Updated: 2022/Sep/29

Please read Privacy Policy. It's for your privacy.

BOZOHTTPD(8)                System Manager's Manual               BOZOHTTPD(8)

     bozohttpd - hyper text transfer protocol version 1.1 daemon

     bozohttpd [-EGHVXdefhnqsu] [-C suffix cgihandler] [-I port]
               [-L prefix script] [-M suffix type encoding encoding11]
               [-m version] [-P pidfile] [-R readme] [-S version]
               [-T type timeout] [-U username] [-Z cert privkey] [-c cgibin]
               [-i address] [-p pubdir] [-t chrootdir] [-v virtualroot]
               [-x index] [-z ciphers] slashdir [myname]

     The bozohttpd program reads a HTTP request from the standard input, and
     sends a reply to the standard output.  Besides ~user translation and
     virtual hosting support (see below), all file requests are from slashdir
     directory.  The server uses myname as its name, which defaults to the
     local hostname, obtained from gethostname(3) (but see the -v option for
     virtual hosting.)  bozohttpd writes logs to syslog(3) using the ftp
     facility (but see the -s option for testing and the -q option for
     supressing this.)  bozohttpd is designed to be small, simple and
     relatively featureless, hopefully increasing its security.

     The following options are available:

     -b         Enables daemon mode, where bozohttpd detaches from the current
                terminal, running in the background and servicing HTTP

     -C suffix cgihandler
                Adds a new CGI handler program for a particular file type.
                The suffix should be any normal file suffix, and the
                cgihandler should be a full path to an interpreter.  This
                option is the only way to enable CGI programs that exist
                outside of the cgibin directory to be executed.  Multiple -C
                options may be passed.

     -c cgibin  Enables the CGI/1.1 interface.  The cgibin directory is
                expected to contain the CGI programs to be used.  bozohttpd
                looks for URL's in the form of /cgi-bin/<scriptname> where
                <scriptname> is a valid CGI program in the cgibin directory.
                In other words, all CGI URL's must begin with /cgi-bin/.  Note
                that the CGI/1.1 interface is available with ~user translation
                using -E switch.

     -d         Enables debug support.

     -E         Enables CGI/1.1 interface for ~user translation.  Note that
                enabling this support implies that users can run commands as
                the web server user.  This may have security implications.

     -e         Causes bozohttpd to not clear the environment when used with
                either the -t or -U options.

     -f         Stops the -b flag from detaching bozohttpd from the tty and
                going into the background.  This implies the -b flag.

     -G         Get the bozohttpd version string, print it on standard output,
                and exit.

     -H         Causes directory index mode to hide files and directories that
                start with a period, except for ...  Also see -X.

     -I port    Causes bozohttpd to use port instead of the default "http"
                port.  When used with the -b option, it changes the bound
                port.  Otherwise it forces redirections to use this port
                instead of the value obtained via getsockname(2).

     -i address
                Causes address to be used as the address to bind daemon mode.
                If otherwise unspecified, the address used to bind is derived
                from the myname, which defaults to the name returned by
                gethostname(3).  Only the last -i option is used.  This option
                is only valid with the -b option.

     -L prefix script
                Adds a new Lua script for a particular prefix.  The prefix
                should be an arbitrary text, and the script should be a full
                path to a Lua script.  Multiple -L options may be passed.  A
                separate Lua state is created for each prefix.  The Lua script
                can register callbacks using the
                httpd.register_handler('<name>', function) Lua function, which
                will trigger the execution of the Lua function function when a
                URL in the form http://<hostname>/<prefix>/<name> is being
                accessed.  The function is passed three tables as arguments,
                the server environment, the request headers, and the decoded
                query string plus any data that was sent as application/x-www-

     -M suffix type encoding encoding11
                Adds a new entry to the table that converts file suffixes to
                content type and encoding.  This option takes four additional
                arguments containing the file prefix, its "Content-Type",
                "Content-Encoding", and "Content-Encoding" for HTTP/1.1
                connections, respectively.  If any of these are a single dash
                ("-"), the empty string is used instead.  Multiple -M options
                may be passed.

     -m version
                Set the minimum supported SSL protocol version.  The valid
                values of version are "TLSv1.1", "TLSv1.2", and "TLSv1.3".
                The default version is "TLSv1.1".

     -n         Stops bozohttpd from doing IP address to name resolution of
                remote hosts.  This affects the REMOTE_HOST environment
                variable for CGI programs and Lua scripts.

     -P pidfile
                Causes bozohttpd to create a PID file in pidfile when run in
                daemon mode with the -b option.

