The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Tuesday February 23, 2010

The Apache Software Foundation Announces the 15th Anniversary of the Apache HTTP Web Server

ASF Flagship Project is World's Most Popular Web Server, Powering More than 112 Million Websites 

FOREST HILL, MD, 23 February, 2010 -- The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) -- developers, stewards, and incubators of 138 Open Source projects -- today announced the 15th anniversary of the Apache HTTP Web Server.

The ASF's first project became the world's most popular Web server software within the first six months of its inception. The Apache HTTP Server today powers nearly 112 million Websites world-wide.

A triumph for the all-volunteer Foundation, the Apache HTTP Server reliably delivers petabytes of data across the world’s most demanding uses, including real-time news sources, Fortune 100 enterprise portals, cloud computing clusters, financial services platforms, mission-critical military intelligence applications, aerospace communications networks, and more. The server software can be downloaded, modified and installed by anyone free of charge.


The Apache Server started as a fork (an independent development stream)
of the NCSA httpd, a Web server created by Rob McCool at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.  Further development to the server ceased after McCool's departure from NCSA in 1994, so an online community of individuals was formed to support and enhance its software via email collaboration. The founding members of that community (the Apache Group) included Brian Behlendorf, Roy Fielding, Rob Hartill, David Robinson, Cliff Skolnick, Randy Terbush, Robert Thau, and Andrew Wilson.

Within less than a year of the Apache Group's formation, the Apache server surpassed NCSA httpd as the #1 server on the Internet.

In March 1999, members of the Apache Group formed The Apache Software Foundation to provide organizational, legal, and financial support for the Apache HTTP Server. An additional goal for the Foundation was to serve as a neutral, trusted platform for the development of community-driven software.

Growth, the "Apache Way"

Beyond the Apache HTTP Server, dozens of ASF projects – from build tools to Web services to cloud computing and more – lead the way in Open Source technology. 

At the ASF, community plays a vital role in the collaborative development of consensus-driven, enterprise-grade solutions. The number of projects led by the Apache community has grown from the singular Apache HTTP Server at the ASF's inception in 1999 to nearly 140 projects today.

The ASF's commitment to fostering a collaborative approach to development has long served as a model for producing consistently high quality software and helping advance the future of open development. Through its leadership, robust community, and meritocratic process known as the "Apache Way", the ASF continues to gain recognition as one of the most successful influencers in Open Source.

Through the Apache Way, the ASF is able to spearhead new projects that meet the demands of the marketplace and help users achieve their business goals. With the Apache Incubator mentoring more projects than ever before, the ASF continues to meet the growing demand for quality Open Source products.

"Community Over Code": among the Foundation's core tenets is open collaboration through respectful, honest, technically-focused interaction. The ASF's success is testament to its outstanding community efforts that serve as best practices widely embraced by organizations and individuals alike.

"If it didn't happen on-list, it didn't happen": building upon the transparency-oriented culture of the Apache Group, whose collaboration took place on email lists, millions of messages are archived on Apache publicly-accessible mailing lists, documenting the ASF's achievements over the past decade.

"Meritocracy in Action": the ASF's tagline reflects an average of 10,000 code contributions (commits) made each month. The ASF is responsible for millions of lines of code by more than 2,000 ASF Committers and countless contributors across the Open Source landscape. Nearly 500 community-driven modules have been developed to extend functionality of the Apache HTTP Server alone.


February 23, 1994: Individual patch authors around the world are invited to join the "new-httpd" mailing list to discuss enhancements and future releases of NCSA httpd. The Apache name was chosen for this new effort within the first few days of discussion, along with basic rules for email-based collaboration and a mission to replace the existing server with a standards-based, open source, and extensible software system.

March 15, 1994: Apache-style voting created (+1, 0, -1; with '-1' meaning 'no', '0' meaning 'neutral', and '+1' meaning 'yes.')

March 18, 1994: First Apache Group release (Apache 0.2)

Apache server v.1.0 was released in December 1995. Four years later, Apache HTTP Server v.1.3.0 was released, and rapidly becoming the most popular Web server on the planet.

Apache HTTP Server v.2.0 alpha was released in March 2000, with the first general availability release two years later. V.2.0 remained best-of-breed sever until the release of v.2.2.0 in December 2005, and is widely deployed across the Internet. 

In February 2009, the Apache HTTP Server became the first Web server software in history to surpass the 100 million Website milestone.

The most current, best-of-breed, stable version of the Apache HTTP Server is v.2.2.14, released September 2009. Developers seeking to test new features and preview what will become stable Version 2.4 are able to do so today with the development of v.2.3.5.

Earlier this month, after ten years and more than forty revisions, the Apache HTTP Server v.1.3.x officially reached end of life status with the release of v.1.3.42. Future patches to v.1.3.x will be for critical security updates only.

The Apache HTTP Server remains the world's most beloved Web server, forming the backbone of nearly 70% of all sites on the Internet.


The Apache HTTP Server is available for a variety of operating systems, including Unix, Linux, GNU, FreeBSD, Netware, Solaris, Windows, Mac OS X, OS/2, TPF, and eCS. In addition, the Apache HTTP Server is redistributed through many proprietary software packages such as WebSphere, Oracle RDBMS, Kylix, NetWare, and Delphi, as well as numerous Linux distributions.

