Recent Changes - Search:

Home Page

Other tools

edit SideBar


nweb README for version 25 1) Added handling of SIGCLD and SIGCHLD

nweb README for version 24 1) Website move due to it be oddly dropped with no warning

2) Due to feedback chdir() was changed to chroot()

   This massively increases security as clever URL trickiery can never get 
   a non-home directory file sent to the browser.

3) Please note this code is to illustrate the algorythm of a webserver in

   a minimum number of lines of code - it is not ment to be absolutely perfect
   C code. 

nweb README for version 23

1) Bug fixed - was duplicating errors in the nweb.log file

   - thanks to Kieran Grant for stopping this and pointing out the fix.

2) Added support for favicon.ico - if nothing elase this will stop annoying

	errors in the log file.  Most browsers on first encountering a webpage 
	also ask for this file.  The name mean favourite icon - Wikipedia has 
	more on this.  It is a tiny Bit Map image (normally called .bmp and 
	BMP editors can be used to create one - I used Windows Paint)
	I uses a very simple 16x16 pixels and 256 colour to keep the size and 
	complexity down.
	To add support I added .ico file extension to the allowed extensions 
	data structure and the sample favicon.ico file.
	This is then displyed by the browser at the little graphic next to 
	the URL. The one I made looks like this withe blue background.
	|n  |

3) As 1) removed a few lines, I managed to add 2) and still stay at 200 lines.

The code:

	nweb23.c -- the source code version 23
	client.c -- sample client end source code

nweb executable files for:

	AIX 6.1 TL7 fnd AIX 7 TL1   POWER 
	Ubuntu 12.4  for x86_64     Intel/AMD 64 bit
	Ubuntu 12.4  for x86_32     Intel/AMD 32 bit
	Fedora 17 Linux for x86_64  Intel/AMD 64 bit
	OpenSUSE 12.1 for x86_64    Intel/AMD 64 bit
	Red Hat RHEL 6.3 for x86_64 Intel/AMD 64 bit
	SUSE SLES 11 for x86_64     Intel/AMD 64 bit
	Debian Squeeze for ARM on Raspberry Pi 

Minimum test website

	index.html  -- test very bascis web page 
	nigel.jpg   -- test image file
	favicon.ico -- the favourite icon bit map file

nweb README for version 22

The nweb download file includes:

nweb24_README.txt -- this file

This file contains lots of hints & tips on compiling and running the nweb code

nweb22.c ======== The 22 is the version number. nweb stands for Nigel's Web server but I some times call it a nano web server (i.e. very small).

This nweb is a web server that will respond to simple web browser requests for static files. This version is exactly 200 lines long. I started with a target 100 lines and it worked fine too but then added comments, file type checks, security checks, sensible directory checks and logging.

To compile this you need a basic C compiler use: cc nweb22.c -o nweb If you want it to run faster you could include optimisation: cc -O2 nweb22.c -o nweb

Then to run it as root for the test files: 1) Place the index.html file and nigel.jpg in to a sensible directory

	Note: not any system directories like / or /tmp 
	A director in /home would be a good idea - below we use /home/nigel/web

2) Make these files readable

	chmod ugo+r /home/nigel/web

3) Decide the port number

	Port number 80 is the web server default and assumed by web browsers.
	you might have to be the root user to use that  port number.
	If the machine is already running a web server then it will 
	probably be using port 80 so you can't us 80.
	I test using port 8181 but you have to make up your mind.

4) Start the nweb server: /home/nigel/bin/nweb 80 /home/nigel/web

	or if using 8181   /home/nigel/bin/nweb 8181 /home/nigel/web

	If the program and files are all in /home/nigel/all
	You could use:
		cd /home/nigel/all
		rm -f nweb.log
		./nweb 80 .
		ps -ef | grep nweb 
		tail -f nweb.log

	See below for explanations for the rm, ps and tail

5) Note that any suitable files in the directory 2nd argument above could be served by the nmon web server - so don't have anything secret in that directory!

6) Use a browser to test it if using port 80 on a machine hostname of browser to:

   If using port 8181

7) Running nweb as a regualr user You can run nweb as a regular user on some operating systems but not all. I find using sudo works on some:

	sudo /home/nigel/bin/nweb 80   /home/nigel/web

If you try and the log file reports socect connections errors worth

	trying the 8181 port or higher numbers.  This is because 
	lower port numbers are reserved for root user use.

8) VERY IMPORTANT nweb will behave like a daemon process, so it disconnects from the users command shell, goes into the back ground, closes input and output I/O & protects itself from you logging off. It will look like it stopped, when it is in fact still running in the background - check with ps -ef | grep nweb Also note you will not see errors or warnings messages - they go in the log file.

