Yaws webserver
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yaws.pc.in add pkg-config support contributed by Olivier Girondel Jan 29, 2009


This is Yaws, a webserver for dynamic content written in Erlang.

Travis build Status

Prepare build

Get and install an Erlang system (http://www.erlang.org).

To compile Yaws, Erlang/OTP R16B01 or higher is required.

If you've cloned the source from github and you want to build using autotools, note there is no ./configure script in the source, so create one:

$> autoreconf -fi

Install build dependencies. Required packages to compile Yaws are (based on debian packages):

  • build-essential
  • autoconf/automake/libtool
  • erlang - Required apps:
  • erlang-{kernel/stdlib/sasl/erts}
  • erlang-compiler
  • erlang-crypto
  • erlang-xmerl
  • libpam0g-dev

To build the documentation (optional), you also need to install:

  • texlive-latex-base
  • texlive-latex-recommended
  • texlive-fonts-recommended
  • texlive-font-utils
  • texlive-extra-utils
  • ghostscript

On Ubuntu/debian this is pretty much equal to:

$> apt-get build-dep yaws

On MacOS and OS X, be sure the necessary Xcode command-line tools and development environment are set up correctly by running the following command:

xcode-select --install

Finally, to run the testsuites, yaws need to install:

  • git
  • wget
  • curl
  • erlang-eunit
  • erlang-inets
  • erlang-mnesia
  • erlang-ssl
  • cadaver


You can build using rebar:

$> rebar get-deps compile

or via autotools:

$> ./configure --prefix=/usr/local

If using rebar, you'll get a "local installation" with Yaws script in ./bin and the Yaws configuration file in ./etc/yaws.

If using autotools, the build will be configured by default for installation under /usr/local. For more information about installation directories and other supported options, see the configure help. Useful options are:

--with-defaultcharset=CHARSET specify default charset, i.e UTF-8
--with-extrainclude=DIR       dir to include if e.g. pam is installed in some odd place
--with-erlang=PREFIX          prefix where Erlang is installed (optional)

Note to packagers (rpm, deb ...) All install targets support the DESTDIR variable. Thus, if we do

$> ./configure --prefix=/usr; make

we can subsequently do:

$> make install DESTDIR=/foo/bar

All Yaws files will be installed under DESTDIR, but all code will assume Yaws should be installed under /usr.

Main make targets:

  • all : compile Yaws
  • debug : compile Yaws with debug flags
  • clean : remove files produced by all or debug target
  • install : do a proper install of Yaws
  • doc or docs : build the documentation
  • check or test : launch tests
  • cleantest : remove files produced by check target
  • dialyzer : run dialyzer on Yaws
  • mkinstaller : build an installer for windows
  • cleaninstaller: remove files produced by mkinstaller target
  • apps : compile Yaws applications (chat,mail,wiki,yapp)
  • cleanapps : remove files produced by apps target
  • installapps : install Yaws applications
  • fullinstall : install + installapps
  • fullclean : clean + cleantest + cleanapps + cleaninstaller

Test your build

With autotools, to test the build, you should install it somewhere:

$> ./configure --prefix=$PWD/_inst && make install
$> $PWD/_inst/bin/yaws -i

If you used rebar to compile Yaws, you can alternatively start Yaws with

$> ./bin/yaws -i

Either approach will start a webserver at Terminate through ^C, or ^G followed by q, or

> init:stop()

NOTE: If you've used rebar to build the system, none of the following directions apply. With rebar only "local installations" are supported.

Install and run

NOTE: following commands may require root privileges, depending of the installation prefix.

Just run:

$> make install

Then, to run Yaws, you should use its script:

$> ${bindir}/yaws -i

This starts an interactive system.

With the default yaws.conf file, this will create a webserver at http://${host} and one at https://${host}.

You can adapt Yaws configuration by editing '${sysconfig}/yaws/yaws.conf'.

Daemonize Yaws

Start it using '--daemon' and '--heart' options:

$> ${bindir}/yaws --daemon --heart

This will start a daemon (--daemon) which will be autorestarted when/if it crashes or hangs (--heart). Also, for most unices, we create proper start scripts in ${sysconfdir}/init.d

Example: Here is how I compile/start the yaws system that runs at http://yaws.hyber.org (Ubuntu server system)

$> autoreconf -fi
$> ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc
$> make && make install
$> /etc/init.d/yaws start