What is GCDWebServer?

GCDWebServer is a modern and lightweight GCD based HTTP 1.1 server designed to be embedded in iOS, macOS & tvOS apps. It was written from scratch with the following goals in mind:

  • Elegant and easy to use architecture with only 4 core classes: server, connection, request and response (see “Understanding GCDWebServer’s Architecture” below)
  • Well designed API with fully documented headers for easy integration and customization
  • Entirely built with an event-driven design using Grand Central Dispatch for best performance and concurrency
  • No dependencies on third-party source code
  • Available under a friendly New BSD License

Extra built-in features:

  • Allow implementation of fully asynchronous handlers of incoming HTTP requests
  • Minimize memory usage with disk streaming of large HTTP request or response bodies
  • Parser for web forms submitted using “application/x-www-form-urlencoded” or “multipart/form-data” encodings (including file uploads)
  • JSON parsing and serialization for request and response HTTP bodies
  • Chunked transfer encoding for request and response HTTP bodies
  • HTTP compression with gzip for request and response HTTP bodies
  • HTTP range support for requests of local files
  • Basic and Digest Access authentications for password protection
  • Automatically handle transitions between foreground, background and suspended modes in iOS apps
  • Full support for both IPv4 and IPv6
  • NAT port mapping (IPv4 only)

Included extensions:

  • GCDWebUploader: subclass of GCDWebServer that implements an interface for uploading and downloading files using a web browser
  • GCDWebDAVServer: subclass of GCDWebServer that implements a class 1 WebDAV server (with partial class 2 support for macOS Finder)

What’s not supported (but not really required from an embedded HTTP server):

  • Keep-alive connections


  • Pricing: Free
  • Resource Link: https://github.com/swisspol/GCDWebServer
  • Resource Maker: Pierre-Olivier Latour
  • Mobile Platform Destination: iOS Apps
  • Mobile Platform Support: Native iOS
  • Programming Languages: Objective-C
  • iOS Versions Supported: iOS 8.0+, iOS 9.0+, iOS 10.0+, iOS 11.0+, iOS 12.0+
  • CocoaPods: GCDWebServer
  • Carthage: swisspol/GCDWebServer