One command line web server on port 80 using nc (netcat)

while true ; do nc -l 80 < index.html ; done
Very simple web server listening on port 80 will serve index.html file or whatever file you like pointing your browser at http://your-IP-address/index.html for example. If your web server is down for maintenance and you'd like to inform your visitors about it, quickly and easily, you just have to put into the index.html file the right HTML code and you are done! Of course you need to be root to run the command using port 80.

12
By: ztank1013
2011-08-31 15:17:33

1 Alternatives + Submit Alt

What Others Think

cool - or deliver contents directly from a string: while true ; do nc -l 8888
bashrc · 587 weeks and 4 days ago
ups mangeled comment - here it is again: while true ; do nc -l 8888 <<<works ; done
bashrc · 587 weeks and 4 days ago
Don't you need to prepend proper HTTP headers to the output? Firefox, lynx and Chromium allow it to pass, but Midori/Webkit gives the bad-response-from-server error I expected. Does the HTTP spec allow for a zero-length header to the response message?
Mozai · 586 weeks and 6 days ago
@Mozai Yes you are totally right! HTTP/1.1 version requires at least the status line in the response: Status-Line = HTTP-Version SP Status-Code SP Reason-Phrase CRLF hence there are a couple of way to fix the command: [1] put this at the beginning of the index.html file: HTTP/1.1 200 OK (followed by a CRLF carriage return and a line feed [2] or you may want to fine tune the initial command to look like this: while true; do { echo -e 'HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\n'; cat index.html; } | nc -l 80; done Not sure but additional '\r\n' might be necessary...
ztank1013 · 586 weeks and 5 days ago
you could avoid using 'while true' with -k, --keep-open nc option: nc -kl 5432 -c 'echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\n$(date)\r\n\r\n";echo "How are you today?"'
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Perfecthomepugs · 5 weeks and 4 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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