Is Lighttpd a Web Server?


Scott Campbell

Is Lighttpd a Web Server?

When it comes to web servers, Apache and Nginx are the most commonly known options. However, there is another player in the field that deserves our attention: Lighttpd.

What is Lighttpd?

Lighttpd, also known as Lighty, is an open-source web server designed to be lightweight and efficient. It was created by Jan Kneschke in 2003 and has gained popularity for its speed and low memory footprint.

Features of Lighttpd:

  • Fast and Efficient: Lighttpd is built to handle high loads efficiently while using minimal system resources. It has a small memory footprint and can handle thousands of concurrent connections.
  • Modular Architecture: With its modular architecture, Lighttpd allows for easy customization and extensibility.

    You can enable or disable specific modules based on your requirements.

  • Persistent Connections: Lighttpd supports persistent connections, which reduces the overhead of establishing new connections for each request. This feature improves performance by allowing multiple requests to be served over a single connection.
  • Flexible Configuration: The Lighttpd configuration file allows you to fine-tune various settings according to your needs. From server behavior to security options, you have full control over how your web server operates.

Use Cases for Lighttpd:

  • Serving Static Content:

  • If you have a website that primarily serves static content such as HTML files, images, or CSS files, Lighttpd can be an excellent choice. Its efficient handling of static content and low memory usage make it a preferred option in such scenarios.

  • Reverse Proxy Server:

  • Lighttpd can also function as a reverse proxy server, which helps distribute incoming requests to multiple backend servers.

    This allows you to scale your application horizontally by adding more servers behind Lighttpd.

  • Load Balancer:

  • With its load balancing capabilities, Lighttpd can evenly distribute incoming traffic across multiple backend servers. This helps improve the availability and performance of your web application.


In conclusion, Lighttpd is indeed a web server. While not as widely known as Apache or Nginx, it offers impressive performance and efficiency. Whether you need a lightweight server for serving static content or require a reverse proxy/load balancer, Lighttpd can be a reliable choice.

If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional web servers and want something that excels in speed and resource usage, give Lighttpd a try!

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