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Ad-Hoc Webserver in a Directory

Published on Wed, 26 January 2011

From time to time I have the need to make the contents of a directory available via HTTP. There are a few ways to achieve this. If its content you want to access frequently you might set up a virtual host in Apache or nginx. For more ad-hoc needs the options include Python’s SimpleHTTPServer module, which is part of the standard library:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer

And mongoose. A cross-platform (Windows, *nix), minimal web server written in C without any external dependencies. In its simplest case you run mongoose from the directory to be served. If more advanced usage is required such as SSL, authorisation or CGI these can be enabled on the command line or in a configuration file.

Both SimpleHTTPServer and mongoose support directory listings and index files out of the box.

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