Serving via inetd

A Fossil server can be launched on-demand by inetd by using the fossil http command. To do so, add a line like the following to its configuration file, typically /etc/inetd.conf:

80 stream tcp nowait.1000 root /usr/bin/fossil /usr/bin/fossil http /home/fossil/repo.fossil

In this example, you are telling inetd that when an incoming connection appears on TCP port 80 that it should launch the program /usr/bin/fossil with the arguments shown. Obviously you will need to modify the pathnames for your particular setup. The final argument is either the name of the fossil repository to be served or a directory containing multiple repositories.

If you use a non-standard TCP port on systems where the port specification must be a symbolic name and cannot be numeric, add the desired name and port to /etc/services. For example, if you want your Fossil server running on TCP port 12345 instead of 80, you will need to add:

fossil          12345/tcp  # fossil server

and use the symbolic name “fossil” instead of the numeric TCP port number (“12345” in the above example) in inetd.conf.

Notice that we configured inetd to launch Fossil as root. See the top-level section on “The Fossil Chroot Jail” for the consequences of this and alternatives to it.

You can instead configure inetd to bind to a higher-numbered TCP port, allowing Fossil to be run as a normal user. In that case, Fossil will not put itself into a chroot jail, because it assumes you have set up file permissions and such on the server appropriate for that user.

The inetd daemon must be enabled for this to work, and it must be restarted whenever its configuration file changes.

This is a more complicated method than the standalone HTTP server method, but it has the advantage of only using system resources when an actual connection is attempted. If no one ever connects to that port, a Fossil server will not (automatically) run. It has the disadvantage of requiring "root" access, which may not be available to you, either due to local IT policy or because of restrictions at your shared Internet hosting service.

For further details, see the relevant section in your system's documentation. The FreeBSD Handbook covers inetd in this chapter.

Return to the top-level Fossil server article.