bozohttpd(8) hyper text transfer protocol version 1.1 daemon


[-HVXbefnrus ] [-C suffix cgihandler ] [-I port ] [-M suffix type encoding encoding11 ] [-P pidfile ] [-S server_software ] [-c cgibin ] [-i address ] [-p pubdir ] [-t chrootdir ] [-v virtualroot ] [-x index ] [-Z cert privkey ] slashdir [myname ]


The program reads a HTTP request from the standard input, and sends a reply to the standard output. Besides ~user translation and virtual hosting support (see below), all file requests are from slashdir directory. The server uses myname as its name, which defaults to the local hostname, obtained from gethostname(3) (but see the -v option for virtual hosting.) writes logs to syslog(3) using the ftp facaility (but see the -s option for testing.) is designed to be small, simple and relatively featureless, hopefully increasing its security.


The following options are available:

Enables daemon mode, where detaches from the current terminal, running in the background and servicing HTTP requests.
-C suffix cgihandler
Adds a new CGI handler program for a particular file type. The suffix should be any normal file suffix, and the cgihandler should be a full path to an interpreter. This option is the only way to enable CGI programs that exist outside of the cgibin directory to be executed. Multiple -C options may be passed.
-c cgibin
Enables the CGI/1.1 interface. The cgibin directory is expected to contain the CGI programs to be used. looks for URL's in the form of /cgi-bin/<scriptname> where Aq scriptname is a valid CGI program in the cgibin directory. In other words, all CGI URL's must begin with /cgi-bin/ Note that the CGI/1.1 interface is not available with ~user translation.
Causes to not clear the environment when used with either the -t or -U options.
Stops the -b flag from detaching from the tty and going into the background.
Causes directory index mode to hide files and directories that start with a period, except for .. Also see -X
-I port
Causes port to use used as the port to bind daemon mode. The default is the ``http'' port. This option is only valid with the -b option.
-i address
Causes address to use used as the address to bind daemon mode. If otherwise unspecified, the address used to bind is derived from the myname which defaults to the name returned by gethostname(3). Only the last -i option is used. This option is only valid with the -b option.
-M suffix type encoding encoding11
Adds a new entry to the table that converts file suffixes to content type and encoding. This option takes four additional arguments containing the file prefix, its ``Content-Type'' ``Content-Encoding'' and ``Content-Encoding'' for HTTP/1.1 connections, respectively. If any of these are a single dash (``-'' ) the empty string is used instead. Multiple -M options may be passed.
Stops from doing IP address to name resolution of hosts for setting the REMOTE_HOST variable before running a CGI program. This option has no effect without the -c option.
-P pidfile
Causes to create a pid file in pidfile when run in daemon mode with the -b option.
-p pubdir
Changes the default user directory for /~user/ translations from ``public_html'' to pubdir
Forces pages besides the ``index.html'' (see the -X option) page to require that the Referrer: header be present and refer to this web server, otherwise a redirect to the ``index.html'' page will be returned instead.
-S server_software
Sets the internal server version to server_software
Forces logging to be set to stderr always.
-t chrootdir
Makes chroot to the specified directory before answering requests. Every other path should be specified relative to the new root, if this option is used. Note that the current environment is normally replaced with an empty environment with this option, unless the -e option is also used.
-U username
Causes to switch to the user and the groups of username after initialization. This option, like -t above, causes to clear the environment unless the -e option is given.
Enables the transformation of Uniform Resource Locators of the form /~user/ into the the directory ~user/public_html (but see the -p option above).
Sets the default virtual host directory to slashdir If no directory exists in virtualroot for the request, then slashdir will be used. The default behaviour is to return 404 (Not Found.)
-v virtualroot
Enables virtual hosting support. Directories in virtualroot will be searched for a matching virtual host name, when parsing the HTML request. If a matching name is found, it will be used as both the server's real name, [myname ] and as the slashdir See the Sx EXAMPLES section for an example of using this option.
Enables directory indexing. A directory index will be generated only when the default file (i.e. index.html normally) is not present.
-x index
Changes the default file read for directories from ``index.html'' to index
-Z certificate_path privatekey_path
Sets the path to the server certificate file and the private key file in pem format. It also causes to start SSL mode.

Note that in versions 20031005 and prior that supported the -C and -M options, they took a single space-separated argument that was parsed. since version 20040828, they take multiple options (2 in the case of -C and 4 in the case of -M .


As uses inetd(8) by default to process incoming TCP connections for HTTP requests (but see the -b option), has little internal networking knowledge. (Indeed, you can run it on the command line with little change of functionality.) A typical inetd.conf5 entry would be:
http stream tcp  nowait:600 httpd /usr/pkg/libexec/bozohttpd bozohttpd /var/www
http stream tcp6 nowait:600 httpd /usr/pkg/libexec/bozohttpd bozohttpd /var/www

This would serve web pages from /var/www on both IPv4 and IPv6 ports. The :600 changes the requests per minute to 600, up from the inetd(8) default of 40.

Using the Nx inetd(8), you can provide multiple IP-address based HTTP servers by having multiple listening ports with different configurations.


