One very popular use of Linux is as a platform for running a Web server. This software uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to deliver files to users who request them with a Web client program, more commonly known as a Web browser. The most popular Web server for Linux by far is Apache (http://www.apache.org), which is an open source program included with Linux. There are other Linux Web servers available, however, including Roxen (http://www.roxen.com/products/webserver) and thttpd (http://www.acme.com/software/thttpd). Roxen is a high-powered commercial Web server, whereas thttpd is a minimalist open source program suitable for small Web sites or those that don't need advanced features.
Some Linux distributions install Web servers even on workstations because the distributions use the Web servers to deliver help files to the local users. Such a configuration chews up resources, though, and can at least potentially be a security problem.
Was this article helpful?