     -p pubdir  Changes the default user directory for /~user/ translations
                from "public_html" to pubdir.

     -q         Quiet mode - no log entries generated.

     -R readme  When directory indexing is enabled, include the contents of
                the file readme in the footer of the directory index.

     -S version
                Sets the internal server version to version.

     -s         Forces logging to be set to stderr always.

     -T type timeout
                Set the timeout for type to timeout.  The valid values of type
                are "ssl timeout", "initial timeout", "header timeout", and
                "request timeout".  The default values are 30 seconds, 30
                seconds, 10 seconds and 600 seconds, respectively.

     -t chrootdir
                Makes bozohttpd chroot to the specified directory before
                answering requests.  Every other path should be specified
                relative to the new root, if this option is used.  Note that
                the current environment is normally replaced with an empty
                environment with this option, unless the -e option is also

     -U username
                Causes bozohttpd to switch to the user and the groups of
                username after initialization.  This option, like -t above,
                causes bozohttpd to clear the environment unless the -e option
                is given.

     -u         Enables the transformation of Uniform Resource Locators of the
                form /~user/ into the directory ~user/public_html (but see the
                -p option above).

     -V         Sets the backup virtual host directory to the slashdir
                argument.  If no directory exists in virtualroot for the
                request, then slashdir will be used.  The default behavior is
                to return 404 (Not Found.)

     -v virtualroot
                Enables virtual hosting support.  Directories in virtualroot
                will be searched for a matching virtual host name, when
                parsing the HTML request.  If a matching name is found, it
                will be used as both the server's real name, [myname], and as
                the slashdir.  See the EXAMPLES section for an example of
                using this option.

     -X         Enables directory indexing.  A directory index will be
                generated only when the default file (i.e.  index.html
                normally) is not present.

     -x index   Changes the default file read for directories from
                "index.html" to index.

     -Z certificate_path privatekey_path
                Sets the path to the server certificate file and the private
                key file in PEM format.  It also causes bozohttpd to start SSL

     -z ciphers
                Sets the list of SSL ciphers (see SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list(3)).

     Note that in bozohttpd versions 20031005 and prior that supported the -C
     and -M options, they took a single space-separated argument that was
     parsed.  since version 20040828, they take multiple options (2 in the
     case of -C and 4 in the case of -M.)

     As bozohttpd uses inetd(8) by default to process incoming TCP connections
     for HTTP requests (but see the -b option), bozohttpd has little internal
     networking knowledge.  (Indeed, you can run it on the command line with
     little change of functionality.)  A typical inetd.conf(5) entry would be:

     http stream tcp  nowait:600 _httpd /usr/libexec/httpd httpd /var/www
     http stream tcp6 nowait:600 _httpd /usr/libexec/httpd httpd /var/www

     This would serve web pages from /var/www on both IPv4 and IPv6 ports.
     The :600 changes the requests per minute to 600, up from the inetd(8)
     default of 40.

     Using the NetBSD inetd(8), you can provide multiple IP-address based HTTP
     servers by having multiple listening ports with different configurations.

     This server supports the HTTP/0.9, HTTP/1.0, and HTTP/1.1 standards.
     Support for these protocols is very minimal and many optional features
     are not supported.

     bozohttpd can be compiled without CGI support (NO_CGIBIN_SUPPORT), user
     transformations (NO_USER_SUPPORT), directory index support
     (NO_DIRINDEX_SUPPORT), daemon mode support (NO_DAEMON_MODE), dynamic MIME
     content (NO_DYNAMIC_CONTENT), Lua support (NO_LUA_SUPPORT), and SSL
     support (NO_SSL_SUPPORT) by defining the listed macros when building

     bozohttpd has support for HTTP Basic Authorization.  If a file named
     .htpasswd exists in the directory of the current request, bozohttpd will
     restrict access to documents in that directory using the RFC 2617 HTTP
     "Basic" authentication scheme.

     Note: This does not recursively protect any sub-directories.

     The .htpasswd file contains lines delimited with a colon containing user
     names and passwords hashed with crypt(3), for example:


     On NetBSD, the pwhash(1) utility may be used to generate hashed

     While bozohttpd distributed with NetBSD has support for HTTP Basic
     Authorization enabled by default, in the portable distribution it is
     excluded.  Compile bozohttpd with "-DDO_HTPASSWD" on the compiler command
     line to enable this support.  It may require linking with the crypt
     library, using "-lcrypt".

     On NetBSD, bozohttpd supports blocklistd(8) by default.  The support can
     be disabled with the "-DNO_BLOCKLIST_SUPPORT" compilation option.

     Upon occurrence, bozohttpd reports two HTTP status codes to blocklistd(8)
     as failures: 401 (``Unauthorized'') and 403 (``Forbidden'') .  Of these,
     401 is the one received upon authorization failure with the HTTP Basic
     Authorization mechanism.  A successful authorization decreases the
     counter kept by blocklistd(8).

     Note that the implementation of the HTTP Basic Authorization mechanism
     uses a redirection; a status code 401 is always initially received.
     Therefore, a single authorization failure of .htpasswd is reported as two
     failures to blocklistd(8), but no failures are recorded upon successful
     authorization due to the decrease of the failure counter.

     bozohttpd has support for TLSv1.1 and TLSv1.2 protocols that are included
     by default.  It requires linking with the crypto and ssl library, using
     "-lcrypto -lssl".  To disable SSL SUPPORT compile bozohttpd with
     "-DNO_SSL_SUPPORT" on the compiler command line.

     To have an enforced redirect, such as http to https, create a shadow
     directory root that contains a .bzabsredirect file that points to the
     real target.

     bozohttpd supports a very basic form of compression.  bozohttpd will
     serve the requested file postpended with ".gz" if it exists, it is
     readable, the client requested gzip compression, and the client did not
     make a ranged request.

     bozohttpd looks for a couple of special files in directories that allow
     certain features to be provided on a per-directory basis.  The .htpasswd
     file is used by HTTP basic authorization.  If a .bzredirect symbolic link
     is found, bozohttpd will perform a smart redirect to the target of this
     symlink.  The target is assumed to live on the same server.  If target
     starts with slash then absolute redirection is performed, otherwise it's
     handled as relative.  If a .bzabsredirect symbolic link is found,
     bozohttpd will redirect to the absolute URL pointed to by this symlink.
     This is useful to redirect to different servers.  Two forms of
     redirection are supported - symbolic link without schema will use http://
     as default i.e. link to NetBSD.org will redirect to http://NetBSD.org/
     Otherwise provided schema will be used i.e. symbolic link to
     ftp://NetBSD.org/ will redirect to the provided URL.  If a .bzremap file
     is found at the root of a (virtual) server, it is expected to contain
     rewrite mappings for URLs.

     These remappings are performed internally in the server before
     authentication happens and can be used to hide implementation details,
     like the CGI handler specific suffix for non cgi scripts in authorized

     The map file consists of lines two paths separated by a colon, where the
     left side needs to exactly match a (sub) path of the request and will be
     replaced by the right side.

     The first match always wins.

     A .bzremap file could look like this:


     The remap file should be short, access to it is slow and needs to happen
     on each request.  If a request path needs to include a colon (:)
     character, it can be escaped with a backslash (\) The right hand side of
     the colon is always used verbatim, no escape sequences are interpreted.

     To configure set of virtual hosts, one would use an inetd.conf(5) entry

     http stream tcp  nowait:600 _httpd /usr/libexec/httpd httpd -v /var/vroot /var/www

     and inside /var/vroot create a directory (or a symlink to a directory)
     with the same name as the virtual host, for each virtual host.  Lookups
     for these names are done in a case-insensitive manner, and may include
     the port number part of the request, allowing for distinct virtual hosts
     on the same name.

     To use bozohttpd with PHP, one must use the -C option to specify a CGI
     handler for a particular file type.  Typically this will be like:

     httpd -C .php /usr/pkg/bin/php-cgi /var/www

     Note that a plain script interpreter can not be used directly as a
     cgihandler, as there are no command line options passed from bozohttpd to
     avoid security issues.

     If no CGI-aware wrapper exists, a simple shell script like the following
     might do.

     It would be invoked like:

     httpd -C .pl /www-scripts/bin/run.perl /var/www
     and the script could look like:

     #! /bin/sh

     if [ -r "$SCRIPT_FILENAME" -a -x "$SCRIPT_FILENAME" ]; then
             exec /usr/pkg/bin/perl "$SCRIPT_FILENAME"

     exit 1

     inetd.conf(5), inetd(8)

     bozohttpd was first written in perl, based on another perl http server
     called "tinyhttpd".  It was then rewritten from scratch in perl, and then
     once again in C.  From "bozohttpd" version 20060517, it has been
     integrated into NetBSD.  The focus has always been simplicity and
     security, with minimal features and regular code audits.  This manual
     documents bozohttpd version 20230602.

     bozohttpd was written by Matthew R. Green <mrg@eterna.com.au>.

