Top 5 Open Source Web Server Solution Stacks In 2021

Solution stacks provide a complete environment for developers to build web applications. We will discuss the top 5 open source web servers in this article.

Top 5 Open Source Web Server Solution Stacks In 2021

As a developer, when you decide to develop a web application, selection of web and database server for hosting an application is first task. Before deploying a web app on live server, developers must build and test the app on local server first. There are many options for open source web server solution stacks. A good web server should have qualities like user-friendliness, stability, expandability, and scalability.

A web server is a type of software that is installed on the operating system. With the help of HTTP transfer protocols, client requests are passed on to the web server and in return web server delivers documents to requesting clients. For static content, like HMTL files or images, then the web server directly processes the request by sending the corresponding data to the client. Dynamic content, on the other hand, can only be rendered with the help of databases and script modules. The most commonly used solution stacks include:


XAMPP stands for Cross-Platform (X), Apache (A), MariaDB (M), PHP (P) and Perl (P). It is a free and open-source web server solution stack. It helps developers to test their web apps or websites on their development environment. XAMPP has all the necessary components including Apache, Perl as well as MySQL database and PHP. It provides a reliable development environment for Perl and PHP based web application. Moreover, It provides MariaDB and MySQL for database management. Here are some of its key features:

  • Open Source
  • Multiple Instances
  • Compatibility
  • Non-linear development
  • Web server with database

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NGINX web server supports all the components of the modern Web including WebSocket, HTTP/2, and streaming of multiple video formats. It started out as a web server but now, it has developed to also function as a proxy server for email (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP). It also work as reverse proxy and load balancer for HTTP, TCP, and UDP servers. Moreover, NGINX consistently beats Apache and other servers if measured on web server performance. Some important features of NGINX include:

  • Modular architecture
  • Load balancing and fault tolerance
  • IP-based geolocation
  • Name-based and IP-based virtual servers
  • Supports SSL and TLS SNI

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Lighttpd is an open source lightweight web server, designed specially for Linux machines. It doesn’t require a lot of memory and CPU usage. Which makes it one of the best for any project that needs speed and high performance. Lighttpd is the perfect solution for every server that is suffering speed or performance issues. Moreover, Lightweight web server provides advanced feature set including FastCGI, SCGI, Auth, Output-Compression and URL-Rewriting etc. Other than PHP it also support other programming languages including Python, Perl, Ruby and many more. Here are the some popular features of Lighttpd:

  • Small size, only 1MB
  • Support for FastCGI, SCGI, CGI interfaces
  • HTTP/2 support
  • TLS session ticket key rotation control
  • Very optimized CPU and RAM usage

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Caddy server is extremely easy to configure and use. It takes care of TLS certificate renewals, OCSP stapling, static file serving as well as reverse proxying and Kubernetes ingress. Moreover, it is cross-platform, open source web server, and can run across all major operating systems including macOS, Linux and Windows. Caddy is a flexible and efficient static file web server as well as powerful and scalable reverse proxy. Use Caddy server for compression, template evaluation and Markdown rendering of your web sites. Here are some key features of Caddy web server:

  • Easy configuration with the Caddyfile
  • Access, error, and process logs
  • Automatic HTTPS by default
  • Server Name Indication
  • Graceful restart/reload

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Apache Tomcat is an open-source implementation of the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages, Java Expression Language, and Java WebSocket technologies. Moreover, It is one of the most widely used application and web server. Tomcat server is simple to use and has a robust ecosystem of add-ons. Apache Tomcat Software can be used as a standalone product with its own internal Web server as well as with other Web servers such as Apache, Netscape Enterprise Server, Microsoft Personal Web Server, and Microsoft Internet Information Server. Here are some key features of Apache Tomcat:

  • Lightweight
  • Open-Source
  • Open-Source
  • Highly Secured
  • Servlet 3.0 and JSP 2.2 specifications.

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In this article we have discussed 5 most popular open source web server solution stack options. There is no one single best option for a solution stack. Choosing the best web server depends upon the size and speed requirements as well as complexity of your web application. To check out complete details of above mentioned solution stacks, please visit: