Sick of Apache config?

Looking for a really simple way to serve the contents of a directory over HTTP?

I do a lot of prototyping and exploration at work. I run an Apache setup on my Mac for local development and as a result, my Apache config is full of vhosts that I'll probably never use again. I'm moving on.

I've decided to use node.js to instantly create a static web server when prototyping code and wanting to preview it in the browser. There are dozens of modules out there to create static web servers, but I wanted to show you the node-static module. You can use easily use it within your own node.js projects, but it also has a really useful command line interface.

To get started with node-static, install it as a global module:

npm install node-static -g

To serve the current directory over HTTP:


That's it. The current directory will now be available over HTTP (assuming you have nothing else listening on that port), view it in your browser at http://localhost:8080/.

To change the port, pass the port number via the -p argument:

static -p 8001

To serve a directory other than the current directory:

static public

node-static will start serving the contents of the public directory, via HTTP at http://localhost:8080/.

A very handy utility! node-static has other neat command line capabilities which you should read about.