Drupal works on any web server with PHP support.
Security note: Some security features are only provided for Apache and IIS through the use of .htaccess and web.config files. You are responsible for recreating these features when using a different webserver.
Apache is the most commonly used web server for Drupal. Drupal will work on Apache 2.x hosted on UNIX/Linux, OS X, or Windows.
The majority of Drupal development and deployment is done on Apache, so there is more community experience and testing performed on Apache than on other web servers. Drupal 7 and 6 will likely work on Apache 1.3.
You can use the Apache 'mod_rewrite' extension to allow for clean URLs.
The Apache Virtualhost configuration must contain the directive
AllowOverride All to allow Drupal's .htaccess file to be used.
Nginx is a commonly used web server that focuses on high concurrency, performance and low memory usage.
Drupal will work on Nginx legacy versions (0.7.x, 0.8.x, 1.0.x, 1.2.x), stable 1.4.x versions, and mainline 1.5.x versions hosted on UNIX/Linux, OS X, or Windows. Nginx is a popular alternative to Apache, so there is also significant community experience and testing performed on Nginx.
For information on enabling clean URLs, see Clean URLs with NGINX.
Hiawatha is a web server with a strong focus on security. It also aims at being easy to use and being lightweight. Research performed by independent researchers proves that Hiawatha offers a performance comparable to other web servers under normal conditions, but much better while under attack.
Hiawatha is fully compatible with Drupal. For information about the required URL rewriting rules to use Drupal with Hiawatha, read Clean URLs with Hiawatha.