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BOZOHTTPD(8) NetBSD System Manager's Manual BOZOHTTPD(8)
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bozohttpd -- hyper text transfer protocol version 1.1 daemon
bozohttpd [-EGHVXefhnsu] [-C suffix cgihandler] [-I port]
[-L prefix script] [-M suffix type encoding encoding11]
[-P pidfile] [-S server_software] [-U username]
[-Z cert privkey] [-c cgibin] [-i address] [-p pubdir]
[-t chrootdir] [-v virtualroot] [-x index] [-z ciphers]
The bozohttpd program reads a HTTP request from the standard input, and
sends a reply to the standard output. Besides ~user translation and vir-
tual 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.) bozohttpd writes logs to syslog(3) using the ftp
facility (but see the -s option for testing.) bozohttpd is designed to
be small, simple and relatively featureless, hopefully increasing its
The following options are available:
-b Enables daemon mode, where bozohttpd detaches from the current
terminal, running in the background and servicing HTTP
-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 out-
side 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. bozohttpd
looks for URL's in the form of /cgi-bin/<scriptname> where
<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 available with ~user translation
using -E switch.
-e Causes bozohttpd to not clear the environment when used with
either the -t or -U options.
-f Stops the -b flag from bozohttpd detaching from the tty and
going into the background.
-G Get the bozohttpd version string, print it on standard output,
-H Causes directory index mode to hide files and directories that
start with a period, except for ... Also see -X.
-I port Causes bozohttpd to use port instead of the default ``http''
port. When used with the -b option, it changes the bound
port. Otherwise it forces redirections to use this port
instead of the value obtained via getsockname(2).
Causes address to be 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.
-L prefix script
Adds a new Lua script for a particular prefix. The prefix
should be an arbitrary text, and the script should be a full
path to a Lua script. Multiple -L options may be passed. A
separate Lua state is created for each prefix. The Lua script
can register callbacks using the httpd.register_han-
dler('<name>', function) Lua function, which will trigger the
execution of the Lua function function when a URL in the form
http://<hostname>/<prefix>/<name> is being accessed. The
function is passed three tables as arguments, the server envi-
ronment, the request headers, and the decoded query string
plus any data that was sent as application/x-www-form-urlen-
-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.
-n Stops bozohttpd 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.
Causes bozohttpd 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.
Sets the internal server version to server_software.
-s Forces logging to be set to stderr always.
Makes bozohttpd chroot to the specified directory before
answering requests. Every other path should be specified rel-
ative to the new root, if this option is used. Note that the
current environment is normally replaced with an empty envi-
ronment with this option, unless the -e option is also used.
Causes bozohttpd to switch to the user and the groups of
username after initialization. This option, like -t above,
causes bozohttpd to clear the environment unless the -e option
-u Enables the transformation of Uniform Resource Locators of the
form /~user/ into the directory ~user/public_html (but see the
-p option above).
-E Enables CGI/1.1 interface for ~user translation. Note that
enabling this support implies that users can run commands as
web server user, this may have security implications.
-V Sets the backup virtual host directory to the slashdir argu-
ment. If no directory exists in virtualroot for the request,
then slashdir will be used. The default behaviour is to
return 404 (Not Found.)
Enables virtual hosting support. Directories in virtualroot
will be searched for a matching virtual host name, when pars-
ing 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 EXAMPLES section for an example of using
-X Enables directory indexing. A directory index will be gener-
ated only when the default file (i.e. index.html normally) is
-x index Changes the default file read for directories from
``index.html'' to index.
Sets the list of SSL ciphers (see SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list(3)).
-Z certificate_path privatekey_path
Sets the path to the server certificate file and the private
key file in pem format. It also causes bozohttpd to start SSL
Note that in bozohttpd 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 bozohttpd uses inetd(8) by default to process incoming TCP connections
for HTTP requests (but see the -b option), bozohttpd has little internal
networking knowledge. (Indeed, you can run it on the command line with
little change of functionality.) A typical inetd.conf(5) entry would be:
http stream tcp nowait:600 _httpd /usr/libexec/httpd httpd /var/www
http stream tcp6 nowait:600 _httpd /usr/libexec/httpd httpd /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 NetBSD 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.
bozohttpd 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), dynamic MIME
content (NO_DYNAMIC_CONTENT), Lua support (NO_LUA_SUPPORT), and SSL sup-
port (NO_SSL_SUPPORT) by defining the listed macros when building
HTTP BASIC AUTHORISATION
bozohttpd has support for HTTP Basic Authorisation. If a file named
.htpasswd exists in the directory of the current request, bozohttpd 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 user-
names and passwords hashed with crypt(3), for example:
On NetBSD, the pwhash(1) utility may be used to generate hashed pass-
While bozohttpd distributed with NetBSD has support for HTTP Basic Autho-
risation enabled by default, in the portable distribution it is excluded.
