miniserve 0.19.5

For when you really just want to serve some files over HTTP right now!
miniserve-0.19.5 is not a library.

miniserve - a CLI tool to serve files and dirs over HTTP

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For when you really just want to serve some files over HTTP right now!

miniserve is a small, self-contained cross-platform CLI tool that allows you to just grab the binary and serve some file(s) via HTTP. Sometimes this is just a more practical and quick way than doing things properly.



How to use

Serve a directory:

miniserve linux-distro-collection/

Serve a single file:

miniserve linux-distro.iso

Set a custom index file to serve instead of a file listing:

miniserve --index test.html

Serve an SPA (Single Page Application) so that non-existent paths are forwarded to the SPA's router instead

miniserve --spa --index index.html

Require username/password:

miniserve --auth joe:123 unreleased-linux-distros/

Require username/password as hash:

pw=$(echo -n "123" | sha256sum | cut -f 1 -d ' ')
miniserve --auth joe:sha256:$pw unreleased-linux-distros/

Generate random 6-hexdigit URL:

miniserve -i --random-route /tmp
# Serving path /private/tmp at

Bind to multiple interfaces:

miniserve -i -i -i ::1 /tmp/myshare

Start with TLS:

miniserve --tls-cert my.cert --tls-key my.key /tmp/myshare

Upload a file using curl:

# in one terminal
miniserve -u .
# in another terminal
curl -F "path=@$FILE" http://localhost:8080/upload\?path\=/

(where $FILE is the path to the file. This uses miniserve's default port of 8080)

Take pictures and upload them from smartphones:

miniserve -u -m image -q

This uses the --media-type option, which sends a hint for the expected media type to the browser. Some mobile browsers like Firefox on Android will offer to open the camera app when seeing this.


  • Easy to use
  • Just works: Correct MIME types handling out of the box
  • Single binary drop-in with no extra dependencies required
  • Authentication support with username and password (and hashed password)
  • Mega fast and highly parallel (thanks to Rust and Actix)
  • Folder download (compressed on the fly as .tar.gz or .zip)
  • File uploading
  • Pretty themes (with light and dark theme support)
  • Scan QR code for quick access
  • Shell completions
  • Sane and secure defaults
  • TLS (for supported architectures)


miniserve 0.19.5

Sven-Hendrik Haase <>, Boastful Squirrel <>

For when you really just want to serve some files over HTTP right now!

    miniserve [OPTIONS] [--] [PATH]

            Which path to serve

    -a, --auth <AUTH>
            Set authentication. Currently supported formats: username:password, username:sha256:hash,
            username:sha512:hash (e.g. joe:123,

    -c, --color-scheme <COLOR_SCHEME>
            Default color scheme

            [default: squirrel]
            [possible values: squirrel, archlinux, zenburn, monokai]

    -d, --color-scheme-dark <COLOR_SCHEME_DARK>
            Default color scheme

            [default: archlinux]
            [possible values: squirrel, archlinux, zenburn, monokai]

    -D, --dirs-first
            List directories first

    -F, --hide-version-footer
            Hide version footer

    -g, --enable-tar-gz
            Enable gz-compressed tar archive generation

    -h, --help
            Print help information

    -H, --hidden
            Show hidden files

        --header <HEADER>
            Set custom header for responses

    -i, --interfaces <INTERFACES>
            Interface to listen on

        --index <index_file>
            The name of a directory index file to serve, like "index.html"

            Normally, when miniserve serves a directory, it creates a listing for that directory.
            However, if a directory contains this file, miniserve will serve that file instead.

    -l, --show-symlink-info
            Show symlink info

    -m, --media-type <MEDIA_TYPE>
            Specify uploadable media types

            [possible values: image, audio, video]

    -M, --raw-media-type <MEDIA_TYPE_RAW>
            Directly specify the uploadable media type expression

    -o, --overwrite-files
            Enable overriding existing files during file upload

    -p, --port <PORT>
            Port to use

            [default: 8080]

    -P, --no-symlinks
            Do not follow symbolic links

        --print-completions <shell>
            Generate completion file for a shell

            [possible values: bash, elvish, fish, powershell, zsh]

            Generate man page

    -q, --qrcode
            Enable QR code display

    -r, --enable-tar
            Enable uncompressed tar archive generation

            Generate a random 6-hexdigit route

        --route-prefix <ROUTE_PREFIX>
            Use a specific route prefix

            Activate SPA (Single Page Application) mode

            This will cause the file given by --index to be served for all non-existing file paths. In
            effect, this will serve the index file whenever a 404 would otherwise occur in order to
            allow the SPA router to handle the request instead.

