Merecat started out as a pun at Mongoose, but is now useful for actual web serving purposes. It is however not a real Meerkat, merely yet another copycat, forked from the great thttpd created by Jef Poskanzer.

Merecat expands on the features originally offered by thttpd, but still has a limited feature set:

  • Virtual hosts
  • Basic .htpassd and .htaccess support
  • URL-traffic-based throttling
  • CGI/1.1
  • HTTP/1.1 Keep-alive
  • Built-in gzip deflate using zlib
  • HTTPS support using OpenSSL/LibreSSL, works with Let’s Encrypt!
  • Dual server support, both HTTP/HTTPS from one process
  • HTTP redirect, to gently redirect a HTTP server to HTTPS
  • Native PHP support, using php-cgi if enabled in merecat.conf

The first landing page after installation can be seen here:


The resulting footprint (~140 kiB) makes it quick and suitable for small and embedded systems!

Merecat is available as free/open source software under the simplified 2-clause BSD license. For more information, see the manual page merecat(8), or the FAQ.

Issue tracker and GIT repository available at GitHub:

Origin & References

Merecat is a stiched up fork of sthttpd with lots of lost patches found lying around the web. The sthttpd project in turn is a fork from the original thttpd – the tiny/turbo/throttling HTTP server.