This server supports the HTTP/0.9 HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 standards. Support for these protocols is very minimal and many optional features are not supported.

can be compiled without CGI support (NO_CGIBIN_SUPPORT), user transformations (NO_USER_SUPPORT), directory index support (NO_DIRINDEX_SUPPORT), daemon mode support (NO_DAEMON_MODE), and dynamic MIME content (NO_DYNAMIC_CONTENT), and SSL support (NO_SSL_SUPPORT) by defining the listed macros when building .


has support for HTTP Basic Authorisation. If a file named .htpasswd exists in the directory of the current request, will restrict access to documents in that directory using the RFC 2617 HTTP ``Basic'' authentication scheme.

Note: This does not recursively protect any sub-directories.

The .htpasswd file contains lines delimited with a colon containing usernames and passwords hashed with crypt(3), for example:


On Nx , the pwhash(1) utility may be used to generate hashed passwords.

While distributed with Nx has support for HTTP Basic Authorisation enabled by default, in the portable distribution it is excluded. Compile with ``-DDO_HTPASSWD'' on the compiler command line to enable this support. It may require linking with the crypt library, using ``-lcrypt''


has support for SSLv2, SSLv3, and TLSv1 protocols that is included by default. It requires linking with the crypto and ssl library, using ``-lcrypto -lssl'' To disable SSL SUPPORT compile with ``-DNO_SSL_SUPPORT'' on the compiler command line.


looks for a couple of special files in directories that allow certain features to be provided on a per-directory basis. In addition to the .htpasswd used by HTTP basic authorisation, if a .bzdirect file is found (contents are irrelevant) will allow direct access even with the -r option. If a .bzredirect symbolic link is found, will perform a smart redirect to the target of this symlink. The target is assumed to live on the same server. If a .bzabsredirect symbolic link is found, will redirect to the absolute url pointed to by this symlink. This is useful to redirect to different servers.


To configure set of virtual hosts, one would use an inetd.conf5 entry like:
http stream tcp  nowait:600 httpd /usr/pkg/libexec/bozohttpd bozohttpd -v /var/vroot /var/www

and inside /var/vroot create a directory (or a symlink to a directory) with the same name as the virtual host, for each virtual host. Lookups for these names are done in a case-insensitive manner.

To use with PHP, one must use the -C option to specify a CGI handler for a particular file type. Typically this will be like:

bozohttpd -C .php /usr/pkg/bin/php /var/www


The program was first written in perl, based on another perl http server called ``tinyhttpd'' It was then rewritten from scratch in perl, and then once again in C. The focus has always been simplicity and security, with minimal features and regular code audits. This manual documents version 20100920.


was written by Matthew R. Green Aq [email protected] .

The large list of contributors includes:

Arnaud Lacombe
Aq [email protected] provided some clean up for memory leaks
Christoph Badura
Aq [email protected] provided Range: header support
Sean Boudreau
Aq [email protected] provided a security fix for virtual hosting
Julian Coleman
Aq [email protected] provided an IPv6 bugfix
Chuck Cranor
Aq [email protected] provided cgi-bin support fixes, and more
Aq [email protected] provided a fix for daemon mode
Andrew Doran
Aq [email protected] provided directory indexing support
Per Ekman
Aq [email protected] provided a fix for a minor (non-security) buffer overflow condition
Alistair G. Crooks
Aq [email protected] cleaned up many internal interfaces, made bozohttpd linkable as a library and provided the lua binding.
Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino, KAME
Aq [email protected] provided initial IPv6 support
Martin Husemann
Aq [email protected] provided .bzabsredirect support
Arto Huusko
Aq [email protected] provided fixes cgi-bin
Roland Illig
Aq [email protected] provided some off-by-one fixes
Zak Johnson
Aq [email protected] provided cgi-bin enhancements
Nicolas Jombart
Aq [email protected] provided fixes for HTTP basic authorisation support
Thomas Klausner
Aq [email protected] provided many fixes and enhancements for the man page
Johnny Lam
Aq [email protected] provided man page fixes
Luke Mewburn
Aq [email protected] provided many various fixes, including cgi-bin fixes and enhancements, HTTP basic authorisation support and much code clean up
Jeremy C. Reed
Aq [email protected] provided several clean up fixes, and man page updates
Scott Reynolds
Aq [email protected] provided various fixes
Tyler Retzlaff
Aq [email protected] provided SSL support, cgi-bin fixes and much other random other stuff
Aq [email protected] provided minor compile fixes and a CGI content map fix
Steve Rumble
Aq [email protected] provided the -V option.
Joerg Sonnenberger
Aq [email protected] implemented If-Modified-Since support
ISIHARA Takanori
Aq [email protected] provided a man page fix
Holger Weiss
Aq [email protected] provided http authorisation fixes
Aq [email protected]
provided chroot and change-to-user support, and other various fixes
Coyote Point provided various CGI fixes
Julio Merino added pidfile support and provided some man page fixes

There are probably others I have forgotten (let me know if you care)

Please send all updates to to Aq [email protected] for inclusion in future releaases.


does not handle HTTP/1.1 chunked input from the client yet.