back to article Google mystery server rooted in Apache

The Google Web Server - a custom server used only by Google itself - was originally built from open-source Apache code, according to a former Google employee. However, over the past several years, the server has been so heavily modified that it now bears little resemblance to the ubiquitous Apache server. It is so tightly tied …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Business Intelligence Sources ...... with the Down and Dirty Naked Shorts on the Long Nitty Gritty

    "Google has not responded to our requests for comment on GWS or GFE. " .... That is hardly Surprising given the Astute NEUKlearer Advantage such Super Stealth Server Systems Supply Sublimely ...... to BIGCHEESES.

    Would you hand over HyperRadioProActive Material and Insider Information to make a Global Operating Device and WMD to just Anybody? I Don't Think So whenever it is Better and more Valuable than a Licence to Print and Distribute Money.

  2. Neeblor


    no surprises there. Did everyone think they wrote it from scratch when they was starting out?

  3. Nick Kew

    I thought this was common knowledge

    ... but maybe that's only among those of us who attend the same techie conferences as prominent open source folks from the Goog.

    Still, having Apache roots is perfectly compatible with being a substantially different product with its own separate identity. As demonstrated by both lighttpd and nginx. Just as Apache itself had roots in NCSA.

    Mine's the one with turtles all the way down.

  4. Ben Morgan

    Open Source

    But if they built it on top of Apache then don't they have to release their modified source code?

    1. Fuzzysteve


      Even if it was GPL, they wouldn't need to.

      They're not giving the binaries to anyone, which means they wouldn't need to give those people the source.

      But of course, it's the apache license, which doesn't have that stipulation.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apache license

    The Apache license does not require users/developers to disclose either their activities or their source code.

    So the forkers at Google are well within the license terms by staying silent. Maybe not within the spirit -- but they've only ever claimed not be be evil; never said they'd be good online participants.

  6. OhFFS


    > Google has not responded to our requests for comment on GWS or GFE.

    I'm not surprised.

    The editorial bias against Google on the site is a standing joke in the industry.


    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      I don't recall El Reg being all that impressed by...

      ... "Cuil". Or any other so-called "search" company. Or Apple. Or Microsoft. Or...

      Americans will give a standing ovation to pretty much anyone at the drop of a hat. (Witness any Apple keynote speech. "Oooh! Jobs' slide has a fancy transition!" [APPLAUSE!])

      People who live in the Old World, on the other hand, aren't quite so easily impressed. Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt. Sold it on eBay.

      Britons are *born* cynical. (And quite spectacularly short-termist, but that's another rant.)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Kind of a broad brush there, Sean.

        Not all Americans. Some of us can out-cynic most Brits. Many of us sell the T-Shirts in the first place, which makes a trifle more money than selling your used laundry on ebay. As for Jobs ... Well, let's just say that not all of us are affected by his reality distortion field.

        As a side-note, you might want to eyeball where Mr. Metz' office is located.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Actually, "OhFFS" (if that is really your name) ...

      "The editorial bias against Google on the site is a standing joke in the industry."

      The REAL standing joke in the industry (at least amongst those of us who actually have a clue as to the reality of the situation) is that the sheeple are swallowing it hook, line, and sinker ... and sometimes boat, finger, pier, dock and parkinglot.

      Some of us understand the issues, and have nothing to do with !GooMyFaceYouMsTwit and the like. They are a cumulative accident waiting to happen. My advice is to shun them, early and often.

  7. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik


    Could it be that 11% of sites running GWS is due to more hosts closing down and moving to this so called google network thingy instead of any serious growth.

    Future trends:

    25% of the world is running on GN

    25% of the world is running os Amazon cloud

    25% of the world is half running on the Microsoft cloud

    25% of the world still likes their human rights, privacy, good will towards everyone etc...

    1. EdSF

      Its not exactly "sites"

      The number is a bit off I think. "Sites" likely means "domains", not really hosts - as the Apache and IIS numbers are if I'm not mistaken.

      If you have a Blogger account, you can use custom domains ( So your domain is "running" on a Google web server (run by Blogger). Since even dogs these days have a blog....likely with their own custom domain name, on Blogger....

      Google sites, Google Apps...and so on.....

      So its really not "installed" web's just domains hosted on the Google infrastructure......

  8. Daniel 1

    So what is QZHTTP based on?

    Given that the whoile of the Qzone runs on it (easily beating Google) and that it is rumoured (by those who like a good rumour), to actively filter against politically sensitive content, what is QZHTTP based on? Another hacked Apache?

  9. Sean Hunter
    Thumb Down

    Err, so?

    It's only a webserver. What's the big deal? I can imagine the bafflement in the suuper seekrit GoogleBunker on receiving your request for an interview.

    What do you think they're going to tell you? That it connects on port 81 because that's one better.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Blasts Tomcat out of the water"

    Sounds like a rural sport in Alabama.

    Call animal welfare.

    Won't *someone* think of the kitties

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