Created Wed Aug, 21 2019 at 01:16PM

Have you ever needed to share files quickly with someone / something and didn't know how to easily get them there?

SimpleHTTPServer quickly publishes a directory or web content via a simple web server. This isn't really a production quality server, but great for standing up your code to test functionality or sharing files with someone via web browser.

Using SimpleHTTPServer

SimpleHTTPServer is invoked like this (the parameter is optional):

python -m SimpleHTTPServer <port>

(On OS X, Python is pre-installed and this command works out of the box.)

Let’s look at an example of using SimpleHTTPServer: During the following Unix shell interaction, I first list the files in the current directory and then start SimpleHTTPServer to serve it.

$ ls .
$ python -m SimpleHTTPServer
Serving HTTP on port 8000 ...

Afterwards, I can access the following URLs:

http://localhost:8000/ lists the files in the current directory (namely, just foo.html). If there were a file index.html, it would be displayed, instead. http://localhost:8000/foo.html displays the file foo.html in the current directory. Customizing SimpleHTTPServer
The following Unix shell script demonstrates how to customize SimpleHTTPServer so that it serves files that have a given file name extension with a given media type. One case where that matters is Firefox being picky about the media type of the webapp.manifest.


import SimpleHTTPServer
import SocketServer

PORT = 8000

Handler = SimpleHTTPServer.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler
    '.webapp': 'application/x-web-app-manifest+json',

httpd = SocketServer.TCPServer(("", PORT), Handler)

print "Serving at port", PORT