rfc 2616 compliant HTTP static-file server module, with built-in caching.
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a simple, rfc 2616 compliant file streaming module for node

node-static has an in-memory file cache, making it highly efficient. node-static understands and supports conditional GET and HEAD requests. node-static was inspired by some of the other static-file serving modules out there, such as node-paperboy and antinode.


var static = require('node-static');

// Create a node-static server instance to serve the './public' folder
var file = new(static.Server)('./public');

require('http').createServer(function (request, response) {
    request.addListener('end', function () {
        // Serve files!
        file.serve(request, response);


Creating a node-static Server

Creating a file server instance is as simple as:

new static.Server();

This will serve files in the current directory. If you want to serve files in a specific directory, pass it as the first argument:

new static.Server('./public');

You can also specify how long the client is supposed to cache the files node-static serves:

new static.Server('./public', { cache: 3600 });

This will set the Cache-Control header, telling clients to cache the file for an hour. This is the default setting.

Serving files under a directory

To serve files under a directory, simply call the serve method on a Server instance, passing it the HTTP request and response object:

var fileServer = new static.Server('./public');

require('http').createServer(function (request, response) {
    request.addListener('end', function () {
        fileServer.serve(request, response);

Serving specific files

If you want to serve a specific file, like an error page for example, use the serveFile method:

fileServer.serveFile('/error.html', 500, {}, request, response);

This will serve the error.html file, from under the file root directory, with a 500 status code. For example, you could serve an error page, when the initial request wasn't found:

require('http').createServer(function (request, response) {
    request.addListener('end', function () {
        fileServer.serve(request, response, function (e, res) {
            if (e && (e.status === 404)) { // If the file wasn't found
                fileServer.serveFile('/not-found.html', 404, {}, request, response);

More on intercepting errors bellow.

Intercepting errors & Listening

An optional callback can be passed as last argument, it will be called every time a file has been served successfully, or if there was an error serving the file:

var fileServer = new static.Server('./public');

require('http').createServer(function (request, response) {
    request.addListener('end', function () {
        fileServer.serve(request, response, function (err, result) {
            if (err) { // There was an error serving the file
                sys.error("Error serving " + request.url + " - " + err.message);

                // Respond to the client
                response.writeHead(err.status, err.headers);

Note that if you pass a callback, and there is an error serving the file, node-static will not respond to the client. This gives you the opportunity to re-route the request, or handle it differently.

For example, you may want to interpret a request as a static request, but if the file isn't found, send it to an application.

If you only want to listen for errors, you can use event listeners:

fileServer.serve(request, response).addListener('error', function (err) {
    sys.error("Error serving " + request.url + " - " + err.message);

With this method, you don't have to explicitly send the response back, in case of an error.

Options when creating an instance of Server


Sets the Cache-Control header.

example: { cache: 7200 }

Passing a number will set the cache duration to that number of seconds. Passing false will disable the Cache-Control header.

Defaults to 3600


Sets the Server header.

example: { serverInfo: "myserver" }

Defaults to node-static/{version}


Sets response headers.

example: { 'X-Hello': 'World!' }

defaults to {}

Command Line Interface

node-static also provides a CLI.


$ npm install -g node-static

Example Usage

# serve up the current directory
$ static
serving "." at

# serve up a different directory
$ static public
serving "public" at

# specify additional headers (this one is useful for development)
$ static -H '{"Cache-Control": "no-cache, must-revalidate"}'
serving "." at

# set cache control max age
$ static -c 7200
serving "." at

# show help message, including all options
$ static -h