live-server

simple development http server with live reload capability

npm install live-server
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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.

If you don't want/need the live reload, you should probably use something 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

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 (you should have index.html present). 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.

You can configure the port to be used by setting PORT environment variable prior to launching the server.

Troubleshooting

Open your browser's console: there should be a message at the top stating that live reload is enabled. If there are errors, deal with them. You will need a browser that supports WebSockets.

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.

Version history

  • v0.5.0
    • Watching was broken with new versions of watchr > 2.3.3
    • Added some logging to console
  • v0.4.0
    • Allow specifying directory to serve from command line
  • v0.3.0
    • Directory listings
  • v0.2.0
    • On-the-fly CSS refresh (no page reload)
    • Refactoring
  • v0.1.1
    • Documentation and meta tweaks
  • v0.1.0
    • Initial release

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.

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