A web server is a Computer program that processes requests using HTTP protocol. A web server can be an application or a Computer System in general that has the ability to store, process and deliver web pages to client on request. The Client communicates to the Web server via user agent like a web browser or a web crawler.

Top 10 Web Server for Linux

What is HTTP?

HTTP is an acronym of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. This application layer protocol was developed by Tim Berners-Lee way back in the year 1989. HTTP is used for transferring hypertext which is a structured text and uses logical links aka hyperlinks between nodes.

WEB APPLICATION STRUCTURE - IMAGE

Top Web Server Application

  1. Apache
  2. Developed by Apache Software Foundation.
    License – Apache
    The latest Stable release is 2.4.23
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes
    Java Servlets – No
    Administration Console – Yes
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  3. nginx
  4. Developed by NGINX Inc.
    License – BSD Variant
    The latest Stable release is 1.10
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – No
    Java Servlets – No
    Administration Console – Yes
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  5. Lighttpd
  6. Developed by Jan Kneschke
    License – BSD Variant
    The latest Stable release is 1.4.41
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes
    Java Servlets – No
    Administration Console – No
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  7. caddy
  8. Developed by Matt Holt
    License – Apache
    The latest Stable release is 0.9
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes (Partial)
    Java Servlets – No
    Administration Console – No
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  9. Jetty
  10. Developed by Eclipse Foundation
    License – Apache
    The latest Stable release is 9.2.7
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes
    Java Servlets – Yes
    Administration Console – Not known
    IPv6 supported – Not known

  11. Apache Tomcat
  12. Developed by Apache Software Foundation
    License – Apache
    The latest Stable release is 8.0.33
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes
    Java Servlets – Yes
    Administration Console – Yes
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  13. Glassfish
  14. Developed by Sun Microsystem (Acquired by Oracle Corporation)
    License – GNU GPL and Common Development and Distribution License
    The latest Stable release is 4.1.1
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes
    Java Servlets – Yes
    Administration Console – Yes
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  15. Cherokee HTTP Server
  16. Developed by Álvaro López Ortega
    License – GNU GPL
    The latest Stable release is 1.2.103
    Available for Platform – Windows/Linux/OS X
    Basic Access Authentication – Yes
    Support for SSL/TLS – Yes
    Virtual Host Supported – Yes
    Support for CGI – Yes
    Java Servlets – No
    Administration Console – Yes
    IPv6 supported – Yes

  17. SimpleHTTPServer
  18. For those who are not willing to Install/Configure full fledge Web server like Apache or nginx, simpleHTTPServer may come to rescue. Python comes with a built in simple HTTP Server. Using this module you can start serving web server instantly from any folder. All you need is Python to be installed. It can prove to be very useful for sharing files in local network.

  19. http-server
  20. http-server is a node application which is ready to run without any configuration. It is powerful enough to run in production and is widely used for testing, learning and development.

There is a lot of other Web server many of which are cross platform, free and open source. There are also web servers like GWS (Run by Google), IIS, IBM HTTP Server, Oracle HTTP Server.

Market Share of Web Servers

The top four Web Server has a market share of above 80%

  • Apache: 33.56%
  • IIS: 28.95%
  • nginx: 15.60%
  • GWS: 2.29%

In the upcoming Post We will sail through the features, installation and configuration of major Web Servers. Till then stay tuned, healthy and connected to JoinTux. If you like the post, let us know in the comments and by sharing the post.

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I am working as a Senior GNU/Linux Admin for an IT company in Delhi, India and authoring post on JoinTux in my leisure.

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