Python’s SimpleHTTPServer is the classic quick solution for serving the files in a directory via HTTP (often, you’ll access them locally, via
localhost). This is useful, because there are some things that don’t work with
file: URLs in web browsers.
SimpleHTTPServer is invoked like this (the parameter
<port> 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 0.0.0.0 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.
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
PORT = 8000
Handler = SimpleHTTPServer.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler
httpd = SocketServer.TCPServer(("", PORT), Handler)
print "Serving at port", PORT