Host a Local web-site on Linux/Ubuntu

Keywords: Host a Local web-site on Linux/Ubuntu , how to install boa

If you want to Host a Local web-site on Linux/Ubuntu machine, you need to install a web-server that can serve your web-site’s pages. There are many free small web-server’s available like:

  1. Boa

  2. Apache

  3. Lighthttpd

  4. Nginx etc. See

 In this post I’ll show, how to install boa as I personally like it because of it’s light weight and fast processing.

Step 1: Go to and download the latest version.

Step 2: Go to the location where you downloaded the package.

$ cd <location of downloaded boa package>

Step 3: Unpack it by giving following command:

$ tar -xvzf boa-0.94.tar.gz

Step 4: Copy un-packed directory to your preferd location. Let’s assume it’s ‘/home’ for this tutorial. So path for your boa directory will be ‘/home/boa-0.94’

Step 5: Now go into ‘src’ directory and open define.h file.

$ cd /home/boa-0.94/src

$ gedit define.h

 Step 6: Change the default SERVER_ROOT by setting the #define at the top of defines.h

   SERVER_ROOT = /home/boa-0.94/

 Step 7: Go to parent directory(/home/boa-0.94/) and create following files and directory:

  1. access_log 2.error_log -> files
  2. www

Step 8: Type ./configure and then make.

$ ./configure

$ make

Step 9: Copy boa.conf file from ‘examples’ to parent directory and open it using gedit.

$ cp /home/boa-0.94/examples/boa.conf /home/boa-0.94/

$ gedit boa.conf

Copy following text and replace it with boa.conf.

# Boa v0.94 configuration file

# File format has not changed from 0.93

# File format has changed little from 0.92

# version changes are noted in the comments


# The Boa configuration file is parsed with a lex/yacc or flex/bison

# generated parser. If it reports an error, the line number will be

# provided; it should be easy to spot. The syntax of each of these

# rules is very simple, and they can occur in any order. Where possible

# these directives mimic those of NCSA httpd 1.3; I saw no reason to

# introduce gratuitous differences.

# $Id: boa.conf,v 1.25 2002/03/22 04:33:09 jnelson Exp $

# The “ServerRoot” is not in this configuration file. It can be compiled

# into the server (see defines.h) or specified on the command line with

# the -c option, for example:


# boa -c /usr/local/boa

# Port: The port Boa runs on. The default port for http servers is 80.

# If it is less than 1024, the server must be started as root.

Port 80

# Listen: the Internet address to bind(2) to. If you leave it out,

# it takes the behavior before, which is to bind to all

# addresses (INADDR_ANY). You only get one “Listen” directive,

# if you want service on multiple IP addresses, you have three choices:

# 1. Run boa without a “Listen” directive

# a. All addresses are treated the same; makes sense if the addresses

# are localhost, ppp, and eth0.

# b. Use the VirtualHost directive below to point requests to different

# files. Should be good for a very large number of addresses (web

# hosting clients).

# 2. Run one copy of boa per IP address, each has its own configuration

# with a “Listen” directive. No big deal up to a few tens of addresses.

# Nice separation between clients.

# The name you provide gets run through inet_aton(3), so you have to use dotted

# quad notation. This configuration is too important to trust some DNS.


# User: The name or UID the server should run as.

# Group: The group name or GID the server should run as.

User sachin

Group sachin

# ServerAdmin: The email address where server problems should be sent.

# Note: this is not currently used, except as an environment variable

# for CGIs.

#ServerAdmin root@localhost

# ErrorLog: The location of the error log file. If this does not start

# with /, it is considered relative to the server root.

# Set to /dev/null if you don’t want errors logged.

# If unset, defaults to /dev/stderr

ErrorLog /home/boa-0.94/error_log

# Please NOTE: Sending the logs to a pipe (‘|’), as shown below,

# is somewhat experimental and might fail under heavy load.

# “Usual libc implementations of printf will stall the whole

# process if the receiving end of a pipe stops reading.”

#ErrorLog “|/usr/sbin/cronolog –symlink=/var/log/boa/error_log /var/log/boa/error-%Y%m%d.log”

# AccessLog: The location of the access log file. If this does not

# start with /, it is considered relative to the server root.

# Comment out or set to /dev/null (less effective) to disable

# Access logging.

AccessLog /home/boa-0.94/access_log

# Please NOTE: Sending the logs to a pipe (‘|’), as shown below,

# is somewhat experimental and might fail under heavy load.

# “Usual libc implementations of printf will stall the whole

# process if the receiving end of a pipe stops reading.”

#AccessLog “|/usr/sbin/cronolog –symlink=/var/log/boa/access_log /var/log/boa/access-%Y%m%d.log”

