Can anyone recommend a tiny tiny webserver that will run on windows. Extra points if it runs as an NT service. I am looking for something purely to server html. At most it will probably server 20 pages a day, and at worst 2 or 3 simultaneously. So really really simple stuff.

We are currently using IIS which is total overkill

  • 2
    Nobody seems to be addressing this, but I find it hard to recommend something without knowing what are you hoping to gain from switching web servers. Easier management? Lower load on the server? Smaller security attack surface? How do you consider IIS to be overkill?
    – MattB
    Jun 8 '10 at 16:44
  • I agree, hard to know whats the main purpose is except IIS is unwanted. But thats okay with me. I love IIS, but some dont. Jun 9 '10 at 0:31
  • I always wonder how an OP is going to award "extra points". Jun 9 '10 at 8:10
  • @John OP could simply up-vote multiple times with different account/emails -- shill voting?
    – jscott
    Jun 9 '10 at 12:34

15 Answers 15


Try http://www.lighttpd.net/ Lighttpd, Its used by Google,Sourceforge and a other large organizations.

Its pretty small and has been know to have the edge over speed all in this one small box.

  • 1
    for lighttpd you will need to use en.wlmp-project.net unless you are comfortable compiling the code yourself
    – Paul
    Jun 8 '10 at 14:17



Lighttpd will most probably be your best bet for looking for a really small http server otherwise i would have just said to install a copy of apache2 to your windows machine which will do everything you need and run as an NT service.


IMHO: leave it alone. Its already up and running. Who will notice a speed difference?

Is it worth the time to replace and document?

  • Not to mention the extra burden of a third-party system to keep patched... if you're already patching Windows, that is. Jun 8 '10 at 16:47

Try http://code.google.com/p/mongoose/


I haven't used this is a REALLY long time (10 years or so), but Xitami has a very small footprint, assuming it will still work on more recent versions of Windows. I recall running this on Windows98 boxes in some cases many moons ago. It's not actively developed, but it's small, fast, and free.

Even though IIS is "overkill" I'd stick with it since it's well supported and isn't a resource hog when it's just hosting up some static files.


I see a lot of different options here, so:

A) Depending on your requirements for updating/rendering the HTML files, you might consider a hosting option? there a plenty of cheap hosting sites and those running Apache can run HTML files too.

B) If you need secure access (protected), you could also consider a cloudbased hosting, such as Amazons Cloudservices. This could also be used for option A)

C) How about direct file access for the users? Just leaving them with READ ONLY access to the server folder?

D) Put the pages inside a Google Docs account. Then share the content to a certain group. This will give you Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations. You could uploade the changes from Office files or PDF too.

E) Build a small service from one of the free samples on the net.

I have a few in Microsoft.NET, I'll have a search at Google for some of them:




even more here:


It ought to be easy to translate the code into a .net NT service afterwards.

Does any of my options solve your request?


Use Pythons BaseHTTPServer


If you don't mind a dependency on .NET, you can use Kayak to create an NT service that hosts up a few pages and you can do clever things with the URLs. Alternatively, you can use Cassini that will work too for standard ASP.NET sites.

Kayak requires development work, Cassini works out of the box.


I also believe Lighttpd would fit you best. However, you may be interested in checking out WLMP which is Windows / LightTPD / MySQL / PHP. This would give you a lightweight and infinity more capable web-server.


IIS 7 is the probably one of the best answers, you can uninstall every single functionality (like Windows Auth, Basic, CGI, ASP, etc) and strip it down to be a simple static file server. If the performance is what you are aiming for, you can also leverage kernel mode caching which will make it probably the one of the fastest options as well.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_server_software - Comparison of web servers

and let`s goooogle guide you :)

  • and look at "GuruPlug Server" just for fun :) its small and it is http :)
    – evg345
    Jun 9 '10 at 4:26

abyss from www.aprelium.com they have a free version and a $99 paid version. it is very small and fast.


Try Null httpd http://www.nulllogic.ca/httpd/ which is extremely small.


Netduino board with small web server code?

Pros: - low power use - compact

Cons: - it is .net micro framework, but is not windows