All ASF projects, including the Apache HTTP Server, are available free of charge under the Apache Software License v.2.0. To download, or for more information, visit

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)

Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees more than seventy leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server — the world's most popular Web server software. Through The ASF's meritocratic process known as "The Apache Way," more than 300 individual Members and 2,000 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation's official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Progress Software, SpringSource, and Yahoo! For more information, visit

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Posted by Ethan Cane on February 23, 2010 at 02:06 PM GMT #

[Trackback] The Apache Server started as a fork (an independent development stream) of the NCSA httpd, a Web server created by Rob McCool at the National Center for supercomputing Applications. Further development to the server ceased after McCool's departure from...

Posted by on February 23, 2010 at 03:10 PM GMT #

Very nice overview and history of the Apache http server and the ASF -- thanks Sally!

Posted by Scott Lamons on February 23, 2010 at 03:19 PM GMT #

According to the dev@httpd archives this should all be s/1994/1995/g.

Posted by JoeSchaefer on February 23, 2010 at 03:20 PM GMT #

Congratulations :)

Posted by Arun Vishnu on February 23, 2010 at 03:44 PM GMT #

Congratulations to all who have contributed to Apache over the last 15 years. Bravo and thank you!

Posted by Stefan Smagula on February 23, 2010 at 03:59 PM GMT #

Felicidades al quinceañero =D

Posted by Alex Mayorga Adame on February 23, 2010 at 04:53 PM GMT #

[Trackback] A fundación Apache está de festa, hoxe 23 de febreiro de 2010 celébranse os 15 anos do seu produto insignia: o servidor Http Apache, o máis usado no mundo con máis da metade do mercado dando soporte a máis de 111 millóns de dominios.

Posted by on February 23, 2010 at 04:53 PM GMT #

"A patchy" (the origin of the Apache name, for those that don't know) HTTP Server has come a long ways!

Posted by a web developer on February 23, 2010 at 06:08 PM GMT #

[Trackback] "[...]el servidor web Open Source Apache es uno de los desarrollos más extendidos en Internet, y de hecho se utiliza en cerca de 112 millones de sitios web. Su popularidad ha permitido que disponga de una cuota de mercado excepcional que le...

Posted by on February 23, 2010 at 08:15 PM GMT #

Outstanding! Here is to another 15!

Posted by eldipablo on February 23, 2010 at 09:24 PM GMT #

Apache turned 16 and which is its 16th anniversary... so why do you say 15??? See discussion here:

Posted by Scott Dowdle on February 23, 2010 at 09:28 PM GMT #

Happy B-day! :-)

Posted by iced on February 23, 2010 at 09:37 PM GMT #

Jeah its also my birthday today ;-)

Posted by RaNaN on February 23, 2010 at 10:15 PM GMT #

My hats off to EVERYONE involved at ASF over the past 15 odd years. I said somewhere else before that the Nobel Prize should, one day, be bequeath to the open source movement and its major players. Where would the world be without Apache httpd, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PHP, Python, MySQL, Postgre, OpenERP, GNOME, KDE, gcc, Ruby, Mozilla (Firefox, Thunderbird), Zope, Plone, WordPress, Drupal, Care2X, Asterisk, dotProject, phpMyAdmin, Exim, Postfix, Sendmail, SugarCRM, ZenCart, osCommerce, Wikipedia, and a ton of other equally important open source projects?? For that, these developers deserve great recognition. That's why I get a little surprised at how a Nobel Prize is given out these days (to a president that hasn't accomplished anything yet?? why?). Cheers and keep up the good work. I appreciate ya a great deal. - Max

Posted by Maxwell on February 23, 2010 at 10:38 PM GMT #


Posted by malone on February 24, 2010 at 01:57 AM GMT #

Congratulations! But Feb 1994 was 16 years ago, making this the 16th anniversary, not 15th. What am I missing?

Posted by Anssi Hannula on February 24, 2010 at 03:04 AM GMT #


Posted by Morenhai on February 24, 2010 at 04:41 AM GMT #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Announces the 15th Anniversary of the Apache HTTP Web Server. ASF Flagship Project is World's Most Popular Web Server, Powering More than 112 Million Websites

Posted by on February 24, 2010 at 07:31 AM GMT #

Very cool, Winwap Technologies provides browsers (among other things) and was founded on the EXACT same day as Apache foundation! How about that :) Happy 15th to you Apache! - Aaron

Posted by Aaron on February 24, 2010 at 07:50 AM GMT #

Congratulations! ;-]

Posted by Stefan More on February 24, 2010 at 08:18 AM GMT #

Wish Apache a brighter tomorrow

Posted by Felix Miao on February 24, 2010 at 11:51 AM GMT #

Apache has done marvelous work throughout these years. All the best for the future!

Posted by Akila on February 24, 2010 at 02:01 PM GMT #

Congrats!!! You have been behind on all major Internet changes history. Viva Apache! --Rodrigo

Posted by Rodrigo Bustos L. on February 24, 2010 at 02:44 PM GMT #

Um, that's 16 years, not 15. You're one year late. Nice work though. Thanks guys.

Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2010 at 06:05 PM GMT #

Thank you

Posted by kimnomin on March 09, 2010 at 07:33 AM GMT #

Congratulations! This is great success story of open source software with great quality and dedication to the open source community, It proves that open source can survive and can get better and better over years. Thanks Aravind Reddy Kaithy

Posted by Kaithy Aravind Reddy on March 14, 2010 at 04:34 AM GMT #

i love you

Posted by blh on March 24, 2010 at 03:44 AM GMT #

Very nice overview and history of the Apache http server and the ASF -- thanks Sally

Posted by araç sorgula on April 05, 2010 at 05:44 PM GMT #

Congratulations, So Apache is now in teenage. I believe it will continue the pace of a teenager and stay unbeaten.

Posted by Narendra Sai Kumar on April 06, 2010 at 09:13 AM GMT #

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