.0.0.1:3000/

To stop the server again, just press ctrl-c.

A real daemon

Next you should familiarize yourself with some settings necessary for your server's security:

server.document-root = "/var/www/servers/www.example.org/pages/" 

server.port = 80

server.username = "www" 
server.groupname = "www" 

mimetype.assign = (
  ".html" => "text/html", 
  ".txt" => "text/plain",
  ".jpg" => "image/jpeg",
  ".png" => "image/png" 
)

static-file.exclude-extensions = ( ".fcgi", ".php", ".rb", "~", ".inc" )
index-file.names = ( "index.html" )

Now the web server is listening on port 80, the default for HTTP traffic, and will switch to the user www and the group www.
The server has to be started as root to take control of port 80, but it's not necessary or a good idea to continue running as root after port acquisition.

Lastly, we forbid access to the source of some types of files which will be used later for generating dynamic content, and we rewrite
all requests to a directory to the index.html file in that directory.

Assuming you have already created the /etc/init.d/lighttpd service as described in TutorialInstallation, place the config file in /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf and start the server with:

# /etc/init.d/lighttpd start

To stop it use:

# /etc/init.d/lighttpd stop

10 minutes

Conditionals, conditionals, conditionals:

The most important part in Lighty's configuration is the use of conditionals. Using simple comparisons or regular expressions, they control
if a default setting will be overridden or not.

server.document-root = "/var/www/servers/www.example.org/pages/" 

server.port = 80

server.username = "www" 
server.groupname = "www" 

mimetype.assign = (
  ".html" => "text/html", 
  ".txt" => "text/plain",
  ".jpg" => "image/jpeg",
  ".png" => "image/png" 
)

static-file.exclude-extensions = ( ".fcgi", ".php", ".rb", "~", ".inc" )
index-file.names = ( "index.html" )

$HTTP["host"] == "www2.example.org" {
  server.document-root = "/var/www/servers/www2.example.org/pages/" 
}

Now we have a new virtual server which will use the same settings as the first server, only the document root will be replaced by a new one.

This server will also have a download area which will use the built-in directory listing feature:

server.document-root = "/var/www/servers/www.example.org/pages/" 

server.port = 80

server.username = "www" 
server.groupname = "www" 

mimetype.assign = (
  ".html" => "text/html", 
  ".txt" => "text/plain",
  ".jpg" => "image/jpeg",
  ".png" => "image/png" 
)

static-file.exclude-extensions = ( ".fcgi", ".php", ".rb", "~", ".inc" )
index-file.names = ( "index.html" )

$HTTP["host"] == "www2.example.org" {
  server.document-root = "/var/www/servers/www2.example.org/pages/" 
  $HTTP["url"] =~ "^/download/" {
    dir-listing.activate = "enable" 
  }
}

As you can see, conditionals can be nested: only the download folder and its subfolders have the directory listings
enabled.

Now that we've covered the basics, you're ready to learn some more advanced topics like includes and configuring PHP with FastCGI

After 30 minutes

Now you know the basic setup, include files, and maybe even how to set up PHP or Ruby. But there's so much more to find out.

Most of it is described in examples in the default configuration file that you can find in the doc directory of the tarball or in the repository (source:trunk/doc/lighttpd.conf).

For the configuration file syntax and the complete list of configuration options visit the reference section of the wiki: Reference Documentation

Also check out our community.

Updated by Bun about 11 years ago · 14 revisions