Libwww - the W3C Protocol Library on OpenVMS

Libwww is a highly modular, general-purpose client side Web API written in C


Thank your for your interest in this port of W3C Libwww for OpenVMS Alpha and Integrity (IA64).

Libwww (see is a general-purpose Web API written in C. With a highly extensible and layered API, it can accommodate many different types of applications including clients, robots, and so on. The purpose of Libwww is to provide a highly optimized HTTP sample implementation as well as other Internet protocols and to serve as a test-bed for protocol experiments. Libwww also supports HTTPS, through OpenSSL.

Web applications built using Libwww included in this release are a robot (webbot.exe) and a useful command line tool (w3c.exe). The robot can crawl Web sites faster, and with lower load, than many other Web walkers, due to its extensive pipelining and use of HTTP/1.1. The command line tool is very useful for manipulation of Web sites that implement more than just HTTP GET (PUT, POST, and so on).

This port of Libwww for OpenVMS leverages previous porting efforts for OpenVMS Alpha, but is hopefully a more complete implementation of the API. That being said, the library may not be 100% complete, and we have not yet performed sufficient testing to guarantee that all features of the API work correctly. Accordingly, if you do notice anything that is missing from the library or find functions that are not working correctly, please let us know and we will endeavour to fix the problem.

This work has been done in the hope that people will find it useful. The authors have utilised this API a number of times over the past 8 or 9 years on various Linux and UNIX-based projects, and have found it to be very robust and effective. 


The kit you are receiving has been compiled and built using the operating system and compiler versions listed below. While it is highly likely that you will have no problems installing and using the kit on systems running higher product versions of the products listed, we cannot say for sure that you will be so lucky if your system is running older versions. If you would like a kit for a different configuration (maybe even for VAX), we will do what we can to oblige. Note that the UnZip utility is required to unpack the ZIP kit.

  • OpenVMS 8.3 IA64 or higher

  • HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS Industry Standard 64 Version V5.6 or higher

  • HP C S7.1-013 or higher

  • UnZip 5.42 (or similar) for OpenVMS (required to unpack the kit)

    In addition to the above requirements, it is assumed that the reader has a good knowledge of OpenVMS and of software development in the OpenVMS environment.

Optional Products

While Libwww was implemented to facilitate the development of Web applications using C, language integration issues aside, under OpenVMS in particular there is no particular reason why it cannot be used to develop Web applications using practically any OpenVMS 3GL you can think of, such as COBOL, BASIC, Pascal, or FORTRAN. However, it should be noted that regardless of your language preferences, it will invariably be necessary to write at least some C code to take care of language incompatibilities.


Recommended (obligatory) reading

Before getting too carried away, be sure to read (or at least browse) the documentation provided on the W3C Web site (


Location of the kits and documentation

Please download and read the most recent version of the Installation Guide which you may find on the Libwww on OpenVMS Blog page.



There is a blog where the latest kit announcements, questions, bug reports etc. may be found.

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