1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

G-WAN Web Server Claims Speed Records, Features

Free Software

Published on 19 July 2012 01:01 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
59 Comments

While it hasn't been talked about much recently, still in existence and seeing new releases is G-WAN, a free but binary-only web server. G-WAN makes claims of being much faster than Apache, IIS, Nginx, and other web-serving alternatives.

G-WAN is only around 150KB in size and claims to transparently parallelize legacy procedural code, requires zero-configuration for parallelism, wait-freee without any locks, and scales with 4~5x less CPU/RAM resources while serving 3~4x more requests than lighttpd and Nginx. Against Microsoft IIS, G-WAN claims to be 2~5x faster. For web developers, G-WAN supports scripts from Java, C, C++, Objective-C, D, Assembly, Google Go, JavaScript, and Lua.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but after being around for a few years, the Swiss-based company is still actively developing G-WAN. There are 32-bit and 64-bit Linux binaries available of G-WAN (no source) for free while the Windows binary has been discontinued. The Linux builds were last updated at the end of April.

As far as why G-WAN isn't open-source, the developers claim:
G-WAN is a freeware. It means that it is free for all (commercial users included). But some virulent (anonymous) users claim that this is not enough. They exige G-WAN's source code, and, "at no cost".

Let's see why would anyone need G-WAN's source code? To do what?

End-users They just need to have the job done - at the best cost (cost-reduction is what makes a faster server appealing in the first place). And since G-WAN can be used gratis, there is no way to reduce costs any further;

Software vendors For them, using others' many years of R&D "at no cost" is appealing: they just 'fork' the code, put their name on it, and sell licenses (or Cloud subscriptions) without ever contributing to the project that fuels their business.

Now each position is clearly defined:

G-WAN is free for all - and users can subscribe to support plans (just like for all those slower open-source servers);

G-WAN offers licensing options to those software vendors who want to benefit from G-WAN's so fruitful years of R&D.

The next time someone feels the need to publicly call G-WAN's (1-page) license "weird" or "insane", look at what they sell and who they get their revenues from. Unlike for G-WAN, what they offer is not free for all.
If anyone has any experience with G-WAN, feel free to share within our forums. If there's sufficient interest, I can also arrange some independent benchmarks of this freeware Linux server software. Those wanting to learn more about G-WAN can visit GWAN.ch.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Preview: AMD's FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux
  2. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  3. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
  4. AMD Radeon R9 290 Open-Source Driver Works, But Has A Ways To Go
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17
  2. How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers
  3. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  4. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
Latest Linux News
  1. Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ Improvements
  2. Mozilla Firefox 32 Surfaces With HTML5, Developer Changes
  3. Nouveau X.Org Driver Released With DRI3+Present, Maxwell, GLAMOR
  4. Microsoft & AMD Release C++ AMP Compiler With Linux Support
  5. AMD, Wine & Valve Dominated August For Linux Users
  6. Linux 3.17-rc3 Kernel Released Back On Schedule
  7. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  8. Mesa 10.3 RC2 Arrives Via Its New Release Manager
  9. Ubuntu 14.10's Lack Of X.Org Server 1.16 Gets Blamed On AMD
  10. MSI Motherboard BIOS Updating Remains A Pain For Linux Users
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  2. Best Radeon for a Power Mac G5?
  3. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  6. SSD seems slow
  7. Is laptop with Intel CPU and AMD dGPU worth buying considering especially AMD Enduro?
  8. Radeon HD5670 and Ubuntu 14.04