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How-to install and configure the Lighttpd Web server on your Armadeus board.



  • Launch Buildroot's configuration:
 $ make menuconfig
  • Select:
Target packages  --->
    [*] Networking applications  --->
            [*] lighttpd
            [ ]   openssl support
            [ ]   zlib support
            [ ]   bzip2 support
            [ ]   pcre support
            [ ]   webdav support
  • Save the configuration
  • Then build the binaries and the default filesystem:
 $ make

Server configuration


To apply a permanent configuration, be sure not to change anything on the board filesystem: that would be erased the next time you reflash the rootfs.

Instead, do all changes on the filesystem "image" located on your Host PC in buildroot/output/target/.

The Lighttpd configuration file is located in /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf on the board; this means that to permanently change the configuration, you need to edit the file buildroot/output/target//etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf on the Host.

There is an envt variable to easily access the target directory:

 $ make shell_env && source

Then the directory can be accessed with $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR.

  • So, create a new lighttpd configuration file:
$ mv $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf.old
$ vi $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
  • and put it the following lines:
var.log_root    = "/var/log"
var.server_root = "/var/www"
var.state_dir   = "/var/run"
var.home_dir    = "/var/lib/lighttpd"
var.conf_dir    = "/etc/lighttpd"

server.document-root = "/var/www/"
server.errorlog = log_root + "/lighttpd-error.log"
server.port = 80  

mimetype.assign = (
  ".html" => "text/html",
  ".txt" => "text/plain",
  ".jpg" => "image/jpeg",
  ".png" => "image/png"

Create a Dummy page

  • By default, server.document-root is set to /var/www, so let's add a dummy file here to test our configuration:
 $ mkdir -p $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www
 $ vim $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/index.html
  • And fill the file with:
        <title> Welcome on an Armadeus Board </title>
        <h1> Welcome on your APF! :-) </h1>

Test the result

  • Create the final rootfs:
$ make
  • Then update the rootfs on your board. Reboot it, and lighttpd should start automagically:
 Starting lighttpd: OK
  • To access your web page, use a browser:
http://<your board's IP Address>/index.html
  • You should see the page !
  • If not, check the file /var/log/lighttpd-error.log on your board

Working with CGI

  • Create an new cgi.conf configuration file (on your Host) with the following lines:
$ vi $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/etc/lighttpd/conf.d/cgi.conf
server.modules += ( "mod_cgi" )

cgi.assign                 = ( ".pl"  => "/usr/bin/perl",
                               ".cgi" => "/bin/sh",
                               ".sh"  => "/bin/sh",
                               ".py"  => "/usr/bin/python" )

index-file.names           += ( "",   "",
                               "",   "",
                               "index.php",  "default.php" )
  • Then add this configuration sourcing in lighttpd.conf:
$ vi $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

## CGI
include "conf.d/cgi.conf"

mimetype.assign = (
  • Now, let's write a dummy CGI script that will get IP address of your board:
 $ vim $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/
echo -e "Content-type: text/html\r\n\r\n";
echo -e `/sbin/ifconfig eth0 | grep 'inet addr'`;
  • The script have to be executable:
$ chmod a+x $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/
  • Then change your index.html page to add a link to the CGI:
$ vi $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/index.html
        <title> Welcome on an Armadeus Board </title>

        <h1> Welcome on your APF! :-) </h1>
        <a> Get the board IP config </a><br><br>
  • Create the new rootfs:
 $ make

You can now access to the new web page and click on the CGI link !

Lighttpd tuto ip.png

Sending data to the board with CGI

  • By using forms and some HTML5 widget, we can easily achieve some basic functionalities. Here we will change LCD backlight from the Web interface.
  • Edit index.html:
$ vim $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/index.html
  • and add it the following form:
        <title> Welcome on an Armadeus Board </title>

        <h1> Welcome on your APF ! :-)</h1>
        <a> Get the board IP config </a><br><br>

        <form action="" method="get">
            Choose backlight value: <br>
            <input id="slider1" type="range" name="pwm" min="0" max="7" step="1" onchange="textbox1.value = slider1.value" /><br>
            <input id="textbox1" type="text" /><br>
            <input type="submit" value="Change it!">
  • This will create a slider to choose a value (here in [0-7], for APF6. On other APF you can change values interval to better match backlight driver capabilities):
  • After having choosed backlight intensity and clicked "Change it!" button, CGI script will be called with some environement variable set. The variable useful to get form values is QUERY_STRING. So create a new script called and put it the following lines:
$ vim $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/

echo "Content-type: text/html"
echo ""

echo '<html>'
echo '<head>'
echo '<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">'
echo '<title>Environment Variables</title>'
echo '</head>'
echo '<body>'
echo 'Environment Variables:'
echo '<pre>'
echo '</pre>'

pwm_value=`echo "$QUERY_STRING" | cut -d '&' -f 1 | cut -d '=' -f 2`
echo "VALUE=$pwm_value ($QUERY_STRING)"

echo $pwm_value > /sys/class/backlight/backlight_lcd/brightness

echo '</body>'
echo '</html>'

exit 0
  • /sys/class/backlight/backlight_lcd/brightness have to be adapted depending on your board's backlight driver name.
  • This script has of course to be set as executable:
$ chmod a+x $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_DIR/var/www/
  • This CGI will display the environment content of the HTML form sent from the Web browser and execute the Backlight update depending on the form's value.
  • Re-generate your rootfs:
$ make
  • and reflash it on your board. Then reload page on your browser.
  • Tada !!!

Lighttpd tuto form.png