Starman - High-performance preforking PSGI web server


  # Run app.psgi with the default settings
  > starman

  # run with Server::Starter
  > start_server --port -- starman --workers 32 myapp.psgi

  # UNIX domain sockets
  > starman --listen /tmp/starman.sock


Starman is a PSGI perl web server that has unique features such as:

High Performance

Uses the fast XS/C HTTP header parser


Spawns workers preforked like most high performance UNIX servers do. Starman also reaps dead children and automatically restarts the worker pool.


Supports HUP for graceful restarts, and TTIN/TTOU to dynamically increase or decrease the number of worker processes.

Superdaemon aware

Supports Server::Starter for hot deploy and graceful restarts.

Multiple interfaces and UNIX Domain Socket support

Able to listen on multiple intefaces including UNIX sockets.

Small memory footprint

Preloading the applications with --preload-app command line option enables copy-on-write friendly memory management. Also, the minimum memory usage Starman requires for the master process is 7MB and children (workers) is less than 3.0MB.

PSGI compatible

Can run any PSGI applications and frameworks

HTTP/1.1 support

Supports chunked requests and responses, keep-alive and pipeline requests.

UNIX only

This server does not support Win32.


Here's a simple benchmark using Hello.psgi.

  -- server: Starman (workers=10)
  Requests per second:    6849.16 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: Twiggy
  Requests per second:    3911.78 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: AnyEvent::HTTPD
  Requests per second:    2738.49 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: HTTP::Server::PSGI
  Requests per second:    2218.16 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: HTTP::Server::PSGI (workers=10)
  Requests per second:    2792.99 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: HTTP::Server::Simple
  Requests per second:    1435.50 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: Corona
  Requests per second:    2332.00 [#/sec] (mean)
  -- server: POE
  Requests per second:    503.59 [#/sec] (mean)

This benchmark was processed with ab -c 10 -t 1 -k on MacBook Pro 13" late 2009 model on Mac OS X 10.6.2 with perl 5.10.0. YMMV.



The name Starman is taken from the song (Star na Otoko) by the Japanese rock band Unicorn (yes, Unicorn!). It's also known as a song by David Bowie, a power-up from Super Mario Brothers and a character from Earthbound, all of which I love.

Why the cute name instead of more descriptive namespace? Are you on drugs?

I'm sick of naming Perl software like HTTP::Server::PSGI::How::Its::Written::With::What::Module and people call it HSPHIWWWM on IRC. It's hard to say on speeches and newbies would ask questions what they stand for every day. That's crazy.

This module actually includes the longer alias and an empty subclass HTTP::Server::PSGI::Net::Server::PreFork for those who like to type more ::'s. It would actually help you find this software by searching for PSGI Server Prefork on CPAN, which i believe is a good thing.

Yes, maybe I'm on drugs. We'll see.


Tatsuhiko Miyagawa <>

Andy Grundman wrote Catalyst::Engine::HTTP::Prefork, which this module is heavily based on.

Kazuho Oku wrote Net::Server::SS::PreFork that makes it easy to add Server::Starter support to this software.


This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Plack Catalyst::Engine::HTTP::Prefork Net::Server::Prefork