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cttp is a multithreaded, static HTTP 1.1 server written in C. It was created for the sake of personal edification. I used RFC 2616 and the Wikipedia page as references to help guide me in creating this project. I also drew inspiration from this reddit post

Right now, the project is stable. It has the basic functionality of an HTTP server--it can serve websites from a given directory and serve different types of files. cttp does not support serving binary files (yet).


This project has the following hierarchy:

├── docs
├── include
├── src
└── test

The generated binary gets placed in a folder called bin


This project is written using standard C11. The git workflow is managed through git-flow. The build system uses cmake for compilation as well as testing, and I am using cmocka as the framework for unit testing.


This project uses cmake for compilation. In order to compile the project you can either run the build script which will automatically try to invoke gmake on MacOS since the binary shipped by Apple is older.

cmake . && make

I run cmake . && gmake on MacOS because my version of GNU make tends to be more updated than Apple's provided binary for make. Use whatever build system you want.

You can also use the build script on a unix-like system if you have a bash compatible shell installed. cttp relies on POSIX APIs, so it will not work on Windows.


I have provided a script that will build the project and run unit tests via CMocka. In order to build tests, you need to set CMake to build in debug mode.

cmake -DCMAKE_RELEASE_TYPE=Debug . && make test


cmake . && ctest --verbose

These will run unit the tests and display test output to STDOUT.


cttp -p [port] -r [base path]

  • -p: the port that the HTTP server will be deployed to. It is optional, and defaults to port 8080
  • -r: the base path to serve files from. This must be a valid file and is required.

Return codes

  • 0: success/no errors
  • 1: invalid arguments/generic argument error
  • 2: networking error
  • 3: unknown error

Note that this program will follow symbolic links, both for requests and when specifiying the base path in the arguments.


  • robust unit testing
  • multiple MIME types
  • multithreading
  • better DDOS protection (limiting threadpools, blocking rapid repeated connections)
  • binary file support