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From Colm MacCarthaigh <>
Subject Re: What do you think about Lighttpd?
Date Tue, 27 Feb 2007 22:00:11 GMT
On Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 12:05:08AM +0800, howard chen wrote:
> 1. single-threaded, event-based, (powered by epoll)

httpd supports epoll() and event-based polling to the extent that the
system-call chains for handling a request by Apache httpd and lighttpd
are near-identical, it's hard to tell them apart using strace. The time
it takes the system calls to return completely dwarfs the CPU time spent
in actual code in my experience.  

Even with the worker MPM. using epoll gets Apache httpd and lighttpd
similar enough to the point that any difference is statistical noise -
though lighttpd is nearly always better for memory consumption.

That said, httpd ships with poor configuration defaults for achieving
this kind of performance (though are good reasons why those defaults are
suitable generally) compared to lighttpd (which does it practically out
of the box).

In general, the extent of any performance difference is pretty hard to
substantiate (and I've tried, though a systematic bias is that I'm
vastly more familiar with httpd code and know how to tune it better!)
and definitely over-stated. 

Either way, both servers are performant on regular hardware to an extent
that they will never prove to be the problem in any scalability
scenario. Each is capable of 100k and more concurrent requests and tens
of thousands of requests per second, if really really pushed. Other
kinds of limits will kick in *long* before the code in either httpd or
lighttpd is a problem, at the end of the way a webserver just boils down
to a handful of system calls. 

In the context of web-servers, performance comparisons are basically
bar-chart pornography, and of little real-world utility. Hell, even IIS
is usable these days. Better to concentrate on the feature-set and how
each server helps you do whatever it is you want better.

> 2. fast cgi support

lighttpd's is better. httpd's is improving all the time though.

Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key:

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