Look in the nweb.log file for problems starting up or browsers connecting and requesting pages with: cat nweb.log or: tail -f nweb.log

I find it good to remove the nweb.log before I start nweb or it is easy to get confused with previous error messages in the log.

9) As nweb runs as a daemon process it will try to run forever and not conntected to your user or terminal session. Logging out will not effect it. To stop nweb you have to stop it by a KILL signal. Find the nweb process with: ps -ef | grep nweb Then use: kill -9 PID to stop the nweb process.

10) nweb.log Log file - what to look for Good example Here is an edited down sample nweb.log file. Note the first line = "starting" looks good as there is no following error.

 INFO: nweb starting:8181:8913126
 INFO: request:GET /index.html HTTP/1.1 1KB of deleted request stuff here?:2
 INFO: SEND:index.html:2
 INFO: Header:HTTP/1.1 200 OK

Server: nweb/21.0 Content-Length: 239 Connection: close Content-Type: text/html

 INFO: request:GET /nigel.jpg HTTP/1.1  1KB of deleted request stuff here?:3
 INFO: SEND:nigel.jpg:3
 INFO: Header:HTTP/1.1 200 OK

Server: nweb/21.0 Content-Length: 10184 Connection: close Content-Type: image/jpg

Bad example A failure to start due to the port number is not aallowed or in use looks like:

 INFO: nweb starting:80:8323296

ERROR: system call:bind Errno=13 exiting pid=8323296

client.c ========

This client.c program is designed to fake being a web browser. It sends the expected requests to the web server over a network socket connection and displays the results as text rather than graphically displaying the results. In the code you will have to change the two lines as below to match your web server or nweb server.


  1. define PORT 8181 /* Port number as an integer - web server default is 80 */
  2. define IP_ADDRESS "" /* IP Address as a string */

The default is to request the /index.html from the web server. If you want to request another file then change the GET line as below:

char *command = "GET /index.html HTTP/1.0 \r\n\r\n" ;

To, for example:

char *command = "GET /nigel.jpg HTTP/1.0 \r\n\r\n" ;

Then compile the program with: cc client.c -o client

I save the output in to a file as putting a non-test file like .jpg to the terminal screen can cause chaos: client >output

Then edit the output file: vi output

In real life, the interaction of web browser and web server can be much more complex. 1) The web browser can tell the web server about its name, version

	and capabilities.

2) The web server can send complex file types line JavaScript or Java

	programs or other active components.

3) They can maintain a longer connection over the socket for efficiency.

4) Below is an example of my Firefox brower requesting an index.html file. I have added newline characters to make it readable - it is 1300 bytes long! I have no idea what most of it is about. You will have to read the The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at for all the details.

GET /index.html HTTP/1.1**Host:**User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (W indows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20120306 Firefox/3.6.28 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)**Ac cept: image/png,image/*;q=0.8,*/*;q=0.5**Accept-Language: en-gb,en;q=0.5**Accept-Encoding: gzip,defla te**Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8; q=0.7,*;q=0.7**Keep-Alive: 115**Connection: keep-alive**Referer:**Cookie: __utma=101107545.1790272076.1316019590.13289002 55.1328908680.164;|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral| u tmcct=/iTJx4DO1; UnicaNIODID=ZBr8gm79vIG-XKeoGGb;; ISP=70fdfc95 d93011d783e4de784ea97766-70fdfc95d93011d783e4de784ea97766-f67749a8b899e8ceed7e940b8c4bf189; Prof ile=2000121913394303111032836125|EN|866|866.BDF|en-GB; __unam=693fb60-1337f162b72-11770d11-5; WLS_; ipcInfo=cc%3Duk%3Blc%3Den%3Bac%3Dall; iwm1p=214617669; bprememberme=nigel@; EPSPROFILE=EE2355DFE16AE020BE6C62FCB6BF5602; DWPERM=Xa.2/Xb.Xzso3-U35t8RWKvqBreGaQMgsP_RG Fl1124oIt-L-OPJIdSautkBN0D4NUp9JLlpUqPqB6CWOo-pgrJwhxNvvSfPAajgetaA2MOYwHfQPXPTRG9zwOMMR57EHQtXhOy5Om yzanyZthvVClm6uxvbwh0isEQ2Mm_9g2l7NjcA3RJdjuLaB3qlljOmyVuhDjBkgdNEb3PgYcCpbiu1FUzXrhPalhgsbAj7NBkaY88 Yyg/Xc./Xd./Xf./Xg.1696801

I hope this has been instructive, thanks, Nigel Griffiths

Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on July 28, 2016, at 05:01 PM