How to Install the Lighttpd Server on Linux Mint 20

The first thing we are going to think if we talk about web servers is Apache and Nginx. And it is that these two web servers are the most used around the world thanks to the speed, stability, and flexibility that both provide. However, there are other solutions that we have to consider. Today, you will learn how to install Lighttpd on Linux Mint 20.

What is Lighttpd?

Before we start, it’s worth telling you a bit about Lighttpd. In a nutshell, it is a secure, fast and flexible web server that is optimized for high-performance environments. One of its main advantages is that it consumes very few resources compared to other web servers, and is especially fast for running AJAX applications.

As it could not be otherwise, it is open source, and we can use it in almost any production environment thanks to its license. Finally, it is important to know that Lighttpd is available for many Unix-based operating systems, such as Linux and its different distributions.

In summary, if you like a fast and resource-efficient web server, don’t hesitate and choose Lighttpd.

If you want additional information about Lighttpd, I recommend you to visit its website or directly the official documentation of Lighttpd.

Install the Lighttpd Server on Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a derivative of Ubuntu, which in turn has one of the most essential package repositories on Linux. This means that Lighttpd is present in these repositories, so you can do the procedure without problems.

So, open a terminal or connect via SSH to your server

ssh [user]@[your-server]

Then, make sure that Linux Mint is updated

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Now just run this command to install Lighttpd

sudo apt install lighttpd
Install Lighttpd on Linux Mint
Install Lighttpd on Linux Mint

You can also check the version that has been installed

lighttpd -v
lighttpd/1.4.55 (ssl) - a light and fast webserver

This is enough.

Configuring Lighttpd in Linux Mint

Once you have installed the web server, you need to start it with the systemctl command

sudo systemctl start lighttpd

The next step you need to do is to enable it to start up with the system

sudo systemctl enable lighttpd

Finally, you can check the status of the service to make sure that everything is in order:

sudo systemctl status lighttpd

If everything is OK, you will see a screen output like this:

● lighttpd.service - Lighttpd Daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lighttpd.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Mon 2022-06-06 23:44:45 UTC; 1min 38s ago
   Main PID: 3395 (lighttpd)
      Tasks: 1 (limit: 4556)
     Memory: 1.3M
     CGroup: /system.slice/lighttpd.service
             └─3395 /usr/sbin/lighttpd -D -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

Jun 06 23:44:45 atechtown systemd[1]: Starting Lighttpd Daemon...
Jun 06 23:44:45 atechtown systemd[1]: Started Lighttpd Daemon.

The next step you have to do is to open the ports in the firewall. This is so the system will accept requests on ports 80 and 443.

sudo ufw allow 80/tcp
sudo ufw allow 443/tcp

Now access with a web browser to http://localhost and you should see this image:

Lighttpd working - Default page
Lighttpd working – Default page

So, Lighttpd is installed and working.

Enable PHP support in Lighttpd

If you are going to have a server with Lighttpd, you will most likely need PHP. Therefore, in this section, you will learn how to enable PHP support for Lighttpd.

First, install PHP and some of its modules on the system:

sudo apt install php7.4 php7.4-fpm php7.4-mysql php7.4-cli php7.4-curl

Next, you need to edit the PHP configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.4/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

And locate the line that starts with listen and leave it like this:

listen = 127.0.0.1:9000

Save the changes and close the file.

Now you have to edit another PHP configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/15-fastcgi-php.conf

Replace the lines

"bin-path" => "/usr/bin/php-cgi",
"socket" => "/var/run/lighttpd/php.socket",

For these:

"host" => "127.0.0.1",
"port" => "9000",

Save the changes and close the editor.

It only remains to enable the modules that will allow integrating PHP and Lighttpd:

sudo lighty-enable-mod fastcgi
sudo lighty-enable-mod fastcgi-php

And restart the services for the configurations to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart lighttpd php7.4-fpm

This should be enough. However, it is a good idea to test PHP.

So, create a new file and add some PHP code

sudo nano /var/www/html/test.php

For example:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

Save the changes and close the editor.

Now open the file from the web browser, for example, http://localhost/test.php.

Lighttpd with PHP working properly
Lighttpd with PHP working properly

Conclusion

Thanks to this post, you learned how to install Lighttpd on Linux Mint. I hope you liked the post, so you can get started with this great web server focused on speed and resource efficiency.

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