lighttpd vs Passenger: What are the differences?
Developers describe lighttpd as "A secure, fast, compliant, and very flexible web-server that has been optimized for high-performance environments". lighttpd has a very low memory footprint compared to other webservers and takes care of cpu-load. Its advanced feature-set (FastCGI, CGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and many more) make lighttpd the perfect webserver-software for every server that suffers load problems. On the other hand, Passenger is detailed as "A fast and robust web server and application server for Ruby, Python and Node.js". Phusion Passenger is a web server and application server, designed to be fast, robust and lightweight. It takes a lot of complexity out of deploying web apps, adds powerful enterprise-grade features that are useful in production, and makes administration much easier and less complex.
lighttpd and Passenger can be categorized as "Web Servers" tools.
"Lightweight" is the primary reason why developers consider lighttpd over the competitors, whereas "Nginx integration" was stated as the key factor in picking Passenger.
Passenger is an open source tool with 4.41K GitHub stars and 505 GitHub forks. Here's a link to Passenger's open source repository on GitHub.
Code School, Fab, and Movielala are some of the popular companies that use Passenger, whereas lighttpd is used by WhatsApp, Frame, and Fusionbox. Passenger has a broader approval, being mentioned in 380 company stacks & 40 developers stacks; compared to lighttpd, which is listed in 15 company stacks and 4 developer stacks.