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Linux Web Servers

Linux is one of the most commonly used operating systems in web servers.  It makes sense to use Linux because it's open source, it's free (with a few exceptions), and there's a huge array of sophisticated software available to run on Linux.

The most commonly used open source web server software is Apache, with Nginx being the second most commonly used.  

Apache was released in 1995, and quickly became the most widely used server in the world.  It is well documented, and has a huge user base.  Apache has a range of modules that can be enabled or disabled in order to suit different types of websites.  

Nginx is newer than Apache, but it's gaining popularity quickly.  It has a reputation for being fast and using less memory than Apache.  Nginx doesn't support the ability to execute scripts in the same way that Apache does,  but it can be used in conjunction with application servers that can execute scripts.

Web servers serve incoming HTTP connections using a variety of methods:

  • open a file and send it back to the client
  • execute a script and send the generated content back to the client
  • forward requests to other servers

In the articles in this web site, I'm going to take a look at some of the open source web servers available for Linux, and how to get the most out of them.  These tutorials are aimed at people using Debian based Linux distributions.


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