    -t, --title <TITLE>
            Shown instead of host in page title and heading

        --tls-cert <TLS_CERT>
            TLS certificate to use

        --tls-key <TLS_KEY>
            TLS private key to use

    -u, --upload-files
            Enable file uploading

    -v, --verbose
            Be verbose, includes emitting access logs

    -V, --version
            Print version information

    -W, --show-wget-footer
            If enabled, display a wget command to recursively download the current directory

    -z, --enable-zip
            Enable zip archive generation

            WARNING: Zipping large directories can result in out-of-memory exception because zip
            generation is done in memory and cannot be sent on the fly

How to install

On Linux: Download miniserve-linux from the releases page and run

chmod +x miniserve-linux

Alternatively, if you are on Arch Linux, you can do

pacman -S miniserve

On Termux

pkg install miniserve

On OSX: Download miniserve-osx from the releases page and run

chmod +x miniserve-osx

Alternatively install with Homebrew:

brew install miniserve

On Windows: Download miniserve-win.exe from the releases page and run


Alternatively install with Scoop:

scoop install miniserve

With Cargo: Make sure you have a recent version of Rust. Then you can run

cargo install --locked miniserve

With Docker: Make sure the Docker daemon is running and then run

docker run -v /tmp:/tmp -p 8080:8080 --rm -it /tmp

With Podman: Just run

podman run -v /tmp:/tmp -p 8080:8080 --rm -it /tmp

Shell completions

If you'd like to make use of the built-in shell completion support, you need to run miniserve --print-completions <your-shell> and put the completions in the correct place for your shell. A few examples with common paths are provided below:

# For bash
miniserve --print-completions bash > ~/.local/share/bash-completion/completions/miniserve
# For zsh
miniserve --print-completions zsh > /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/_miniserve
# For fish
miniserve --print-completions fish > ~/.config/fish/completions/


A hardened systemd-compatible unit file can be found in packaging/miniserve@.service. You could install this to /etc/systemd/system/miniserve@.service and start and enable miniserve as a daemon on a specific serve path /my/serve/path like this:

systemctl enable --now miniserve@-my-serve-path

Keep in mind that you'll have to use systemd-escape to properly escape a path for this usage.

In case you want to customize the particular flags that miniserve launches with, you can use

systemctl edit miniserve@-my-serve-path

and set the [Service] part in the resulting override.conf file. For instance:

ExecStart=/usr/bin/miniserve --enable-tar --enable-zip --no-symlinks --verbose -i ::1 -p 1234 --title hello --color-scheme monokai --color-scheme-dark monokai -- %I

Make sure to leave the %I at the very end in place or the wrong path might be served. You might additionally have to override IPAddressAllow and IPAddressDeny if you plan on making miniserve directly available on a public interface.

Binding behavior

For convenience reasons, miniserve will try to bind on all interfaces by default (if no -i is provided). It will also do that if explicitly provided with -i or -i ::. In all of the aforementioned cases, it will bind on both IPv4 and IPv6. If provided with an explicit non-default interface, it will ONLY bind to that interface. You can provide -i multiple times to bind to multiple interfaces at the same time.

Why use this over alternatives?

  • darkhttpd: Not easily available on Windows and it's not as easy as download-and-go.
  • Python built-in webserver: Need to have Python installed, it's low performance, and also doesn't do correct MIME type handling in some cases.
  • netcat: Not as convenient to use and sending directories is somewhat involved.


This is mostly a note for me on how to release this thing:

  • Make sure is up to date.
  • cargo release <version>
  • cargo release --execute <version>
  • Releases will automatically be deployed by Github Actions.
  • Docker images will automatically be built by Docker Hub.
  • Update Arch package.