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LiteSpeed Web Server


LiteSpeed Web Server Enterprise has many different licenses to choose from. These licenses reflect how much power LiteSpeed Web Server will be given. Generally, the licenses are divided by how many worker processes are spawned, though there are a few, more affordable licenses with domain and RAM limitations also.

Type Top-Level Domain Limit Server (VPS) RAM Limit Worker Processes
Free Starter 1 2GB 1
Site Owner 5 8GB 1
Site Owner Plus 5 Unlimited 1
Web Host Lite Unlimited 8GB 1
Web Host Essential Unlimited Unlimited 1
Web Host Professional Unlimited Unlimited 2
Web Host Enterprise Unlimited Unlimited 4
Web Host Elite Unlimited Unlimited Configurable


You are not required to have LSWS make use of all of your server's cores! LSWS is fast and lightweight enough to run very, very well on only a fraction of a server's available cores.


Licenses will not work on any server that exceeds the licenses' respective RAM and top-level domain limits.

How to Choose a License

When choosing a license, the most important thing to pay attention to is the limits of each one.

The Free Starter license is a great option for sites with modest needs, but it is not an option if:

  • your server (or VPS) has more than 1 domain on it
  • you wish to use LiteMage with your Magento installation

If either of these situations apply, try a Site Owner license.

If you wish to support more than five domains, you will need a Web Host license.

The RAM limit is based on how much RAM is on the server (or VPS) that you want to install LiteSpeed Web Server on. If the server/VPS is over the RAM limit then LiteSpeed Web Server will not work.

What domains are counted toward the domain limit?

Every name.tld that has its own virtual host is counted toward the limit.

What is a worker process?

The number of worker processes describes the number of processes that do general server work. Examples of the work done include: routing requests, SSL decryption/encryption, caching, rewriting, etc.

LiteSpeed will fork that number of processes. Each process will utilize a separate core.

Our Recommendation

We recommend the license have enough worker processes to make use of roughly 25% of your server's cores. You also must adhere to the domain and RAM limits.


Hyper-threads do NOT count towards your core total.

Factors to Consider

  • You can usually upgrade or downgrade.

Often, finding exactly the right license for your usage is a matter of trial and error. Different sites put pressure on different parts of the server. The best approach may be to purchase a license, then try upgrading or downgrading to see if it affects your service noticeably. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time and you will only be charged the difference in the license fee for the remainder of the billing period.


You cannot upgrade/downgrade Free Starter licenses, but all other license types allow it.

  • What other processes are running on the same server?

For example, if you have a 4 core server and run LSWS, PHP, and MySQL on the same server, you will probably be best served by a Web Host Essential or Web Host Professional license. LSWS is light enough that it only needs access to 1 or 2 of this server's cores. PHP and MySQL (which are much more resource intensive than LSWS) will be unaffected by this limit and will have access to all 4 of the server's cores.

  • Is the content you serve mainly static (such as images, file downloads, etc.)?

Static content is served by LSWS directly, so assigning it more CPU cores may help with this. If your server is mainly using PHP or MySQL (for instance, if it is running web applications like WordPress, etc.), giving LSWS access to more cores will not help as LSWS is not the bottleneck in these cases.

  • Do you have a high volume of HTTPS traffic?

HTTPS requires more CPU power for encryption. You may find that giving LSWS access to more cores in this case will improve performance. Do not overestimate this effect though. Unless your server only serves static HTTPS, LSWS should still only have access to a fraction of the server's cores.

  • Have you tried a trial license?

A trial license is the best way to get an idea of what license type is right for you.

If You Exceed the Domain Limit

Some licenses limit the number of domains you can have. If you exceed the domain limit, one of two things can happen:

  • If you are using LSWS as a drop-in replacement for Apache in a control panel environment (such as cPanel or Plesk), the server will revert back to Apache and LSWS will stop working
  • If you are using Native LSWS either without a control panel, or with a panel that supports LSWS natively (such as DirectAdmin), LSWS will serve the number of domains supported by the license and return a 403 error for the rest of them.

To avoid these issues, either upgrade to a license that supports more domains, or remove some domains from your server.

Indicators You Need to Upgrade

A top command will reveal important information about the resources consumed by different processes on your server. (LSWS's process is named either lshttpd or litespeed.):

  • %wa - High I/O wait can be an indicator that LSWS needs more worker processes, and thus access to more cores.
  • %CPU - Generally LSWS's litespeed process CPU usage (though not necessarily the whole server load) is low. If LSWS's CPU usage starts climbing, and especially if it climbs to be consistently over 60% while your overall load is low, it can indicate that LSWS is hitting a bottleneck and would benefit from access to more cores.

The following output shows the litespeed process has very low %CPU, which is normal:

    PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND                                                                                                                
1813555 root      20   0  209008 109424    856 S   0.3  2.8   1:04.86 litespeed                                                                                                              
1813561 nobody    20   0  388728 115044   2436 S   0.3  3.0   1:23.43 litespeed                                                                                                              
1813562 nobody    20   0  388184 114320   2276 S   0.3  2.9   1:24.03 litespeed                                                                                                              

This output shows that the litespeed process is over 60%. This is acceptable for a temporary spike. However, if monitoring shows that %CPU is consistently 60%, you may need to upgrade to a license with more workers.

    PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND                                                                                                                
1813555 root      20   0  209008 109424    856 S   5.3  2.8   1:04.86 litespeed                                                                                                              
1813561 nobody    20   0  388728 115044   2436 S   67.3  3.0   1:23.43 litespeed                                                                                                              
1813562 nobody    20   0  388184 114320   2276 S   73.3  2.9   1:24.03 litespeed                                                                                                              

CyberPanel Bundles

CyberPanel is a control panel built specifically for LiteSpeed. Learn More about LiteSpeed Cache with CyberPanel license bundles.

Last update: October 16, 2023