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Multiserver

What was the purpose of this project?

To apply what I have learned about parallelism and concurrency to developing a real software application, by creating a static web server that can serve many requests at once. A second goal was to better learn the underpinnings of HTTP by writing code that can conform to it.

How was the server tested?

I tested my server under load in a variety of ways. I found that the web browsers I use for day-to-day browsing all open many connections to the server, even when they don't absolutely need multiple -- probably to improve performance when bandwidth is high. This led me to want more granular control over the test requests, so I wrote a script that directed a 3-machine botnet to flood my server with HEADs and GETs over Telnet. Without strict limits on its behavior, it seemed to successfully achieve denial of service against the Multiserver. I would like to investigate this finding more.

What state is shared between threads? What concurrency problems were encountered?

My threads do not share almost any state. The main thread may access a helper's closeSocket method, but the worst concurrency problem I managed to cause thereby was to force an Exception to be thrown if the helper was using a socket when this happened -- which was my goal in that situation anyway, as it successfully killed the thread.


PREREQUISITES

JDK 6+

INSTALLATION

javac ServerThread.java MultithreadedWebServer.java

USAGE

java MultithreadedWebServer [maxConnections] [rootDir] [userDir]

Serves to localhost port 8888.

Arguments
  • maxConnections: Maximum number of connections to allow at once
  • rootDir: Absolute path of the root folder from which to serve content e.g. /var/www/html
  • userDir: Absolute path of the directory in which user folders are hosted e.g. /home. A request URL beginning in ~ followed by a username, a forward-slash, and finally a file path, will instruct the server to locate that file in the specified user's public_html directory. So a request for /~root/a.jpg would return the contents of [userDir]/root/public_html/a.jpg.

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Lightweight multithreaded static web server using ServerSocket

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