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IMPORTANT: There is now a much better module called send - use that instead!



A node.js module for delivering static files.

Current Status

This module is used by in production and is mainted by Felix Geisendörfer. However, this one one of my first node modules and it lacks a test suite, you've been warned : ).


  • Configurable callbacks on most events
  • ETag / 304 Support
  • Custom HTTP headers


Example from example/basic.js:

  path = require('path'),
  http = require('http'),
  paperboy = require('../lib/paperboy'),

  PORT = 8003,
  WEBROOT = path.join(path.dirname(__filename), 'webroot');

http.createServer(function(req, res) {
  var ip = req.connection.remoteAddress;
    .deliver(WEBROOT, req, res)
    .addHeader('Expires', 300)
    .addHeader('X-PaperRoute', 'Node')
    .before(function() {
      console.log('Received Request');
    .after(function(statCode) {
      log(statCode, req.url, ip);
    .error(function(statCode, msg) {
      res.writeHead(statCode, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
      res.end("Error " + statCode);
      log(statCode, req.url, ip, msg);
    .otherwise(function(err) {
      res.writeHead(404, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
      res.end("Error 404: File not found");
      log(404, req.url, ip, err);

function log(statCode, url, ip, err) {
  var logStr = statCode + ' - ' + url + ' - ' + ip;
  if (err)
    logStr += ' - ' + err;

API Docs

paperboy.deliver(webroot, req, res)

Checks the webroot folder if it has a file that matches the req.url and streams it to the client. If req.url ends with a '/' (slash), 'index.html' is appended automatically.


  • webroot: Absolute path where too look for static files to serve
  • req: A http.ServerRequest object
  • res: A http.ServerResponse object

This returns an object with several functions that you can call, to modify how the static content is delivered. Each of these functions returns the object, so you can chain them, as shown in the example above. They each take a callback function, whose arguments and expected behavior are detailed below.


Fires if a matching file was found in the webroot and is about to be delivered. The delivery can be canceled by returning false from within the callback.


Fires after a file has been successfully delivered from the webroot. statCode contains the numeric HTTP status code that was sent to the client. You must close the connection yourself if the error callback fires!

error(callback(statCode, msg))

Fires if there was an error delivering a file from the webroot. statCode contains the numeric HTTP status code that was sent to the client. msg contains the error message. You must close the connection yourself if the error callback fires! The default callback shows a minimal HTTP error page.


Fires if no matching file was found in the webroot. Also fires if false was returned in the delegate.before() callback. If there was a problem stating the file, err is set to the contents of that error message. The default callback shows a simple "HTTP 404 File Not Found" page.

addHeader(callback(name, value))

Sets an arbitrary HTTP header. The header name Expires is special and expects the number of milliseconds till expiry, from which it will calculate the proper HTTP date.


Paperboy is licensed under the MIT license.


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