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This project implements an HTTP server in Node.js with support for basic Server Side Include (SSI).

It supports basic HEAD and GET methods, the only 2 methods required by RFC2616. HEAD returns the same results as GET, with the exception of the body. The server is file-based, and for directories given as URLs, the server will return the DEFAULT_FILE ("index.html", see "lib/Constants"). If there is no default file, the server returns 404 for both HEAD and GET.

SSI supported directives

  • "include" -> basic implementation with only one attribute named "file"; no "/" at start or ".." are allowed
  • "exec" -> supports both "cgi" and "cmd" attributes; if both arguments are supplied, only "cgi" is taken into consideration; "cgi" scripts MUST be executable
  • "printenv" -> prints environmental variables; no attributes
  • SSI directives are case sensitive, and they should have the exact syntax defined at


The server is based on Factory Pattern in order to make it easy to add or change implementations of HTTP method requests or SSI directives. SSI directives are processed using asynchronous callback functions and a sort of recursion. More exactly, the function SsiProcessor.processContentHelper() processes the file content by searching for SSI directives. If any is found, it processes the directive and executes a callback (the callback is needed because of asynchronous callbacks to the file system). The callback will call again SsiProcessor.processContentHelper() until all file content is processed.

NPM modules

  • "argchecker" -> used to process command line arguments, like PORT and PATH
  • "winston" -> logger on node.js
  • "mocha" -> testing framework

Installation / Uninstallation:

  • npm install [--dev] [-g] ssihttpserver
  • npm uninstall [--dev] [-g] ssihttpserver
  • [-g] is for global
  • [--dev] is needed for dev modules; if this option doesn't work, then "npm install ssihttpserver" and "npm install -g mocha"


  • locally: INSTALL_DIR/node_modules/.bin/httpServer [--port PORT] [--path PATH]
  • globally: httpServer [--port PORT] [--path PATH]
  • PORT and PATH are optionally
  • default PORT is 8080 and default PATH is APP_DIR/serverRoot
  • "nodejs" / "node" are needed to run the program successfully ("nodejs" for the httpServer, and "node" for mocha)


var HttpServer = require('ssihttpserver');

// HttpServer arguments are optional
var httpServer = new HttpServer({
    port: [PORT],
    path: [PATH]

// Start server


// Close server


  • uses "mocha" library; MUST be in the application root directory when running "mocha"; any other directory will not work
  • tests are full stack; they represent clients that connect to the server and send different HTTP requests
  • some tests will work only on UNIX Operating Systems, like the "exec" tests; it uses the "ls" command, not "dir"; if on Windows, use "cygwin"; "testRoot/ssi/script.cgi" SHOULD be executable for successful run of tests
  • if detailed information about the server is needed, the next line should be commented in "test/test.js":
  • for manual testing, add more files to "serverRoot" or change the DEFAULT_PATH to "testRoot" and use a browser
  • "testRoot/ssi/execCgi.shtml.expected" test is taken from