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Start a local Tornado static file server

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T-Service is a tiny Python tool for starting a local static file server using Tornado. I use it for previewing sites before pushing them to GitHub Pages.


T-Service is on PyPI, install it with: pip install tservice.


T-Service installs a command line utility called tserve. tserve has one required parameter: the directory from which to serve files. For example, to start the server from a directory called build that’s in your current directory, use this command:

tserve build

The server starts on port 8000 by default, so you can look for your site at http://localhost:8000.

Specifying a Port

If port 8000 is in use, or you want to use a different port, use the -p/--port flag:

tserve --port 7654 build

Specifying a Prefix

If you need to run the server so that it serves the files from some prefix use the -f/--prefix flag:

tserve --prefix myusername build

That will cause the files to be served from http://localhost:8000/myusername/. (You may need to do this so that the local site matches where your site will be deployed, e.g. GitHub Pages or a university server.)

Stopping the Server

Type control-C at the command line to stop the server.

Why Not Use Python’s Server?

I’ve found I sometimes need to serve files with a prefix on the URL, and I don’t know how to do that with Python’s builtin server.

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