Compile bozohttpd with ``-DDO_HTPASSWD'' on the compiler command line to
enable this support. It may require linking with the crypt library,
bozohttpd has support for TLSv1.1 and TLSv1.2 protocols that are included
by default. It requires linking with the crypto and ssl library, using
``-lcrypto -lssl''. To disable SSL SUPPORT compile bozohttpd with
``-DNO_SSL_SUPPORT'' on the compiler command line.
bozohttpd supports a very basic form of compression. bozohttpd will
serve the requested file postpended with ``.gz'' if it exists, it is
readable, the client requested gzip compression, and the client did not
make a ranged request.
bozohttpd 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) bozohttpd will allow direct access even
with the -r option. If a .bzredirect symbolic link is found, bozohttpd
will perform a smart redirect to the target of this symlink. The target
is assumed to live on the same server. If target starts with slash then
absolute redirection is performed, otherwise it's handled as relative.
If a .bzabsredirect symbolic link is found, bozohttpd will redirect to
the absolute url pointed to by this symlink. This is useful to redirect
to different servers. Two forms of redirection are supported - symbolic
link without schema will use http:// as default i.e. link to NetBSD.org
will redirect to http://NetBSD.org/ Otherwise provided schema will be
used i.e. symbolic link to ftp://NetBSD.org/ will redirect to provided
To configure set of virtual hosts, one would use an inetd.conf(5) entry
http stream tcp nowait:600 _httpd /usr/libexec/httpd httpd -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, and may include
the port number part of the request, allowing for distinct virtual hosts
on the same name.
To use bozohttpd with PHP, one must use the -C option to specify a CGI
handler for a particular file type. Typically this will be like:
httpd -C .php /usr/pkg/bin/php-cgi /var/www
bozohttpd 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. From ``bozohttpd'' version 20060517, it has been
integrated into NetBSD. The focus has always been simplicity and secu-
rity, with minimal features and regular code audits. This manual docu-
ments bozohttpd version 20170201.
bozohttpd was written by Matthew R. Green <email@example.com>.
The large list of contributors includes:
- Marc Balmer <mbalmer@NetBSD.org> added Lua support for dynamic con-
- Christoph Badura <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided Range: header support
- Sean Boudreau <seanb@NetBSD.org> provided a security fix for virtual
- Julian Coleman <email@example.com> provided an IPv6 bugfix
- Chuck Cranor <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided cgi-bin support fixes,
- Alistair G. Crooks <agc@NetBSD.org> cleaned up many internal inter-
faces, made bozohttpd linkable as a library and provided the Lua
- DEGROOTE Arnaud <degroote@NetBSD.org> provided a fix for daemon mode
- Andrew Doran <ad@NetBSD.org> provided directory indexing support
- Per Ekman <email@example.com> provided a fix for a minor (non-security)
buffer overflow condition
- Roland Dowdeswell <elric@NetBSD.org> added support for serving
gzipped files and better SSL handling
- Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino, KAME <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided initial
- Martin Husemann <martin@NetBSD.org> provided .bzabsredirect support,
and fixed various redirection issues
- Arto Huusko <email@example.com> provided fixes cgi-bin
- Roland Illig <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided some off-by-one fixes
- Zak Johnson <email@example.com> provided cgi-bin enhancements
- Nicolas Jombart <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided fixes for HTTP basic autho-
- Antti Kantee <pooka@NetBSD.org> provided fixes for HTTP basic autho-
- Thomas Klausner <wiz@NetBSD.org> provided many fixes and enhancements
for the man page
- Mateusz Kocielski <shm@NetBSD.org> fixed memory leaks, various issues
with userdir support, information disclosure issues, added support
for using CGI handlers with directory indexing, found several secu-
rity issues and provided various other fixes.
- Arnaud Lacombe <alc@NetBSD.org> provided some clean up for memory
- Johnny Lam <jlam@NetBSD.org> provided man page fixes
- Dennis Lindroos <email@example.com> provided a cgi-bin fix
- Julio Merino <jmmv@NetBSD.org> Added the -P option (pidfile support)
and provided some man page fixes.
- Luke Mewburn <lukem@NetBSD.org> provided many various fixes, includ-
ing cgi-bin fixes and enhancements, HTTP basic authorisation support
and much code clean up
- Rajeev V. Pillai <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided several fixes
for virtual hosting
- Jeremy C. Reed <reed@NetBSD.org> provided several clean up fixes, and
man page updates
- Scott Reynolds <scottr@NetBSD.org> provided various fixes
- Tyler Retzlaff <email@example.com> provided SSL support, cgi-bin
fixes and much other random other stuff
- rudolf <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided minor compile fixes and a CGI content
- Steve Rumble <email@example.com> provided the -V option.
- Thor Lancelot Simon <tls@NetBSD.org> enhanced cgi-bin support.
- Joerg Sonnenberger <joerg@NetBSD.org> implemented If-Modified-Since
- ISIHARA Takanori <firstname.lastname@example.org> provided a man page fix
- Holger Weiss <holger@CIS.FU-Berlin.DE> provided http authorisation
- <email@example.com> provided chroot and change-to-user support, and
other various fixes
- Coyote Point provided various CGI fixes.
There are probably others I have forgotten (let me know if you care)
Please send all updates to bozohttpd to <firstname.lastname@example.org> for inclusion
in future releases.
bozohttpd does not handle HTTP/1.1 chunked input from the client yet.
NetBSD 8.0 February 1, 2017 NetBSD 8.0