Last updated

Original author(s) Jef Poskanzer
Stable release
2.29 (May 24, 2018 [1] )
Written in C
Operating system POSIX
Available inEnglish
Type Web server
License BSD licenses variant

thttpd (tiny/turbo/throttling HTTP server) is an open source software web server from ACME Laboratories, designed for simplicity, a small execution footprint and speed.

Web server server that serves website content to clients

A web server is server software, or hardware dedicated to running said software, that can satisfy World Wide Web client requests. A web server can, in general, contain one or more websites. A web server processes incoming network requests over HTTP and several other related protocols.

Memory footprint refers to the amount of main memory that a program uses or references while running.


Design and features

thttpd is single-threaded and portable: it compiles cleanly on most Unix-like operating systems, including FreeBSD, SunOS 4, Solaris 2, BSD/OS, Linux, and OSF/1. It has an executable memory size of about 50 kB. [2] While it can be used as a simplified replacement to more feature-rich servers, it is uniquely suited to service high volume requests for static datafor example as an image hosting server. The first "t" in thttpd stands for variously tiny, turbo, or throttling.

Portability in high-level computer programming is the usability of the same software in different environments. The prerequirement for portability is the generalized abstraction between the application logic and system interfaces. When software with the same functionality is produced for several computing platforms, portability is the key issue for development cost reduction.

Unix-like operating system that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system

A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. A Unix-like application is one that behaves like the corresponding Unix command or shell. There is no standard for defining the term, and some difference of opinion is possible as to the degree to which a given operating system or application is "Unix-like".

Operating system collection of software that manages computer hardware resources

An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs.

thttpd has a bandwidth throttling feature which enables the server administrator to limit the maximum bit rate at which certain types of files may be transferred. For example, the administrator may choose to restrict the transfer of JPEG image files to at most 20 kilobytes per second. This prevents the connection from becoming saturated so that the server will still be responsive under heavy load, with the tradeoff that file transfer speed is reduced. thttpd did not support the X-Forwarded-For header [3] [4]

Bandwidth throttling is the intentional slowing or speeding of an internet service by an Internet service provider (ISP). It is a reactive measure employed in communication networks to regulate network traffic and minimize bandwidth congestion. Bandwidth throttling can occur at different locations on the network. On a local area network (LAN), a system administrator ("sysadmin") may employ bandwidth throttling to help limit network congestion and server crashes. On a broader level, the Internet service provider may use bandwidth throttling to help reduce a user's usage of bandwidth that is supplied to the local network. Bandwidth throttling is also used to speed up the Internet on speed test websites.

In telecommunications and computing, bit rate is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time.

JPEG Lossy compression method for reducing the size of digital images

JPEG is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images, particularly for those images produced by digital photography. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.


There are at least 2 public forks of thttpd:

Gentoo Linux is a Linux distribution built using the Portage package management system. Unlike a binary software distribution, the source code is compiled locally according to the user's preferences and is often optimized for the specific type of computer. Precompiled binaries are available for some larger packages or those with no available source code.

See also

Web server software allows computers to act as web servers. The first web servers only supported static files, such as HTML, but now they most commonly allow embedding of server side applications.

An embedded HTTP server is a component of a software system that implements the HTTP protocol. Examples of usage within an application might be:

NanoHttpd is an open-source, small-footprint web server that is suitable for embedding in applications, written in the Java programming language. The source code consists of a single .java file. It can be used as a library component in developing other software or as a standalone ad-hoc style HTTP daemon for serving files.

Related Research Articles

The Apache HTTP Server, colloquially called Apache, is free and open-source cross-platform web server software, released under the terms of Apache License 2.0. Apache is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation.

Executable and Linkable Format standard file format for executables, object code, shared libraries, and core dumps

In computing, the Executable and Linkable Format, is a common standard file format for executable files, object code, shared libraries, and core dumps. First published in the specification for the application binary interface (ABI) of the Unix operating system version named System V Release 4 (SVR4), and later in the Tool Interface Standard, it was quickly accepted among different vendors of Unix systems. In 1999, it was chosen as the standard binary file format for Unix and Unix-like systems on x86 processors by the 86open project.

