OpenBSD httpd 6.3: Web server




OpenBSD has its own web server called “httpd”.


It’s possible on OpenBSD to install Nginx and Apache (called “apache-httpd”).

They are not supported officially, however, because of historical backgrounds. Nginx disappeared from the official manual at the end of 5.6 release in 2015. OpenBSD httpd was added then.

It’s also possible to install Caddy manually.

To be frank, OpenBSD httpd seems to have less conf examples and tutorials than them. Therefore, some might think it more difficult.

I love OpenBSD httpd, for it’s simple and minimal with clearly licensed, robust and secure, and thus, to my feelings, it’s beautiful. Also, it becomes more powerful with relayd.


  • OS: OpenBSD 6.3 amd64


1. Prepare a configuration file

httpd.conf is required in order to activate httpd service. The default path is /etc/httpd.conf .

1-1. Make /etc/httpd.conf

# # Using fish shell:
# if not test -e /etc/httpd.conf; \
      touch /etc/httpd.conf; \

Of course, simply using touch /etc/httpd.conf or vi /etc/httpd.conf are all right.

1-2. Edit /etc/httpd.conf

ext_ip = ""
# ext_ip = "*"      # open to the outside network
# ext_ip = "egress" # open to only the primary IP address of the network interface

# none

server "default" {
    listen on $ext_ip port 80
    root "/htdocs/my.domain"

# [ TYPES ]
types {
    include "/usr/share/misc/mime.types"

(caution) root property in “SERVERS” section means the directories under /var/www . The official document mentions in GLOBAL CONFIGURATION section:

chroot directory Set the chroot(2) directory. If not specified, it defaults to /var/www, the home directory of the www user.

Add other server definitions optionally like these:

server "www.https-example.domain" { 
    alias "https-example.domain" 
    listen on $ext_ip port 80 
    listen on $ext_ip tls port 443
    tls {
        key         "/etc/ssl/private/www.https-example.domain.key"
        certificate "/etc/ssl/www.https-example.domain.crt"
    root "/htdocs/www.https-example.domain" 

server "www.fastcgi-example.domain" {
    alias "fastcgi-example.domain"
    listen on $ext_ip port 80
    fastcgi socket ":{% port-number %}"

The official document is here .

1-3. Make index.html for testing

# mkdir -p /var/www/htdocs/my.domain
# chown {% user %}:{% group %} /var/www/htdocs/my.domain # if necessary
$ echo "Hello, world. from OpenBSD httpd" > /var/www/htdocs/my.domain/index.html

2. Activate httpd service

Enable httpd:

# rcctl enable httpd

* note: This time /etc/rc.conf.local is created like this:

# cat /etc/rc.conf.local

And start it:

# rcctl start httpd

* note: Under the default setting: httpd_flags=NO, # rcctl -f start httpd can start httpd forcely.

3. Test if the server is listening

$ curl localhost:80
Hello, world. from OpenBSD httpd


Thank you very much for your reading. Happy serving 🕊


  1. OpenBSD httpd 6.3: Web server
  2. OpenBSD httpd 7.0: Web server

Comments or feedbacks are welcome and appreciated.