Prior to the Oracle acquisition, I used to be a fan of Sun Microsystems’ web server product, Sun Java System Web Server. It had serious enterprise lineage, a terrific web admin BUI which beat the pants off Apache, and was free, free, freeeee. Needless to say, that all changed once Oracle bungled onto the scene, along with a whole bunch of other stuff.
A little known fact however is that Sun had open-sourced the core of their web server prior to Oracle taking over, releasing it as the Sun Open Web Server. But other than a few headlines at the time of the announcement (such as here) everything went very quiet shortly after – and no doubt I am sure due to Oracle not wanting to advertise the zero-cost availability of the guts of their “re-branded” megabucks flagship web server, now known as Oracle iPlanet Web Server.
So, imagine my surprise to find that one of the original engineers behind Sun Open Web Server (Jyri Virkki) has forked the code open-sourced those three or so years ago and is now actively developing it. Yes, it lives, and is known as heliod web server:
Francois Dion has a great write-up here as well:
Attempting to launch heliod on OpenIndiana oi_151a x86, I was met with the following error:
$ ./bin/startserv ld.so.1: parsexml: fatal: libicui18n.so.3: open failed: No such file or directory ./bin/startserv: line 63: 12686: Killed failure: temporary directory is not writable by user root
This is due to the library/icu package not being present – so install it if it’s missing and it’ll start up fine:
$ ./bin/startserv &  3692 dave@mymachine:/opt/heliod/https-testserver$ heliod Web Server 0.1 B03/08/2011 21:59 info: CORE3016: daemon is running info: HTTP3072: http-listener-1: http://mymachine:80 ready to accept requests info: CORE3274: successful server startup