Created: 2014-05-19 10:19
Updated: 2015-01-27 03:44


Have you ever been frustrated because even in 2015

  • you couldn't transfer huge files easily between two computers on a LAN

  • you couldn't easily send huge files to someone

  • you couldn't get someone to easily send huge files to you

then httpserve is a solution you might consider. Note the keyword easily. Sure, you could transfer relatively small files through email attachment, but good luck sending a 10 GB file this way. Don't even talk about cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox, I shouldn't have to upload and store a large file somewhere only to have it downloaded and deleted later. The same goes for external USB storage.

Now you might be a geek and have a web server to host any file at your disposal. That's great for you, but I can assure you that most people will not welcome the hassle of setting up a http daemon just to transfer some darn files. You might also be quick to remind me of solutions such as

$ python -mhttp.server 8080
$ twistd -n web -port=8080 -path=.

While they may work fine for you to send files to someone, they do not solve the problem of getting someone (especially non-geeks) to send files to you. You might then say you could write a file upload form in PHP and run it through Apache. But the point is nobody wants to install Apache, PHP or some other heavy weight software and edit a bunch of config files just to do file transfer. And not everyone has as much free time and energy.

As for transferring files between two computers on a LAN, you might be eager to "inform" me how I could spend time setting up and configure NFS or Samba on both computers. But why the hassle? I just want to transfer some files and call it a day!


With httpserve you just need an open port on your side, then you can transfer files to someone or have someone send you files, through HTTP.

Say you have two computers, A ( and B (, separated by a wireless link. You want to send a 10 GB file from A to B. If httpserve is installed on A, then you can run

$ httpserve -p 9090 -root /home/me/docs

to serve the files in /home/me/docs via port 9090, assuming the file is stored in /home/me/docs. On B you will point the browser to A directory listing will be produced, with hyperlinks to each file. Suppose httpserve is installed on B instead. You would run

$ httpserve -p 9090 -store /home/me/docs

to send a minimalistic upload form to A via port 9090. A can receive the form by going to Then select the 10 GB file on A and send it. The file will be stored in /home/me/docs.

How to build

You will need to have golang installed. Then with

$ go build httpserve.go

and you're good to go.

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