Apache Says Goodbye to HTTP Server 1.x

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Apache Says Goodbye to HTTP Server 1.x

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In 14 years of its 15 year history, the Apache HTTP Server has been the most popular server on the internet.  Since its beginning in 1995, it has served billions of pages, and in 2009 it became the first web server software to reach 100 million web sites.  It was in use before the Apache Software Foundation began and it was the first Top-Level Project around which the Foundation rallied and grew.  The Apache web server is also known for playing a key role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web.  Despite challenges from other web servers like Microsoft's IIS, Apache HTTP Server has remained the top server on the web, with over 54% of all web pages using it.  Recently, the project team decided that 1.3.42 would be the last update of the Apache HTTP Server's first version.

The HTTP Server project will now stop updating the 1.3.x line and only critical security fixes will be provided if necessary.  After 12 years of service, the 1.3 line is no longer a legitimate contender in web technology.  With the release of version 2.4 alpha coming out later this year, there were too many parallel releases to maintain so Apache has decided to end the service life for the 1.3.x branch.  The HTTP Server committers are also planning on ending the service life of version 2.0.x later this year.

The Apache 2.x core was first released (GA) in 2002 with several major enhancements over Apache 1.x.  Apache 2 introduced UNIX threading, better support for non-Unix platforms such as Windows, a new Apache API, and IPv6 support.  The current 2.2 version brought even more new features, such as the ability to serve files larger than 2GB.  2.2 also brought vast improvements to the subsystems for actions like caching and proxying, and to core modules for authorization and authentication.  Apache recommends that users of the HTTP Server upgrade to this version.  In the next stable version of the Apache HTTP Server, version 2.3.5, there will be updates to the authentication modules along with state of the art cache and proxy modules.  Version 2.3.5 is currently in alpha.

Here are the last two major changes in the 1.x HTTP Server line:

  • mod_proxy: Prevent chunk-size integer overflow on platforms where sizeof(int) < sizeof(long)
  • Protect logresolve from mismanaged DNS records that return blank/null hostnames.

Some websites will continue using Apache HTTP Server 1.3.x after the service life has ended, but this recent announcement closes a major chapter in the history of the Internet with the end of service for the 1.x line.

Our thanks go to everyone who has helped make Apache HTTP Server 1.3 the most successful, and most used, webserver software on the planet!
-From the recent HTTP Server 1.3.42 Press Release

The Apache HTTP Server Project is an effort to develop and maintain an open-source HTTP server for modern operating systems including UNIX and Windows NT.  The goal of this project is to provide a secure, efficient and extensible server that provides HTTP services in sync with the current HTTP standards.
-Apache HTTP Server Project Mission Statement

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