#http #server #serve #static #configurable

bin+lib http-server

Simple and configurable command-line HTTP server

31 releases

0.7.2 May 12, 2022
0.7.0 Mar 1, 2022
0.6.0 Dec 31, 2021
0.5.7 Nov 21, 2021
0.0.8 Dec 16, 2017

#24 in HTTP server

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Simple and configurable command-line HTTP server

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cargo install http-server

Check for the installation to be successful.

http-server --help


When running the server with no options or flags provided, a set of default configurations will be set, you can always change this behavior by either creating your own config with the Configuration TOML file or by providing CLI arguments described in the usage section.

Name Description Default
Host Address to bind the server
Port Port to bind the server 7878
Root Directory The directory to serve files from CWD
File Explorer UI A File Explorer UI for the directory configured as the Root Directory Enabled
Configuration File Specifies a configuration file. Example Disabled
HTTPS (TLS) HTTPS Secure connection configuration. Refer to TLS (HTTPS) reference Disabled
CORS Cross-Origin-Resource-Sharing headers support. Refer to CORS reference Disabled
Compression GZip compression for HTTP Response Bodies. Refer to Compression reference Disabled
Verbose Print server details when running. This doesn't include any logging capabilities. Disabled
Basic Authentication Authorize requests using Basic Authentication. Refer to Basic Authentication Disabled
Logger Prints HTTP request and response details to stdout Disabled


http-server [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] [root-dir]


Flags are provided without any values. For example:

http-server --help
Name Short Long Description
Cross-Origin Resource Sharing N/A --cors Enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing allowing any origin
GZip Compression N/A --gzip Enable GZip compression for responses
Help N/A --help Prints help information
Logger N/A --logger Prints HTTP request and response details to stdout
Version -V --version Prints version information
Verbose -v --verbose Prints output to console


Options receives a value and have support for default values as well.

http-server --host
Name Short Long Description Default Value
Host -h --host Address to bind the server
Port -p --port Port to bind the server 7878
Configuration File -c --config Specifies a configuration file. Example N/A
TLS N/A --tls Enable TLS for HTTPS connections. Requires a Certificate and Key. Reference N/A
TLS Ceritificate N/A --tls-cert Path to TLS certificate file. Depends on --tls cert.pem
TLS Key N/A --tls-key Path to TLS key file. Depends on --tls key.rsa
TLS Key Algorithm N/A --tls-key-algorithm Algorithm used to generate certificate key. Depends on --tls rsa
Username N/A --username Specify the username to validate using basic authentication N/A
Password N/A --password Specify the password to validate using basic authentication. Depends on --username N/A
Proxy N/A --proxy Proxy requests to the provided URL N/A

Request Handlers

This HTTP Proxy supports different Request Handlers, this determines how each incoming HTTP request must be handled, they can't be combinable so you must choose one based on your needs.

File Server Handler

Useful for serving files in the provided directory. Navigation is scoped to the specified directory, if no directory is provided the CWD will be used.

This is the default behavior for the HTTP server.

Proxy Handler

Proxies requests to the provided URL. The URL provided is used as the base URL for incoming requests.


The following are some relevant details on features supported by this HTTP Server solution that may be of the interest of the user.


Even when compression is supported, by default the server will not compress any HTTP response contents.

You must specify the compression configuration you want to use, as of today the server only supports compression with the GZip algorithm, but brotli is also planed to be supported, that's why theres two ways to configure this server to use compression.

The following MIME types will be skipped from compression:

  • application/gzip
  • application/octet-stream
  • application/wasm
  • application/zip
  • image/*
  • video/*

The Configuration File's Compression Section

As suppport for other compression algorithms is planned to be provided in the future, the configuration file already supports compression settings.

gzip = true

The --gzip flag

Provide the --gzip argument to the server when executing it.

http-server --gzip


The TLS solution supported for this HTTP Server is built with rustls crate along with hyper-rustls.

When running with TLS support you will need:

  • A certificate
  • A RSA Private Key for such certificate

A script to generate certificates and keys is available here tls-cert.sh. This script relies on openssl, so make sure you have it installed in your system.

Run http-server as follows:

http-server --tls --tls-cert <PATH TO YOUR CERTIFICATE> --tls-key <PATH TO YOUR KEY> --tls-key-algorithm pkcs8

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

This HTTP Server brings support to CORS headers out of the box. Based on the headers you want to provide to your HTTP Responses, 2 different methods for CORS configuration are available.

By providing the --cors option to the http-server, CORS headers will be appended to every HTTP Response, allowing any origin.

For more complex configurations, like specifying an origin, a set of allowed HTTP methods and more, you should specify the configuration via the configuration TOML file.

The following example shows all the options available, these options are mapped to the server configuration during initialization.

allow_credentials = false
allow_headers = ["content-type", "authorization", "content-length"]
allow_methods = ["GET", "PATCH", "POST", "PUT", "DELETE"]
allow_origin = "example.com"
expose_headers = ["*", "authorization"]
max_age = 600
request_headers = ["x-app-version"]
request_method = "GET"

Basic Authentication

Basic Authentication is supported to deny requests when credentials are invalid. You must provide the allowed username and password either by using the CLI options --username along with the desired username and --password along with the desired password, or by specifying such values through the configuration TOML file.

username = "John"
password = "Appleseed"


The HTTP Server is able to proxy requests to an specified URL.

By using the proxy the FileExplorer wont be available, the proxy is considered a Request Handler.

The config TOML file can be used to provide proxy configurations:

url = "https://example.com"


In order to create a release you must push a Git tag as follows

git tag -a <version> -m <message>


git tag -a v0.1.0 -m "First release"

Tags must follow semver conventions Tags must be prefixed with a lowercase v letter.

Then push tags as follows:

git push origin main --follow-tags


Every contribution to this project is welcome. Feel free to open a pull request, an issue or just by starting this project.


Distributed under the terms of both the MIT license and the Apache License (Version 2.0)


~1M SLoC