     The large list of contributors includes:

     -   Christoph Badura <bad@bsd.de> provided Range: header support

     -   Marc Balmer <mbalmer@NetBSD.org> added Lua support for dynamic
         content creation

     -   Sean Boudreau <seanb@NetBSD.org> provided a security fix for virtual

     -   Julian Coleman <jdc@coris.org.uk> provided an IPv6 bugfix

     -   Chuck Cranor <chuck@research.att.com> provided cgi-bin support fixes,
         and more

     -   Alistair G. Crooks <agc@NetBSD.org> cleaned up many internal
         interfaces, made bozohttpd linkable as a library and provided the Lua

     -   DEGROOTE Arnaud <degroote@NetBSD.org> provided a fix for daemon mode

     -   Andrew Doran <ad@NetBSD.org> provided directory indexing support

     -   Roland Dowdeswell <elric@NetBSD.org> added support for serving
         gzipped files and better SSL handling

     -   Per Ekman <pek@pdc.kth.se> provided a fix for a minor (non-security)
         buffer overflow condition

     -   <emily@ingalls.rocks> provided fixes for some bad request parsing

     -   Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino, KAME <itojun@iijlab.net> provided initial
         IPv6 support

     -   Martin Husemann <martin@NetBSD.org> provided .bzabsredirect and
         .bzredir support, fixed various redirection issues and more

     -   Arto Huusko <arto.huusko@pp2.inet.fi> provided fixes cgi-bin

     -   Roland Illig <roland.illig@gmx.de> provided some off-by-one fixes

     -   Zak Johnson <zakj@nox.cx> provided cgi-bin enhancements

     -   Nicolas Jombart <ecu@ipv42.net> provided fixes for HTTP basic
         authorization support

     -   Antti Kantee <pooka@NetBSD.org> provided fixes for HTTP basic
         authorization support

     -   Thomas Klausner <wiz@NetBSD.org> provided many fixes and enhancements
         for the man page

     -   Mateusz Kocielski <shm@NetBSD.org> fixed memory leaks, various issues
         with userdir support, information disclosure issues, added support
         for using CGI handlers with directory indexing, found several
         security issues and provided various other fixes

     -   Arnaud Lacombe <alc@NetBSD.org> provided some clean up for memory

     -   Johnny Lam <jlam@NetBSD.org> provided man page fixes

     -   Dennis Lindroos <denafcm@gmail.com> provided a cgi-bin fix

     -   Jared McNeill <jmcneill@NetBSD.org> added support for readme in
         directory indexing

     -   Julio Merino <jmmv@NetBSD.org> Added the -P option (pidfile support)
         and provided some man page fixes

     -   Luke Mewburn <lukem@NetBSD.org> provided many various fixes,
         including cgi-bin fixes and enhancements, HTTP basic authorization
         support and much code clean up

     -   Sunil Nimmagadda <sunil@nimmagadda.net> provided runtime TLS version

     -   Rajeev V. Pillai <rajeev_v_pillai@yahoo.com> provided several fixes
         for virtual hosting and directory indexing and fixes for CGI

     -   Jeremy C. Reed <reed@NetBSD.org> provided several clean up fixes, and
         man page updates

     -   Scott Reynolds <scottr@NetBSD.org> provided various fixes

     -   Tyler Retzlaff <rtr@eterna.com.au> provided SSL support, cgi-bin
         fixes and much other random other stuff

     -   rudolf <netbsd@eq.cz> provided minor compile fixes and a CGI content
         map fix

     -   Steve Rumble <rumble@ephemeral.org> provided the -V option

     -   Jukka Ruohonen <jruoho@NetBSD.org> provided support for blocklistd(8)

     -   Thor Lancelot Simon <tls@NetBSD.org> enhanced cgi-bin support

     -   Joerg Sonnenberger <joerg@NetBSD.org> implemented If-Modified-Since

     -   Kimmo Suominen <kim@NetBSD.org> removed obsolete .bzdirect handling

     -   ISIHARA Takanori <ishit@oak.dti.ne.jp> provided a man page fix

     -   Holger Weiss <holger@CIS.FU-Berlin.DE> provided http authorization

     -   <xs@kittenz.org> provided chroot and change-to-user support, and
         other various fixes

     -   S.P.Zeidler <spz@NetBSD.org> fixed several SSL shutdown issues

     -   Coyote Point provided various CGI fixes

     There are probably others I have forgotten (let me know if you care)

     Please send all updates to bozohttpd to <mrg@eterna.com.au> for inclusion
     in future releases.

     bozohttpd does not handle HTTP/1.1 chunked input from the client yet.

NetBSD 10.99                     Sep 12, 2023                     NetBSD 10.99