# UseLocaltime: Logical switch. Uncomment to use localtime

# instead of UTC time


# VerboseCGILogs: this is just a logical switch.

# It simply notes the start and stop times of cgis in the error log

# Comment out to disable.


# ServerName: the name of this server that should be sent back to

# clients if different than that returned by gethostname + gethostbyname


# VirtualHost: a logical switch.

# Comment out to disable.

# Given DocumentRoot /var/www, requests on interface ‘A’ or IP ‘IP-A’

# become /var/www/IP-A.

# Example: http://localhost/ becomes /var/www/


# Not used until version This “feature” also breaks commonlog

# output rules, it prepends the interface number to each access_log line.

# You are expected to fix that problem with a postprocessing script.


# DocumentRoot: The root directory of the HTML documents.

# Comment out to disable server non user files.

DocumentRoot /home/boa-0.94/www

# UserDir: The name of the directory which is appended onto a user’s home

# directory if a ~user request is recieved.

UserDir public_html

# DirectoryIndex: Name of the file to use as a pre-written HTML

# directory index. Please MAKE AND USE THESE FILES. On the

# fly creation of directory indexes can be _slow_.

# Comment out to always use DirectoryMaker

DirectoryIndex index.html

# DirectoryMaker: Name of program used to create a directory listing.

# Comment out to disable directory listings. If both this and

# DirectoryIndex are commented out, accessing a directory will give

# an error (though accessing files in the directory are still ok).

#DirectoryMaker /home/boa-0.94/boa_indexer

# DirectoryCache: If DirectoryIndex doesn’t exist, and DirectoryMaker

# has been commented out, the the on-the-fly indexing of Boa can be used

# to generate indexes of directories. Be warned that the output is

# extremely minimal and can cause delays when slow disks are used.

# Note: The DirectoryCache must be writable by the same user/group that

# Boa runs as.

# DirectoryCache /var/spool/boa/dircache

# KeepAliveMax: Number of KeepAlive requests to allow per connection

# Comment out, or set to 0 to disable keepalive processing

#KeepAliveMax 1000

KeepAliveMax 30

# KeepAliveTimeout: seconds to wait before keepalive connection times out

KeepAliveTimeout 10

# MimeTypes: This is the file that is used to generate mime type pairs

# and Content-Type fields for boa.

# Set to /dev/null if you do not want to load a mime types file.

# Do *not* comment out (better use AddType!)

MimeTypes /etc/mime.types

# DefaultType: MIME type used if the file extension is unknown, or there

# is no file extension.

DefaultType text/plain

# CGIPath: The value of the $PATH environment variable given to CGI progs.

CGIPath /bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/bin/perl

# SinglePostLimit: The maximum allowable number of bytes in

# a single POST. Default is normally 1MB.

# AddType: adds types without editing mime.types

# Example: AddType type extension [extension …]

# Uncomment the next line if you want .cgi files to execute from anywhere

AddType application/x-httpd-cgi cgi

AddType application/x-httpd-jsp jsp

# Redirect, Alias, and ScriptAlias all have the same semantics — they

# match the beginning of a request and take appropriate action. Use

# Redirect for other servers, Alias for the same server, and ScriptAlias

# to enable directories for script execution.

# Redirect allows you to tell clients about documents which used to exist in

# your server’s namespace, but do not anymore. This allows you to tell the

# clients where to look for the relocated document.

# Example: Redirect /bar http://elsewhere/feh/bar

# Aliases: Aliases one path to another.

# Example: Alias /path1/bar /path2/foo

Alias /doc /usr/doc

# ScriptAlias: Maps a virtual path to a directory for serving scripts

# Example: ScriptAlias /htbin/ /www/htbin/

ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /home/boa-0.94/www/

Step 10: Locate follwing lines in this file and replace them with your user name. Save it and close it.

User sachin -> change sachin to your user name

Group sachin-> change sachin to your user name

Step 11: Download files attached here. Un-tar them and copy them to '/home/boa-0.94/www/'

Step 12: Go to ‘src’ directory and give following command .

                                 $ sudo ./boa

If no error then you web-server has started. Now time to check it.

Step 13. Open your internet browser and type following in the address bar: Enter

Step 14: If you are on LAN/WLAN then by accessing your system’s ip, everbody on the LAN/WLAN can see your web-site.

For example: Enter

If you see a page like following pic then Congrats..!! You have installed boa web-server and hosted your first local web-site on Linux/Ubuntu machine… 🙂

Note: If you get any error regarding lex/yacc or flex/bison please install one of them before running the web-server.

$sudo apt-get install flex

$sudo apt-get install bison


$sudo apt-get install lex

$sudo apt-get install yacc

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