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View Full Version : Tutorial: Use lighttpd to serve images


rootnik
01 Nov 2006, 14:49
Lighttpd is a small web server that can serve static files faster than Apache. Some people are not comfortable, or just can't make a full switch to lighttpd. This tutorial will show you how to setup lighttpd to serve your images while allowing Apache to continue taking care of everything else.


I am not going to go into detail on why or how it can do this. Search google for lighttpd reviews and benchmarks for more information.

1. install lighttpd. Follow the guide here: http://trac.lighttpd.net/trac/wiki/TutorialInstallation

2. edit /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf (you have moved this file here during installation, if you followed the guide linked above)

You want your lighttpd.conf to look something like this:

server.document-root = "/opt/httpd/htdocs/forums/images"

server.port = 2747
server.bind = "localhost"

mimetype.assign = (
".html" => "text/html",
".txt" => "text/plain",
".jpg" => "image/jpeg",
".png" => "image/png",
".gif" => "image/gif"
)

This is pretty straightforward.

Change server.document-root to the full path to your forum's images directory.
Change server.port to a non standard port. I used 2747 in the example above.

3. Open your apache config file (httpd.conf) and make sure the following modules are enabled:

LoadModule proxy_module modules/mod_proxy.so
LoadModule proxy_connect_module modules/mod_proxy_connect.so
LoadModule proxy_http_module modules/mod_proxy_http.so


4. If you are NOT using virtual hosting, add this to the bottom of your httpd.conf:

ProxyRequests Off
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass /forums/images http://localhost:2747/
ProxyPassReverse /forums/images http://localhost:2747/


If you ARE using virtual hosting, add the above to the <VirtualHost> tag that your forum site is in. This will either be in your httpd.conf, or a separate file such as httpd-vhosts.conf

And that is it!

Now, start light httpd with: /usr/local/sbin/lighttpd -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

And reload apache.

Note: It is important to make sure that lighttpd starts before apache does so mod_proxy can do it's work. If you start apache first, and then lighttpd, you will get 404 errors for your images.

orban
17 Nov 2006, 09:09
Is it worth proxying the requests through apache? O_o Doesn't that kinda defeat the point.

jason|xoxide
22 Nov 2006, 18:56
Is it worth proxying the requests through apache? O_o Doesn't that kinda defeat the point.

I was wondering the same thing myself. I use lighttpd on my sites but I serve from a separate IP linked to images.whatever.com. I used to serve from the same IP but on a higher port (8080) but I had users complaining that the images were blocked when they were behind certain proxies or firewalls.

orban
22 Nov 2006, 22:53
Yeah I guess subdomain if you want to run lighttpd/apache, but try to run lighttpd only...for the php too....

pdatoon
06 Jan 2007, 01:25
Thank you for the tutorial. Do you need to change anything in your templates and styles?

randominity
09 Jan 2007, 17:25
Is it worth proxying the requests through apache? O_o Doesn't that kinda defeat the point.

anyone have an answer to this? Was interested in either using lighty only or apache + lighty; don't have my new server to play with yet.

pdatoon
10 Jan 2007, 04:51
noobie question. Do we have to change anything in the styles (like url) ?

randominity
10 Jan 2007, 07:54
noobie question. Do we have to change anything in the styles (like url) ?

doesn't look like it...

ProxyRequests Off
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass /forums/images http://localhost:2747/
ProxyPassReverse /forums/images http://localhost:2747/

I think what this does is basically it will serve all requests that it get to /forum/images will go to localhost:2747 (assuming that's the port your lighttpd is running on)

punchbowl
02 Feb 2009, 15:05
I'd like to use it to serve images from /forum/albums*, /forum/customavatars, /forum/customprofilepics too - is that doable?

Also what format are album images stored in? looking at the dir I see "1631.picture" etc listed not 1631.jpg etc listed

Thanks in advance

--------------- Added 1233617274 at 1233617274 ---------------

I'm going to use:
server.document-root = "/opt/httpd/htdocs/forum/"

then

ProxyRequests Off
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass /forum/images http://localhost/images:2747/
ProxyPassReverse /forum/images http://localhost/images:2747/

ProxyPass /forum/customavatars http://localhost/customavatars:2747/
ProxyPassReverse /forum/customavatars http://localhost/customavatars:2747/

see how it goes on my less busy board:erm:

I'll edit this again when I get it working properly:D