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Manual Reference Pages  -  WEBFSD (1)


webfsd - a lightweight http server




webfsd [ options ]


This is a simple http server for purely static content. You can use it to serve the content of a ftp server via http for example. It is also nice to export some files the quick way by starting a http server in a few seconds, without editing some config file first.


-h Print a short help text and the default values for all options.
-4 Use IPv4.
-6 Use IPv6.
-d Enable debug output.
-s Write a start/stop notice and serious errors to the syslog. Specify this option twice to get a verbose log (additional log events like dropped connections).
-t sec Set network timeout to >sec< seconds.
-c n Set the number of allowed parallel connections to >n<. This is a per-thread limit.
-a n Configure the size of the directory cache. Webfs has a cache for directory listings. The directory will be reread if the cached copy is more than one hour old or if the mtime of the directory has changed. The mtime will be updated if a file is created or deleted. It will not be updated if a file is only modified, so you might get outdated time stamps and file sizes.
-j Do not generate a directory listing if the index-file isn’t found.
-y n Set the number of threads to spawn (if compiled with thread support).
-p port
  Listen on port >port< for incoming connections.
-r dir Set document root to >dir<.
-R dir Set document root to >dir< and chroot to >dir< before start serving files. Note that this affects the path for the access log file and pidfile too.
-f file
  Use >file< as index file for directories. If a client asks for a directory, it will get >file< as response if such a file exists in the directory and a directory listing otherwise. index.html is a frequently used filename.
-n hostname
  Set the hostname which the server should use (required for redirects).
-i ip Bind to IP-address >ip<.
-l log Log all requests to the logfile >log< (common log format). Using "-" as filename makes webfsd print the access log to stdout, which is only useful together with the -F switch (see below).
-L log Same as above, but additional flush every line. Useful if you want monitor the logfile with tail -f.
-m file
  Read mime types from >file<. Default is /usr/local/etc/mime.types. The mime types are read before chroot() is called (when started with -R).
-k file
  Use >file< as pidfile.
-u user
  Set uid to >user< (after binding to the tcp port). This option is allowed for root only.
-g group
  Set gid to >group< (after binding to the tcp port). This option is allowed for root only.
-F Don’t run as daemon. Webfsd will not fork into background, not detach from terminal and report errors to stderr.
-b user:pass
  Set user+password for the exported files. Only a single username/password combination for all files is supported.
-e sec Expire documents after >sec< seconds. You can use that to make sure the clients receive fresh data if the content within your document root is updated in regular intervals. Webfsd will send a Expires: header set to last-modified time plus >sec< seconds, so you can simply use the update interval for >sec<.
-v Enable virtual hosts. This has the effect that webfsd expects directories with the hostnames (lowercase) under document root. If started this way: "webfsd -v -r /home/web", it will look for the file /home/web/ when asked for
-x path
  Use >path< as CGI directory. >path< is interpreted relative to the document root. Note that CGI support is limited to GET requests.
-S Secure web server mode. Warning: This mode is strictly for https.
-C File to use as SSL certificate. This file must be in chained PEM format, first the privat RSA key, followed by the certificate.
-P Password for accessing the SSL certificate.
Webfsd can be installed suid root (although the default install isn’t suid root). This allows users to start webfsd chroot()ed and to bind to ports below 1024. Webfsd will drop root privileges before it starts serving files.

Access control simply relies on Unix file permissions. Webfsd will serve any regular file and provide listings for any directory it is able to open(2).


Gerd Knorr <>
FreeBSD port by Charles F. Randall <>


Copyright (C) 1999,2000 Gerd Knorr <>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

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--> WEBFSD (1) (c) 1999 Gerd Knorr

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