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This article provides a simple static file server built with pure Node.js without the use of a framework.

Node.js has many frameworks to help you get your server up and running.

The most popular are:

  • Express: A widely used framework.
  • Hapi.js: A rich framework for building applications and services
  • Total: The all-in-one Node.js framework, which does not depend on any other framework, or module.

These will not suit every situation. A developer may need to build their own server without other dependencies.


A simple static file server built with Node.js:

var http = require('http');
var fs = require('fs');
var path = require('path');

http.createServer(function (request, response) {
    console.log('request ', request.url);

    var filePath = '.' + request.url;
    if (filePath == './') {
        filePath = './index.html';

    var extname = String(path.extname(filePath)).toLowerCase();
    var mimeTypes = {
        '.html': 'text/html',
        '.js': 'text/javascript',
        '.css': 'text/css',
        '.json': 'application/json',
        '.png': 'image/png',
        '.jpg': 'image/jpg',
        '.gif': 'image/gif',
        '.wav': 'audio/wav',
        '.mp4': 'video/mp4',
        '.woff': 'application/font-woff',
        '.ttf': 'application/font-ttf',
        '.eot': 'application/vnd.ms-fontobject',
        '.otf': 'application/font-otf',
        '.svg': 'application/image/svg+xml'

    var contentType = mimeTypes[extname] || 'application/octet-stream';

    fs.readFile(filePath, function(error, content) {
        if (error) {
            if(error.code == 'ENOENT'){
                fs.readFile('./404.html', function(error, content) {
                    response.writeHead(200, { 'Content-Type': contentType });
                    response.end(content, 'utf-8');
            else {
                response.end('Sorry, check with the site admin for error: '+error.code+' ..\n');
        else {
            response.writeHead(200, { 'Content-Type': contentType });
            response.end(content, 'utf-8');

console.log('Server running at');

To do

Extend this article, explaining how the above code works. Perhaps, an extended version serving static files and handling dynamic requests.

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: alexlawrence,