CERN httpd

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CERN httpd
Developer(s) CERN / World Wide Web Consortium
Initial release 24 December 1990; 27 years ago (1990-12-24)
Last release
3.0A / 15 July 1996; 21 years ago (1996-07-15)[1]
Development status discontinued
Operating system Unix, Unix-like
Available in C
Type Web server, proxy server
License MIT Copyright Statement with acknowledgement to CERN

CERN httpd (later also known as W3C httpd) was a web server (HTTP) daemon originally developed at CERN from 1990 onwards by Tim Berners-Lee, Ari Luotonen[2] and Henrik Frystyk Nielsen.[1] Implemented in C, it was the first ever web server software.[3]


This NeXT Computer used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN became the world's first web server

CERN httpd was originally developed on a NeXT Computer running NeXTSTEP, and was later ported to other Unix-like operating systems, OpenVMS and systems with unix emulation layers, e.g. OS/2 with emx+gcc, it could also be configured as a web proxy server.[1][3] Version 0.1 was released in June 1991.[4] In August 1991, Berners-Lee announced in the Usenet newsgroup alt.hypertext the availability of the source code of the server daemon and other World Wide Web software from the CERN FTP site.[5]

The original, first generation HTTP server which some call the Volkswagen of the Web.[6]

The server was presented on the Hypertext 91 conference in San Antonio and was part of the CERN Program Library (CERNLIB).[5][7]

Later versions of the server are based on the libwww library,[2] the development of CERN httpd was later taken over by W3C, with the last release being version 3.0A of 15 July 1996.[1] From 1996 onwards, W3C focused on the development of the Java-based Jigsaw server.[8]

The initial version was public domain software; the last one was under an MIT license.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Official CERN httpd page
  2. ^ a b Kahan, José (5 August 1999). "Why Libwww?". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b The Server Guide: CERN httpd Archived 16 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Change History for httpd
  5. ^ a b Stewart, Bill. "Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, and the World Wide Web - Web development". Living Internet. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "W3C Open Source Software - CERN Server". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  7. ^ Robert Cailliau (21 July 2010). "A Short History of the Web". NetValley. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Baird-Smith, Anselm (April 1996). "W3C Activity: The CERN server". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  9. ^ The birth of the web Licensing the web on (2014, archived)

External links[edit]