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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 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.


$ npm install node-static



import {Server, version, mime} from 'node-static';

// OR:
// import * as statik from 'node-static';


const statik = require('node-static');


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

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

new statik.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:

const statik = require('node-static');

var fileServer = new statik.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
                    '/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:

const statik = require('node-static');

const fileServer = new statik.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
                    "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) {
    console.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

cache (Default: 3600)

Sets the Cache-Control header.

example: { cache: 7200 } will set the max-age for all files to 7200 seconds example: { cache: {'**/*.css': 300}} will set the max-age for all CSS files to 5 minutes.

Passing a number will set the cache duration to that number of seconds. Passing false will disable the Cache-Control header. Passing a object with minimatch glob pattern keys and number values will set cache max-age for any matching paths.

serverInfo (Default: node-static/{version})

Sets the Server header.

example: { serverInfo: "myserver" }

headers (Default: {})

Sets response headers.

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

gzip (Default: false)

Enable support for sending compressed responses. This will enable a check for a file with the same name plus '.gz' in the same folder. If the compressed file is found and the client has indicated support for gzip file transfer, the contents of the .gz file will be sent in place of the uncompressed file along with a Content-Encoding: gzip header to inform the client the data has been compressed.

example: { gzip: true } example: { gzip: /^\/text/ }

Passing true will enable this check for all files. Passing a RegExp instance will only enable this check if the content-type of the respond would match that RegExp using its test() method.

indexFile (Default: index.html)

Choose a custom index file when serving up directories.

example: { indexFile: "index.htm" }

defaultExtension (Default: null)

Choose a default extension when serving files. A request to '/myFile' would check for a myFile folder (first) then a myFile.html (second).

example: { defaultExtension: "html" }

Command Line Interface

node-static also provides a CLI.

--port, -p          TCP port at which the files will be served                        [default: 8080]
--host-address, -a  the local network interface at which to listen                    [default: ""]
--cache, -c         "Cache-Control" header setting, defaults to 3600
--version, -v       node-static version
--headers, -H       additional headers (in JSON format)
--header-file, -f   JSON file of additional headers
--gzip, -z          enable compression (tries to serve file of same name plus '.gz')
--spa               Serve the content as a single page app by redirecting all
                    non-file requests to the index HTML file.
--indexFile, -i     Specify a custom index file when serving up directories.          [default: "index.html"]
--help, -h          display this help message

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

# expose the server to your local network
$ static -a
serving "." at

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