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Live Server

This is a little development server with live reload capability. Use it for hacking your HTML/JavaScript/CSS files, but not for deploying the final site.

There are two reasons for using this:

  1. AJAX requests don’t work with the file:// protocol due to security restrictions, i.e. you need a server if your site fetches content through JavaScript.
  2. Having the page reload automatically after changes to files can accelerate development.

You don’t need to install any browser plugins or manually add code snippets to your pages for the reload functionality to work, see “How it works” section below for more information. If you don’t want/need the live reload, you should probably use something even simpler, like the following Python-based one-liner:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer

Installation

You need node.js and npm. You should probably install this globally.

Npm way

npm install -g live-server

Manual way

git clone https://github.com/tapio/live-server
cd live-server
npm install # Local dependencies if you want to hack
npm install -g # Install globally

Usage from command line

Issue the command live-server in your project’s directory. Alternatively you can add the path to serve as a command line parameter.

This will automatically launch the default browser. When you make a change to any file, the browser will reload the page - unless it was a CSS file in which case the changes are applied without a reload.

Command line parameters:

Default options:

If a file ~/.live-server.json exists it will be loaded and used as default options for live-server on the command line. See “Usage from node” for option names.

Usage from node

var liveServer = require("live-server");

var params = {
	port: 8181, // Set the server port. Defaults to 8080.
	host: "0.0.0.0", // Set the address to bind to. Defaults to 0.0.0.0 or process.env.IP.
	root: "/public", // Set root directory that's being served. Defaults to cwd.
	open: false, // When false, it won't load your browser by default.
	ignore: 'scss,my/templates', // comma-separated string for paths to ignore
	file: "index.html", // When set, serve this file for every 404 (useful for single-page applications)
	wait: 1000, // Waits for all changes, before reloading. Defaults to 0 sec.
	mount: [['/components', './node_modules']], // Mount a directory to a route.
	logLevel: 2, // 0 = errors only, 1 = some, 2 = lots
	middleware: [function(req, res, next) { next(); }] // Takes an array of Connect-compatible middleware that are injected into the server middleware stack
};
liveServer.start(params);

HTTPS

In order to enable HTTPS support, you’ll need to create a configuration module. The module must export an object that will be used to configure a HTTPS server. The keys are the same as the keys in options for tls.createServer.

For example: ```javascript var fs = require(“fs”);

module.exports = { cert: fs.readFileSync(__dirname + “/server.cert”), key: fs.readFileSync(__dirname + “/server.key”), passphrase: “12345” }; ```

If using the node API, you can also directly pass a configuration object instead of a path to the module.

Troubleshooting

How it works

The server is a simple node app that serves the working directory and its subdirectories. It also watches the files for changes and when that happens, it sends a message through a web socket connection to the browser instructing it to reload. In order for the client side to support this, the server injects a small piece of JavaScript code to each requested html file. This script establishes the web socket connection and listens to the reload requests. CSS files can be refreshed without a full page reload by finding the referenced stylesheets from the DOM and tricking the browser to fetch and parse them again.

Contributing

We welcome contributions! See CONTRIBUTING.md for details.

Version history

License

Uses MIT licensed code from Connect and Roots.

(MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2012 Tapio Vierros

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.