Every time I turn on my laptop, I see this error message about Lighttpd appearing several times while booting process (also on systemctl --failed):

Failed to start Lighttpd Daemon.
See 'systemctl status lighttpd.service' for details.

After logging in, I typed systemctl status lighttpd.service and got this output:

● lighttpd.service - Lighttpd Daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lighttpd.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Thu 2018-09-06 20:54:16 +05; 22min ago
  Process: 1170 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/lighttpd -tt -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf (code=exited, status=127)

Sen 06 20:54:16 ibrokhim-i systemd[1]: lighttpd.service: Service hold-off time over, scheduling restart.
Sen 06 20:54:16 ibrokhim-i systemd[1]: lighttpd.service: Scheduled restart job, restart counter is at 5.
Sen 06 20:54:16 ibrokhim-i systemd[1]: Stopped Lighttpd Daemon.
Sen 06 20:54:16 ibrokhim-i systemd[1]: lighttpd.service: Start request repeated too quickly.
Sen 06 20:54:16 ibrokhim-i systemd[1]: lighttpd.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Sen 06 20:54:16 ibrokhim-i systemd[1]: Failed to start Lighttpd Daemon.

Also, this is the output from cat /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf:

server.modules = (

server.document-root        = "/var/www/html"
server.upload-dirs          = ( "/var/cache/lighttpd/uploads" )
server.errorlog             = "/var/log/lighttpd/error.log"
server.pid-file             = "/var/run/lighttpd.pid"
server.username             = "www-data"
server.groupname            = "www-data"
server.port                 = 80

index-file.names            = ( "index.php", "index.html", "index.lighttpd.html" )
url.access-deny             = ( "~", ".inc" )
static-file.exclude-extensions = ( ".php", ".pl", ".fcgi" )

compress.cache-dir          = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/"
compress.filetype           = ( "application/javascript", "text/css", "text/html", "text/plain" )

# default listening port for IPv6 falls back to the IPv4 port
## Use ipv6 if available
#include_shell "/usr/share/lighttpd/use-ipv6.pl " + server.port
include_shell "/usr/share/lighttpd/create-mime.assign.pl"
include_shell "/usr/share/lighttpd/include-conf-enabled.pl"

How can I fix this problem?

  • Edit your question and show me more /var/log/lighttpd/error.log. Report back to @heynnema. Do you use this webserver? Is apache2 installed also? – heynnema Sep 6 '18 at 18:25
  • @heynnema I thought bionic used gdm3? – George Udosen Sep 6 '18 at 18:35
  • @GeorgeUdosen bionic does use gdm3... or lightdm. This OP is asking about lighttpd, which is a web server. – heynnema Sep 6 '18 at 19:24
  • What webserver is this @heynnema? – George Udosen Sep 6 '18 at 19:53
  • @GeorgeUdosen look in Synaptic. – heynnema Sep 6 '18 at 19:56

Turns out this is a bug that's been around for years, if this issue is anything to go by. Several users in the comments of that bug claim that installing the gamin package solves this issue.

I haven't done any extensive testing, but it seems to be a solution. Running sudo apt install --reinstall lighttpd normally shows that it fails to start lighttpd. However, after installing gamin, the output looks like it normally would for any successful package installation. systemctl status also shows lighttpd as active and running now.

Note that the package libfam0 gets removed when installing gamin. I don't know what it's for, or what packages may depend on it, so keep that in mind, unless someone else can comment as to its usefulness and necessity.

  • This worked for me. Thanks – ldias May 15 '20 at 17:29
  • Worked on Lubuntu 20.04 (Fecal Fossa). – zrajm Sep 11 '20 at 8:20

I solved with this:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/log/lighttpd/
  • 1
    Worked for me. Might also be helpful to chmod 755 /var/log/lighttpd in conjunction with the above command – Tran Situ Nov 19 '19 at 7:09

So I had to do a purge to rid the system of the extra files:

sudo apt-get purge lighttpd

Then reinstall the software

sudo apt-get install lighttpd

This reset all of the .conf files, and other files

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