October 10, 2005

Selecting my Web Server

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

I love having a really cool web server at my fingertips. But I have some rules. It’s gotta be simple, small, quick and easy to manage. Oh – and since my server was an old SPARC/Ultra system, it needs to run cleanly on under Linux on SPARC.

LINUX Based

I use Apache on several production servers because it was easy enough to install and it’s the standard. But for my blog, I wanted to use something that would have less impact on server CPU/memory utilization. I reviewed several other servers and found problems with them that made them less usable (trying hard to avoid the flames!).

MonkeydI used Monkeyd for a while. However, I had a significant problem with it. Blosxom uses a special format for its URL’s to provide the customized look and feel of the blogsite. This customized look is called a flavour. The flavor is appended to the posting name giving you a specific URL like this: http://my.blog.com/posting.flavour Monkeyd looks furiously for the specific file posting.flavour and can’t find it and gives up. When I attempted to contact the maintainers, the mail bounced. Off my server it came.

Lighttpd and its cousin MinihttpdThis is nice, but it’s CGI doesn’t work well and it has problems with the configuration and it is not fully tested on SPARC.

bozohttpd and skunkwebOh come on… I want web servers with a name I can be proud of.

BoaFinally I found this little program. It has most of the features of Apache and runs in a single daemon session. … and it’s been update THIS YEAR! Bingo! It has one small quirk though. It requires that the default documents directory be compiled into the code (hard coded) or provided on the command line.

Windows Based

By far the best Windows based server I’ve found is Abyss from Aprelium Technologies. It is does require a little configuration effort – but it is extremely flexible and very useful. My favorite for quick development projects when my laptop is not network connected.

Other Windows Based Tools

WinSCP is a very nifty secure upload/download program freely available. It is handy for moving posts from your Windows PC to the Linux server.

DataFreeway is also a very FTP/s client well integrated into Windows from Luckasoft.

Perl Editor, which is also from Luckasoft is a very handy tool for massaging those perl and CGI scripts when you’ve got to see the syntax on screen.

So I installed BOA (hence the little cute and cuddly at the top of the page) and tucked Blosxom.cgi away in the CGI-BIN directory and went to town.

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