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Sun, 21 Aug 2011

Hosting a simple/secure personal webserver

I wanted to host a simple website from my home server to serve family videos and large photos etc.
At the same time I wanted to ensure that the setup is very secure and requires minimal baby-sitting from my side.
I did not want to install Apache as a webserver mainly because I wanted a simple portable setup where in I can move my entire setup to any Linux distro.
My ideal webserver would be a minimalistic executable.
After reading quite a bit on the web and a fabulous Article about Lightweight Web servers , I finally thought that I found an exact solution for my requirements.
My solution would be to use the age old dinosaur thttpd ,it has not been updated for several years now as it is really secure.I also wanted to ensure that it can run on a Windows box so that somedays I can synchronize the contents from my laptop to the webserver.So I downloaded port of thttpd on Windows .
So one of the first thing I had to change in the port of Windows is to use a user which was registered on the machine so I had to change the file named start.cmd and replace -u Alan with a valid user.Then I could immediately start the server without any problems.So I had a minimalistic webserver up and running.
Now I had a bunch of family videos in some proprietary format which I wanted to convert to open source Ogg(Theora for Video and Vorbis for audio) so I downloaded ffmpeg2theora , after reading a great article @ http://diveintohtml5.org/video.html
So far so good.I was able to convert my videos to ogg format and was able to look at the videos in Firefox without any issues.
Now came the time for deployment into thttpd, thats where I got hit with the dreaded video in firefox with an X in between meaning something had gone wrong in deployment.
Apparently , with thttpd , the mime type for ogg was not setup correctly and it required that I recompile the source code :-(.
Thats where I stopped and thought whether thttpd is too restrictive and needed to find some other "maintained" software as opposed to orphaned thttpd.
Maybe I will look into some other lightweight webservers.

posted at: 18:11 | category: /web | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin