121

I have a script which generates a daily report which I want to serve to the so called general public. The problem is I don't want to add to my headaches maintance of a HTTP server (e.g. Apache) with all the configurations and security implications.

Is there a dead simple solution for serving one small HTML page without the effort of configuring a full blown HTTP server?

19 Answers 19

32

Yes, nweb.

Can be found here: nweb.c

(previously at ibm.com)

To compile nweb.c:

gcc -O -DLINUX nweb.c -o nweb
160

Try SimpleHTTPServer:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer
# or the Python 3 equivalent
python3 -m http.server

It should will serve whatever's in the CWD (e.g. index.html) at http://0.0.0.0:8000.

  • 11
    You can optionally specify a port number like this: python3 -m http.server 1337. You can't specify which IP to bind to as far as I can tell. Note: To listen to port 80 you must have root privileges, e.g.: sudo python3 -m http.server 80 – Hubro Oct 30 '14 at 10:49
  • 1
    This one is nice but it has an issue with redirecting to an URL with a trailing slash added. That's why I prefer the twistd version: twistd -n web -p 8000 --path . – Greg Dubicki Jul 14 '15 at 8:49
  • 1
    To change default listening port 8080 (with python2) to something else, just put a port number after: python -m SimpleHTTPServer 3000 – Maksim Luzik Feb 1 at 9:56
44

There is a Big list of http static server one-liners:

To get on this list, a solution must:

  1. serve static files using your current directory (or a specified directory) as the server root
  2. be able to be run with a single, one line command (dependencies are fine if they're a one-time thing)
  3. serve basic file types (html, css, js, images) with proper mime types, require no configuration (from files or otherwise) beyond the command itself (no framework-specific servers, etc)
  4. must run, or have a mode where it can run, in the foreground (i.e. no daemons)

For example:

  • Twisted (Python)

    twistd -n web -p 8000 --path . 
    
  • Erlang:

    erl -s inets -eval 'inets:start(httpd,[{server_name,"NAME"},{document_root, "."},{server_root, "."},{port, 8000},{mime_types,[{"html","text/html"},{"htm","text/html"},{"js","text/javascript"},{"css","text/css"},{"gif","image/gif"},{"jpg","image/jpeg"},{"jpeg","image/jpeg"},{"png","image/png"}]}]).'
    
  • Plack (Perl)

    cpan Plack
    plackup -MPlack::App::Directory -e 'Plack::App::Directory->new(root=>".");' -p 8000
    
  • webfs

    webfsd -F -p 8000
    
  • Ruby 1.9.2+

    ruby -run -ehttpd . -p8000
    
43

Use node.js , fast and lightweight.

Or

just use simple nc netcat command to start a quick webserver on a port and serve the content of a file including the server response headers.

Reference from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netcat#Setting_up_a_one-shot_webserver_on_port_8080_to_present_the_content_of_a_file

{ echo -ne "HTTP/1.0 200 OK\r\n\r\n"; cat some.file; } | nc -l -p 8080
{ echo -ne "HTTP/1.0 200 OK\r\nContent-Length: $(wc -c <some.file)\r\n\r\n"; cat some.file; } | nc -l -p 8080
  • 27
    A bare node.js process with only the interactive shell running takes 15MB (7.5 is shared) of RAM. And then you have to run the HTTP server inside it. It is funny that people see it as lightweight. ;-) – jpc Mar 2 '12 at 14:00
  • yeah I consider it light weight, you can scale well with such less memory footprint. Please read thecodinghumanist.com/blog/archives/2011/5/6/… However, if you find it cumbersome to use node.js, then the simple netcat utility serves the short lived purpose well. – Nikhil Mulley Mar 2 '12 at 15:28
  • 1
    You are of course right if you compare node with Apache but what I found amusing was how node looks when compared to cr.yp.to/publicfile.html or something similar. :) – jpc Mar 6 '12 at 10:54
  • hmmmmm.. ok ;-) – Nikhil Mulley Mar 13 '12 at 5:16
  • 8
    +1 for the nc based solution :). Note that the -ne flags for echo may not be portable, using the printf command instead may be a better alternative. – WhiteWinterWolf Nov 5 '16 at 9:35
29

Since version 5.4.0 PHP also has a built-in web server:

php -S localhost:8000

You can Specify the web server's documents directory with -t, for example:

php -S localhost:8000 -t /var/lib/www

If you want to be able to access the server over the network then:

php -S 0.0.0.0:8000 -t /var/lib/www
  • Wow that was easy and helpful! – Michael-O May 16 '15 at 19:08
  • This one is really nice if you want to test php-scripts locally. – erik Jul 27 '15 at 9:51
15

Node has a simple, fast, light HTTP server module. To install:

sudo npm install http-server -g

(Assuming you have node and npm already installed.)

To run it, using the current directory as the website root:

http-server

This creates a server on http://0.0.0.0:8080/.

  • It works. I have a Node project on a FreeBSD machine, I just run npm install -D http-server inside project directory and then add the following lines to my package.json file: "scripts": { "build": "webpack && cd src/public && http-server" }, now I just need to run npm run build on project directory to start the HTTP server, listening on port 8080 by default. – user3405291 Sep 14 '17 at 12:52
  • 2
    First I tried "python3 -m http.server", but it's single-threaded and only 1 client can download at a time, the others need to wait. This solution with Node.js works better, due to the async nature of Node. If you want to share a file with several people, use this. – Jabba Sep 14 '17 at 16:14
6

Try using SimpleHTTPServer in Python.

mkdir ~/public_html
command_to_generate_output > ~/public_html/output.txt

(cd ~/public_html; python -c 'import SimpleHTTPServer,BaseHTTPServer; BaseHTTPServer.HTTPServer(("", 8080), SimpleHTTPServer.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler).serve_forever()')

The first two lines are setup for the web server. The last line creates a simple web server, opened on port 8080, which only serves files from ~/public_html. If only one file is in that directory, then only that is exposed: http://localhost:8080/output.txt.

  • that's what i use, just copy the lastline and paste it on a .py file, then run it with python (or make it executable). Keep in mind that you have to run with python 2.x interpreter. – Hanan N. Feb 20 '12 at 21:40
3

You can piggy back on xinetd. Put the following config file into /etc/xinetd.d/ and service xinetd reload:

service http
{
  flags = REUSE IPv4
  protocol = tcp
  socket_type = stream
  port = 80
  wait = no
  user = nobody
  server = /bin/echo
  server_args = -e HTTP/1.0 301 Moved Permanently\nContent-Length: 0\nLocation: https://goo.gl/\n\n
  disable = no
}

Works for my redirecting purposes:

# wget 127.0.0.1
--2016-04-04 22:56:20--  http://127.0.0.1/
Connecting to 127.0.0.1:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 301 Moved Permanently
Location: https://goo.gl/ [following]
...
2

Oldschool Ruby WEBrick HTTP server:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'webrick'
server = WEBrick::HTTPServer.new(:Port => 8000,
                                 :DocumentRoot => '~/webrickroot')

# stop server with Ctrl-C
trap('INT') { server.stop }
server.start

Make sure to modify the DocumentRoot for your setup. See also this.

2

Another option would be to install lighttpd. Following are suggested steps to install lighttpd on a Unbuntu 12.04 LTS.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade --show-upgraded
apt-get install lighttpd
ifconfig
http://[your-ip-address]:80
/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf (Edit to add server.port)
server.port = "8080"

Note: Documentroot is where all web accessible files will be places. The location is /var/wwww

The above step will install a basic lighttpd web server. For more information refer the following references

References:

2

Simple Ruby one liner to serve a directory:

ruby -run -e httpd . -p 8080
2

./devd -o -a -P devd:devd .

  • -o opens url in browser
  • -a for all interfaces
  • -P auth user/pass
  • . serve files in same directory

https://github.com/cortesi/devd/releases

2

A simple fix/enhancement to a slightly unfairly (imho) down voted answer might also work. Let's set up the html file first ...

echo '<html><head><title>My Test File</title></head><body><hi>OK!</h1></body></html>' > my_file.html

Now you can serve it up with this one-liner:

while true; do echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\nContent-Type: text/html\r\n\r\n" | cat - my_file.html  | nc -l -p 8080; done

This basic idea lends itself to other tricks that might work for you via other cat or subshell ideas such as:

while true; do echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\nContent-Type: text/html\r\n\r\nI think the date is $(date), Have a good day!" | nc -l -p 8080; done
1

try caddy

curl https://getcaddy.com | bash

serve content from /var/www caddy -root /var/www "browse"

now you find the server at http://localhost:2015

  • I love to just caddy from a local directory and enjoy having a modern and secure webserver. – Duvrai Oct 16 at 8:54
0

Simple netcat example to put in bash script:

while true ; do nc -l 80 <index.html ; done 
  • 11
    That entirely fails to speak HTTP. – derobert Aug 6 '14 at 11:54
  • I tried while [ 1=1 ] ; do echo "TEST" | nc -l 80; done - going to 127.0.0.1 indeed returns the contents. I had to do that as root though. So in an extremely crude way - it can get the job done, and I like that. I tried going to my-hostnname.local on another machine in the LAN and it worked too. – unfa Dec 11 '17 at 11:33
0

SFK worth mentioning here

http://stahlworks.com/dev/swiss-file-knife.html

an excellent multipurpose tool with no dependencies

available in both deb and rpm flavours

sfk httpserv -port 1234

will serve current directory

sfk httpserv -port 1234 -rw

will also allow file uploading

0

Pure bash: A web server in a shell script.

Also, you'll need xinetd (I believe available in any distro) to listen port and run the script when needed, so you don't have to code tcp stack etc in bash.

0

I used these instructions to install a web server on my CentOS machine without having to use sudo or touch any system files:

First install node:

$ cd ~
$ wget https://nodejs.org/download/release/latest/node-v8.6.0-linux-x64.tar.gz
$ tar node-v8.6.0-linux-x64.tar.gz

then install http-server:

$ export PATH=~/node-v8.6.0-linux-x64/bin:$PATH
$ npm install http-server

then run http-server on port 12321:

$ ~/node-v8.6.0-linux-x64/bin/node_modules/http-server/bin/http-server -p 12321
0

I've improved the nc solution a bit so it:

  • Adds the filename= hint,
  • Runs in a loop until Ctrl + C,
  • Saves a PID to /tmp/serveFile-$PORT so you can kill it later easily.

.

#!/bin/bash

FILE=$1;
if [ "$FILE" == "" ] ; then echo "Usage: $0 <file-to-serve> [<port:7979>]"; exit; fi
PORT=${2:-7979}
echo Serving $FILE at $PORT, PID: $$
echo $$ > /tmp/serveFilePID-$PORT

while true; do 
    { echo -ne "HTTP/1.0 200 OK\r\nContent-Length: $(wc -c <$FILE)\r\nContent-Disposition: inline; filename=\"$(basename $FILE)\"\r\n\r\n"; cat $FILE; } | nc -l $PORT
    CODE=$?
    #echo "Code: $CODE";
    if [ $CODE -gt 128 ] ; then break; fi;
done;

rm /tmp/serveFilePID-$PORT

One could also use nc -k -l ... but this way you can

  • do custom actions between files served,
  • make several files alternate.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.