Final Project: Building a Multithreaded Web Server

It’s been a long journey, but here we are! The end of the book. Parting is such sweet sorrow. But before we go, let’s build one more project together, to show off some of the concepts we covered in these final chapters, as well as recap some lessons from earlier.

For our final project we’re going to make a web server that only says “hello”; which will look like Figure 20-1 in a web browser:

hello from rust

Figure 20-1: Our final shared project together

Here’s the plan of how we’ll build the web server:

  1. Learn a little bit about TCP and HTTP
  2. Listen for TCP connections on a socket
  3. Parse a small number of HTTP requests
  4. Create a proper HTTP response
  5. Improve the throughput of our server with a thread pool

Before we get started, however, there’s one thing we should mention: the method we use here will not be the best way to build a web server with Rust. There are a number of production-ready crates available on that provide much more complete web server and thread pool implementations than we are going to build.

However, for this chapter, our intention is to help you learn, not to take the easy route. Because Rust is a systems programming language, we’re able to choose what level of abstraction we want to work with, and can go to a lower level than is possible or practical in other languages. We’ll therefore write the basic HTTP server and thread pool ourselves so you can learn the general ideas and techniques behind the crates you might use in the future.