Busybox HTTPD

I love busybox. It is super simple to compile, fully customizable. It even includes a web server! These are the steps I took to make it work, from source.

Make sure you have the following packages installed on your machine: git, gcc, make

Clone the repo:

$ git clone git://busybox.net/busybox.git

Compile the source:

$ cd busybox
$ make defconfig
$ make

If you have multicore, you can speed up compilation by running (for example if you have 4 cores):

$ make -j 4

Once done, you have an executable called ‘busybox’. Run it and you will see all the commands included. You run a command as follows, for example to open a vi text editor:

$ ./busybox vi

Now, to run a web server, the command is called httpd. Each command has a short help, called with the –help switch. For httpd:

$ ./busybox httpd --help
BusyBox v1.25.0.git (2016-02-11 12:45:41 GMT) multi-call binary.

Usage: httpd [-ifv[v]] [-c CONFFILE] [-p [IP:]PORT] [-u USER[:GRP]] [-r REALM] [-h HOME]
or httpd -d/-e/-m STRING

Listen for incoming HTTP requests

        -i              Inetd mode
        -f              Don't daemonize
        -v[v]           Verbose
        -p [IP:]PORT    Bind to IP:PORT (default *:80)
        -u USER[:GRP]   Set uid/gid after binding to port
        -r REALM        Authentication Realm for Basic Authentication
        -h HOME         Home directory (default .)
        -c FILE         Configuration file (default {/etc,HOME}/httpd.conf)
        -m STRING       MD5 crypt STRING
        -e STRING       HTML encode STRING
        -d STRING       URL decode STRING

So, you can launch a web server for example like this:

$ ./busybox httpd -p 8000 -h /path/to/www/pages

There are many more possibilities, including setting up mime types, running CGI scripts etc. More information can be found on the OpenWrt wiki site where the configuration file is explained in details.


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