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Boa is a simple, very fast and extremely small-footprint web server. Not to be confused with Boa Constructor, an excellent Python 2 RAD IDE.

Why you would want Boa

Boa is the perfect choice for serving static content. It does not support php and has very limited support for cgi-bin.

Boa is perfect for serving static content like images. Slashdot uses Boa as a dedicated image server for the images at that high-traffic site. Running Boa at port 80 at one IP on a server, or on a dedicated server, to take the load off apache (or another resource-demanding server) is a great way to make a high-traffic website faster.

What you can't use Boa for

  • Boa does not support IPv6, only the old (but still widely used) IPv4 Internet protocol.
  • It does not run in chroot.
  • The limited support for dynamci cgi does not support server-side includes.
  • There is also no support for access control (HTTP authentication, etc.)

As of January 2006, Boa has the following limitations [1]:

In bullet summary

  • Boa uses virtually no resources when serving static content like images at a fairly high load. It uses very little CPU and very little memory.
  • Boa is perfect for running a simple website with static content and also perfect for taking the load of more advanced webserver-software running high-trafficed sites.
  • Boa is also perfect for running a hidden Tor website.

Some history

Boa was originally written Paul Phillips. It is currently being maintained by Larry Doolittle and Jon Nelson.

Web server software