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Ryan Harrison My blog, portfolio and technology related ramblings

Python - Simple HTTP Server

Python comes with a really handy built-in HTTP server that you can get up and running in a matter of seconds - and without having to mess around with something like Apache. This is great for serving simple web pages locally through HTTP to get around the limitations of the file:// protocol within the browser.

The command to start the server unsurprisingly differs from Python 2 to Python 3, but either way it’s really easy to remember. Simply open up a terminal, change directory to the folder containing the files you want to serve and either of the following to start the server depending on your Python version:

Python 2:

cd files/my-directory
python -m SimpleHTTPServer

Serving HTTP on port 8000 ...

Python 3:

cd files/my-directory
python -m http.server

Serving HTTP on port 8000 ...

Then navigate to http://localhost:8000 in your browser to see your files (by default you get a directory listing if there is no index.html file).

You can also specify the port you want to use if 8000 doesn’t work for you:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8080
python -m http.server 8080

Serving HTTP on port 8080 ...