Evolution (software) personal information manager software and workgroup information management tool for GNOME

Evolution is the official personal information manager for GNOME. It has been an official part of GNOME since Evolution 2.0 was included with the GNOME 2.8 release in September 2004. It combines e-mail, address book, calendar, task list and note-taking features. Its user interface and functionality is similar to Microsoft Outlook. Evolution is free software licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

Acme (text editor) text editor

Acme is a text editor and graphical shell from the Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system, designed and implemented by Rob Pike. It can use the Sam command language. The design of the interface was influenced by Oberon. It is different from other editing environments in that it acts as a 9P server. A distinctive element of the user interface is mouse chording.

rsync file synchronization protocol and software

rsync is a utility for efficiently transferring and synchronizing files between a computer and an external hard drive and across networked computers by comparing the modification times and sizes of files. It is commonly found on Unix-like operating systems. The rsync algorithm is a type of delta encoding, and is used for minimizing network usage. Zlib may be used for additional data compression, and SSH or stunnel can be used for security.

Squid (software) proxy server and web cache daemon

Squid is a caching and forwarding HTTP web proxy. It has a wide variety of uses, including speeding up a web server by caching repeated requests, caching web, DNS and other computer network lookups for a group of people sharing network resources, and aiding security by filtering traffic. Although primarily used for HTTP and FTP, Squid includes limited support for several other protocols including Internet Gopher, SSL, TLS and HTTPS. Squid does not support the SOCKS protocol.

Wget free file transfer software

GNU Wget is a computer program that retrieves content from web servers. It is part of the GNU Project. Its name derives from World Wide Web and get. It supports downloading via HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP.

aMule software

aMule is a free peer-to-peer file sharing utility that works with the EDonkey network and the Kad network, offering similar features to eMule and adding others such as GeoIP. On August 18, 2003 it was forked from the xMule source code, which itself is a fork of the lMule project, which was the first attempt to bring the eMule client to Linux. These projects were discontinued and aMule is the resulting project, though aMule has less and less resemblance to the client that sired it.

This is a list of operating systems specifically focused on security. General-purpose operating systems may be secure in practice, without being specifically "security-focused".

A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting in which the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. There is also another level of dedicated or managed hosting commonly referred to as complex managed hosting. Complex Managed Hosting applies to both physical dedicated servers, Hybrid server and virtual servers, with many companies choosing a hybrid hosting solution. There are many similarities between standard and complex managed hosting but the key difference is the level of administrative and engineering support that the customer pays for – owing to both the increased size and complexity of the infrastructure deployment. The provider steps in to take over most of the management, including security, memory, storage and IT support. The service is primarily proactive in nature. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. Dedicated servers are hosted in data centers, often providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases they will provide support for operating systems or applications.

LAMP (software bundle) software bundle

LAMP is an archetypal model of web service stacks, named as an acronym of the names of its original four open-source components: the Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, the MySQL relational database management system (RDBMS), and the PHP programming language. The LAMP components are largely interchangeable and not limited to the original selection. As a solution stack, LAMP is suitable for building dynamic web sites and web applications.

The X-Forwarded-For (XFF) HTTP header field is a common method for identifying the originating IP address of a client connecting to a web server through an HTTP proxy or load balancer.


ISPConfig is a widely used Open Source Hosting Control Panel for Linux, licensed under BSD license and developed by the company ISPConfig UG. The ISPConfig project was started in autumn 2005 by Till Brehm from the German company projektfarm GmbH.

SME Server Linux distribution

SME Server is a Linux distribution based on CentOS offering an operating system for computers used as web, file, email and database servers. It employs a comprehensive UI for all management-related tasks and is extensible through templates.

Nginx is a web server which can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy and HTTP cache. The software was created by Igor Sysoev and first publicly released in 2004. A company of the same name was founded in 2011 to provide support and Nginx plus paid software.

This page is a comparison of remote desktop software available for various platforms.

SPDY is a deprecated open-specification networking protocol that was developed primarily at Google for transporting web content. SPDY manipulates HTTP traffic, with particular goals of reducing web page load latency and improving web security. SPDY achieves reduced latency through compression, multiplexing, and prioritization, although this depends on a combination of network and website deployment conditions. The name "SPDY" is a trademark of Google and is not an acronym.


ProFTPD is an FTP server. ProFTPD is Free and open-source software, compatible with Unix-like systems and Microsoft Windows . Along with vsftpd and Pure-FTPd, ProFTPD is among the most popular FTP servers in Unix-like environments today. Compared to those, which focus e.g. on simplicity, speed or security, ProFTPD's primary design goal is to be a highly feature rich FTP server, exposing a large amount of configuration options to the user.


  1. "The "Fossies" Software Archive". Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  2. "Web Server Comparisons".
  3. "Welcome to NGINX Wiki! - NGINX".
  4. Debian bug of thttpd does not respect X-Forward-For header (closed)