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Buildout recipe for generating Lighttpd configuration files

Project description

This recipe for buildout generates Lighttpd configuration files. It’s especially well suited for using with Django (djangorecipe) in FastCGI mode.

Config file is generated from Jinja2 template. Recipe provides some custom Jinja tests, specifically tailored for Lighttpd configuration files.

Very little logic is hard coded in the python code, most of the work happens in the template, so you can extend default template or even use your own.

Basic usage

Basic buildout.cfg:

parts = django lighty-conf

recipe = djangorecipe
version = 1.1
fcgi = true
settings = settings
extra-paths = ${buildout:directory}/${django:project}
unzip = true
download-cache = dlcache

recipe = lighttpdrecipe
host =
redirect_from =
media =
    /favicon.ico => ${buildout:directory}/media/favicon.ico

This recipe will generate a following config file:

$HTTP["host"] == "" {
    server.document-root = "/var/sites/lighttpdrecipetest"
    server.follow-symlink = "enable"
    dir-listing.activate = "enable"

    fastcgi.server = (
        "/fcgi" => (
                "bin-path" => "/var/sites/lighttpdrecipetest/bin/django.fcgi",
                "socket" => "/tmp/",
                "check-local" => "disable",
                "max-procs" => 4,
                "min-procs" => 4,

    alias.url = (
        "/favicon.ico" => "/var/sites/lighttpdrecipetest/media/favicon.ico",
        "/admin_media" => "/var/sites/lighttpdrecipetest/parts/django/django/contrib/admin/media/",
        "/media" => "/var/sites/lighttpdrecipetest/media/",

    url.rewrite-once = (
        "^(/favicon.ico.*)$" => "/$1",
        "^(/admin_media.*)$" => "/$1",
        "^(/media/.*)$" => "/$1",
        "^(/.*)$" => "/fcgi$1",

    $HTTP["url"] =~ "^/media/" {
        expire.url = ( "" => "access 1 seconds" )

$HTTP["host"] == "" {
    url.redirect = ( "^(/.*)" => "$1" )

Now you just need to symlink this config to /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/ (or what your distribution uses) and you actually have a pretty high chance that it will work on the very first attempt.

So just by writing several lines for lighttpdrecipe we configured Lighttpd to use 4 fastcgi worker processes, set up rewrites and aliases for media files, Django admin media files and favicon.ico. Also we set up a redirect from to

That’s exactly what I need most of the time, so perhaps that’s what you need as well.

Recipe options

host (required)

List of host names or regular expressions of the server we are setting up, each on the separate line. At least one is required.

Recipe will try to guess if you provide simple host name or a regular expression and depending on that will use corresponding match operator.

template (optional, default value is “djangorecipe_fcgi.jinja”)
Template to use for config generation. Lighttpdrecipe sets up Jinja with filesystem template loader. It searches for templates in the lighttpdrecipe installation directory and in ${buildout:directory}, so you can provide your own template and extend the default template
redirect_from (optional)
List of hostnames (or regular expressions) to redirect from to our main host. Use it if you want to redirect all your users to www or non-www version of your site.
redirect_to (optional, default value is the first line of the “hosts” option)
Primary domain where all users will be redirected to if they try to visit a site listed in the redirect_from. If “redirect_from” is specified and “redirect_to” is not specified and the first “hosts” line looks like a regexp, then an exception will be thrown.
priority (optional, default value is 11)
Generated config file will be named [priority]-[config_name].conf
config_name (optional, default value is [redirect_to])
That’s the second part of the generated config name. In the case of simple hostname without explict redirect_to specified, config will be named like
processes (optional, default value is 4)
Number of fastcgi worker processes
media_url (optional, default value is “/media”)
Url to serve media files.
media_root (optional, default value is ${buildout:directory} + “/media”)
Media files location
dir_listing (optional, default value is “enable”)
Enable directory listing?
socket (optional, default value is [redirect_to] or ${django:project})
Config will use /tmp/{{ socket }}/socket for communications with lighttpd
bin_path (optional, default value is ${buildout:bin-directory}/django.fcgi)
Script to start fast cgi processes. Default value works with Django recipe fcgi file
document_root (optional, default value is ${buildout:directory})
Site document root
far_future_expiry (optional, default value is “no”)
Set expiry of media files to the far future
rewrite_admin_media (optional, default value is “yes”)
Configure rewrite rule and alias for serving Django admin media files
admin_media_url (optional, default value is “/admin_media”)
URL to serve Django admin media files. Default value matched Django default
admin_media_path (optional, default value is ${django:location}/django/contrib/admin/media/”)
Location of Django admin media files. Matches the location if Django admin media files if djangorecipe is used
media (optional, default value is “”)
Pairs of /media_url => /path/to/my/media/on/the/server each on the separate line Each line will create a rewrite rule and alias.url in the config
expiry_period (optional, default value depends on “far_future_expiry” option)
If “far_future_expiry” is set then expiry_period is set to “12 months”, if not set - “1 seconds”. If you provide explict “expiry_period” then your value is used.
extra (optional)
Value of “extra” option (if given) in inserted verbatim near the end of $HTTP[“host”] match section

Customizing template

Lighttpdrecipe uses Jinja2 template for config generation. Template context includes all options specified for the recipe and additionally “options” and “buildout” variables. So you can access any variable from the buildout.cfg like this {{ }} or {{ buildout.buildout[‘bin-directory’] }}.

Jinja environment is configured to use filesystem loader that looks for templates in the lighttpdrecipe installation directory and in the {{ buildout:directory }}, e.g. the main buildout directory. This allows you to use your own template, overriding default values for variables or even whole template blocks.

Custom tests

Two additional tests are provided for the Jinja environment:


this test for “affirmative” string, e.g. one of the following (case insensitive): ‘yes’, ‘y’, ‘true’, ‘enable’, ‘enabled’.

Example usage:

{% if dir_listing is true %}
    Dir_listing is enabled
{% endif %}

Tests if the argument is a “simple host name”, e.g. single line string which consists of alphanumeric characters, hyphens and dots.

For example:


will pass the test, but:




will not.

Example usage:

{% if host is simple_host %}
    Output simple host condition
{% endif %}

Specifying different default option values

You can easily specify different default option values by extending default template.

Here’s the example:

{%- extends "djangorecipe_fcgi.jinja" -%}

{%- set processes = processes or '2' -%}

This template will work just as the standard one but default value for “processes” will be ‘2’.

Use the source

You can do many other things by extending the template. To get the idea what’s going on in the template look at the template source.


If you find a bug please use the github tracker.

Custom templates

I don’t expect my template to work for everyone, so if you find general infrastructure of lighttpdrecipe and create another template which you can think can be useful for someone else, please contact me at redvasily at and I’ll include your template in the lighttpdrecipe

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