lighttpd: tips, url.redirect, url.rewrite, mod_proxy, etc...

05 Mar 2010 at 00:00:00 - 5 comment(s)

If you are using lighttpd or you intend to use it then you should check this post. You'll find quite a few interesting things about url-redirect and url-rewrite using respectively mod_redirect and mod_rewrite. I have added some other tips as well such as enabling compression, getting drupal to work with lighttpd or how to use mod_proxy (useful if you run a java webapp for example).

url-redirect, url-rewrite and proxy

I am not going to do a long speech here, I'll show some examples so that you can understand and use it if it answers your need.

Redirect all the www. requests to .

$HTTP["host"] =~ "^www\.(.*)$" {
 url.redirect = ( "^/(.*)" => "http://%1" )

Redirect requests from main domain to subdomain ( ->

$HTTP["host"] == "" {
  url.redirect = ( "^/(.*)" => "$1" )

Proxy to a web container such as tomcat running on port 8080 but not request to

$HTTP["host"] != "" {
  $HTTP["host"] =~ "$" {
    url.rewrite-once = (
          "^(.*)" => "/myapp/web$1"
    proxy.server = (
      "" => (
        "host" => (
          "host" => "",
          "port" => 8080

Enabling compression

Here are the lines you need to add to enable compression in lighttpd.

You need to load mod_compress

server.modules = (

Then you add the following

compress.cache-dir = "/tmp/lighttpd/"

compress.filetype = ("text/plain","text/css","text/xml","text/javascript")

I don't think these lines need any explanation.

You need to create the folder /tmp/lighttpd/ (needs to be rw by the user running lighttpd obviously)

mkdir /tmp/lighttpd/

Having a site running with drupal on lighttpd

I had to host a website built with drupal not long time ago. Here is how to proceed:

$HTTP["host"] == "" {
  server.document-root = "/path/to/drupal/site/"
  dir-listing.activate = "disable"
  magnet.attract-physical-path-to = ("/etc/lighttpd/drupal.lua")

You've noticed the use of a drupal.lua so here is the file: download drupal.lua. That's it, you don't need to do anything more than that.

Zend website on lighttpd

Other special case scenario. What you need:

$HTTP["host"] == "" {
  server.document-root = "/path/to/zend/site/"
  dir-listing.activate = "disable"

  url.rewrite-once = (".*\.(js|ico|gif|jpg|png|css)$" => "$0", "" => "/index.php")


We've in few lines seen how to use mod_rewrite with url.rewrite, mod_redirect with url.redirect, mod_compress, mod_proxy if you host a web container such as tomcat as well as how to host a drupal or a zend website with lighttpd. Hope you'll find some of this useful.


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