A lean, modular web server for rapid full-stack development.
- Supports HTTP, HTTPS and HTTP2.
- Small and 100% personalisable. Load and use only the behaviour required by your project.
- Attach a custom view to personalise how activity is visualised.
- Programmatic and command-line interfaces.
Use this tool to:
- Build any type of front-end web application (static, dynamic, Single Page App, Progessive Web App, React etc).
- Prototype a back-end service (REST API, microservice, websocket, Server Sent Events service etc).
- Monitor activity, analyse performance, experiment with caching strategy etc.
Local-web-server is a distribution of lws bundled with a "starter pack" of useful middleware.
This package installs the
ws command-line tool (take a look at the usage guide).
Static web site
ws without any arguments will host the current directory as a static web site. Navigating to the server will render a directory listing or your
index.html, if that file exists.
$ ws Listening on http://mbp.local:8000, http://127.0.0.1:8000, http://192.168.0.100:8000
This clip demonstrates static hosting plus a couple of log output formats -
Single Page Application
Serving a Single Page Application (an app with client-side routing, e.g. a React or Angular app) is as trivial as specifying the name of your single page:
$ ws --spa index.html
With a static site, requests for typical SPA paths (e.g.
/login) would return
404 Not Found as a file at that location does not exist. However, by marking
index.html as the SPA you create this rule:
If a static file is requested (e.g.
/css/style.css) then serve it, if not (e.g.
/login) then serve the specified SPA and handle the route client-side.
URL rewriting and proxied requests
Another common use case is to forward certain requests to a remote server.
The following command proxies blog post requests from any path beginning with
https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/. For example, a request for
/posts/1 would be proxied to
$ ws --rewrite '/posts/(.*) -> https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/$1'
This clip demonstrates the above plus use of
--static.extensions to specify a default file extension and
--verbose to monitor activity.
HTTPS and HTTP2
For HTTPS or HTTP2, pass the
--http2 flags respectively. See the wiki for further configuration options and a guide on how to get the "green padlock" in your browser.
$ ws --http2 Listening at https://mba4.local:8000, https://127.0.0.1:8000, https://192.168.0.200:8000
Built-in middleware stack
If you do not supply a custom middleware stack via the
--stack option the following default stack will be used. It's designed to cover most typical web development scenarios.
|↓ Basic Auth||Password-protect a server using Basic Authentication|
|↓ Body Parser||Parses the request body, making
|↓ Request Monitor||Feeds traffic information to the
|↓ Log||Outputs an access log or stats view to the console.|
|↓ Cors||Support for setting Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) headers|
|↓ Json||Pretty-prints JSON responses.|
|↓ Rewrite||URL Rewriting. Use to re-route requests to local or remote destinations.|
|↓ Blacklist||Forbid access to sensitive or private resources|
|↓ Conditional Get||Support for HTTP Conditional requests.|
|↓ Mime||Customise the mime-type returned with any static resource.|
|↓ Compress||Compress responses using gzip.|
|↓ SPA||Support for Single Page Applications.|
|↓ Static||Serves static files.|
|↓ Index||Serves directory listings.|
$ npm install -g local-web-server